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Lone Shanakyle

Thomas Madigan
Language: English



The word used today for voluntary emigration in Irish Gaelic is eisimirce, but it was not in use until the beginning of the 20th century. Up until then, and naturally during the Great Famine, the only word ever used was deoraí, meaning ‘exile’.34 Reluctant exile, or emigration, was not a new phenomenon in the 1840s, but the departure from home became the lot of thousands of poor Irish families every month, a forced path to escape misery or death, as described in Lone Shanakyle, named after the mass burial pit that served as a graveyard in Kilrush, Co. Clare

Available on DÉANTA’s album Whisper of a Secret, 1997
Far, far from the isle of the holy and grand
Where wild oxen fatten and brave men are banned
All lonely and lone in a far distant land
Do I wander and pine for poor Éireann

Lonely and sad I roam far from my native home
Where the wild waves surging foam, headlands appearing
Clouded in silver spray, flashing through heaven’s bright ray
For thy glory and pride, lovely Éireann

Sweet, sweet Inis Cathaigh, the sacred, the blessed
Fit place for a saint or a warrior’s rest
Your sentinel towers left each storm repressed
Your mourning waves wail for my Éireann

There is nothing now left, holy isle, but thy name
The ruin of thy glory, thy grandeur, thy fame
For foreign laws see thy sadness and pain
That now cause thy anguish, my Éireann

Lonely and sad I roam far from my native home
Where the wild waves surging foam, headlands appearing
Clouded in silver spray, flashing through heaven’s bright ray
For thy glory and pride, lovely Éireann

How dearly I longed for to wander once more
To the loved ones I left at my old cabin door
My blessings I’d given a thousand times o’er
And a prayer and a tear for poor Éireann

Sad, sad is my fate in this weary exile
Dark, dark is the night cloud o’er lone Shanakyle
Where the murdered sleep silently pile upon pile
In the coffinless graves of poor Éireann

Lonely and sad I roam far from my native home
Where the wild waves surging foam, headlands appearing
Clouded in silver spray, flashing through heaven’s bright ray
For thy glory and pride, lovely Éireann

Contributed by dq82 - 2015/11/11 - 13:18



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