The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11606   Message #2677999
Posted By: Thompson
12-Jul-09 - 03:13 AM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD/Origins: The Bard of Armagh
Is there a recording of The Bard of Armagh with the full lyrics of the traditional ballad - the 'Green isle's loved emblem' verse included?

I quote the lyrics below for reference, as posted by Jean Rice on rootsweb:


Oh! List to the lay of a poor Irish harper,
And scorn not the strains of his old withered hand,
But remember those fingers they could once move sharper
To raise the merry strains of his dear native land;
It was long before the shamrock our green isle's loved emblem
Was crushed in its beauty 'neath the Saxon lion's paw
I was called by the colleens of the village and valley
Bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.

How I long for to muse on the days of my boyhood,
Though four score and three years have flitted since then,
Still it gives sweet reflections, as every young joy should,
That merry-hearted boys could make the best of old men.
At a pattern or fair I could twist my shillela
Or trip through a jig with my brogues bound with straw,
Whilst all the pretty maidens around me assembled
Loved bold Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.

Although I have travelled this wide world over,
Yet Erin's my home and a parent to me,
Then oh, let the ground that my old bones shall cover
Be cut from the soil that is trod by the free.
And when sergeant death in his cold arms shall embrace me,
O lull me to sleep with sweet Erin go bragh,
By the side of my Kathleen, my young wife, O place me,
Then forget Phelim Brady, the Bard of Armagh.

-- Anonymous Street Ballad
A pattern is a gathering at a saint's shrine or well, a festival for a patron saint; pattern is derived from patron. Shillela is apparently a stick or club, bard an exalted national poet.