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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Reiver 2 Lyr Req: Will You Come to the Bower (Thomas Moore) (15) Lyr Add: COME TO THE BOWER 03 Sep 09

The version of this song that I've heard here in the States is not credited to anyone. {Understandably, I think, as you will observe.] I have it in two songbooks I purchased in Ireland. The lyrics are slightly different, but both carry "notes" to the effect that it was a homecoming "call to Irishmen abroad but especially in America to return to the home country to win our final freedom from oppression and tyranny" [in the book "100 Irish Ballads"] and "This song was meant as a home-coming to the exiled Irish and in particular to the American supporters of the Fenian movement," [in "Folksongs and Ballads Popular in Ireland, Vol. 1."]

The lyrics in the first are as follows with variations in the 2nd version in {brackets}


Will you come to the bower o'er the free boundless ocean
Where the stupendous waves roll in thunder and [thundering] motion,
Where the mermaids are seen and the fierce tempest gathers.
To love[d] Erin the green the dear land of our fathers.

CHO: Will you come, will you, will you,
Will you come to the bower.

Will you come to the land of O'Neill and O'Donnell,
The patriot soldiers of Tirowen and Tirconnell
[Of Lord Lucan of old and the immortal O'Connell]
Where Brian drove the Danes and Sain Patrick the vermin
And whose valleys remain remain still most beautiful and charming. CHORUS

You can visit Benburb and the storied Blackwater
Where Owen Roe met Monroe and his chieftans of [did] slaughter.
You may ride on the tide of the broad mystic Shannon;
[Where the lambs skip and play on the mossey all over]
You may sail round Lough Neagh and see storied Dungannon.
[From those golden bright views to enchanting Rostrevor]. CHORUS

[You can see Dublin city and the fine groves of Blarney
The Bann, Boyne, the Liffey, and the Lakes of Killarney;
You may ride on the tide o'er the broad majestic Shannon;
You may sail round Loch Neagh and see storied Dungannon.]

You can visit New Ross, gallant Wexford and Gorey,
Where the green was last seen by proud Saxon and Tory;
Where the soil is sanctified by the blood of each true man;
Where they died satisfied, their enemies they would not run from. CHORUS

Will you come and awake our lost land from its slumber
And her fetters we will break, links that long are encumbered
And the air will resound with Hosannas to greet you
On the shores will be found gallant Irishmen to meet you. CHORUS

The 2nd version has an extra verse. All I can say is that if these were the best the Fenians could offer as recruiting songs, it's not surprising that they failed to be more successful in the early efforts for independence. The song is much more effective, I think, as a love ballad as Thomas Moore wrote it! The tune is pleasant as a love song. What's the origin of the tune... or did I miss that in earlier discussions?

Reiver 2

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