These are the words of the song as given in Paddy Berry's book 'More Wexford Ballads' (1987).
BANNOW'S LONELY SHORE
To Bannow's lonely banks farewell where once I used to stray
To view the craft of smaller size glide swiftly o'er the bay
The birds above that lonely beach their sweetest notes did pour
Which echoed thro' the silent woods near Bannow's lonely shore.
On those lone banks I often sat to watch the flowing tide
And gentle barques with swelling sails that o'er its surface glide
The seabirds' dismal cries were heard, but now those joys are o'er
Yet recollection brings me back to Bannow's lonely shore.
The village school-house on the hill, it still appears in view
As bright and beautiful as when I bade my last adieu
Those pleasant hours are past and gone, perhaps tp come no more
Yet fondly still my heart will cling to Bannow's lonely shore.
The boys with whom my youth was spent when sporting on the green
Their smiling faces I behold, though seas roll wide between
Our youthful joys I still retain though sadly I deplore
When I cast back my wandering eyes on Bannow's lonely shore.
As on my pillow I recline in a foreign land to rest
The love of Bannow's flowery banks still throbs within my breast
When silent sleep steals over me I dream I see once more
The rocky cliffs that close abound by Bannow's lonely shore.
With these few lines I now conclude and bid a long farewell
May Heaven's beams shine bright on all who on those banks do dwell
May happiness forever reign and choicest blessings pour
Where first I drew the breath of life near Bannow's lonely shore.
John Keane, Grange, Bannow, wrote this fine song in Philadelphia, U.S.A., about the year 1847 to
where he had emigrated some years earlier. He sent this song to his aunt in Bannow and when he
returned home for a holiday he heard it sung many times such was its popularity. Fr. Ranson in his
"Songs of Wexford Coast" 1948, claimed it was one of the most popular songs of the county. It is
still sung to-day. John Keane died in Phildelphia around 1897. A biographical sketch of Johne Keane
and words of song appeared in "The People" 1909.