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GUEST,Donal Lyr Add: 'Sweet Omagh Town' - Roisin White (3) RE: Lyr Add: 'Sweet Omagh Town' - Roisin White 10 Jan 12


These are the lyrics and a note from Paddy Tunney's 'Where Songs Do Thunder.' Appletree Press 1991


Omagh Town

From sweet Dungannon to Ballyshannon
From Cullyhanha to Ol' Arboe,
I've roamed and rambled, caroused and gambled
While songs do thunder an' whiskey flow.
Oh, blithe an' airy I've tramped through Derry
An' to Portaferry in the County Down,
But in all my rakin' an' merry-makin'
My heart was achin' for Omagh Town!

But life grew dreary an' I grown weary
Set sail for Englan' from Derry quay
An' when I landed the fates commanded,         
That I to London should make my way.
'Tis many a gay night from dark till daylight
I passed with people o' high renown
But in all the glamour and uproarious manner
My lip's would stammer, 'Och, Omagh Town!'

Now further goin,' my wild oats sowin'
To New York City I crossed the sea
Where congregations of rich relations
Upon the harbour did welcome me               
In fine apparel, like duke or earl
They soon arrayed me from sole to crown
But with all my grandeur and heaps to squander
My heart would wander to Omagh Town!

When life is over an' I shall hover         
Above the gates where Saint Peter stan's
He'll kindly call me for to install me
Among the saints in the golden lan's.
An' I shall answer, 'I'm sure it's gran', sir
To play a harp an' to wear a crown
But still, bein' humble, I'll never grumbie
If Heaven's as charmin' as Omagh Town!'

It was not until September 1990 that I discovered that the author of Omagh Town was one Michael Hurl,
who was a native of the Newbridge area of south Derry and the townland of Annahorish. His collection
of verse and songs was published by the Irish News in November 1949. The title of the slim volume is
On Lough Neagh's Banks and it contains forty-five poems and songs in all. Needless to say, Omagh Town
is the one with greatest appeal for a traditional singer. Little is known of the poet, for he lived
most of his life in Luton near London where he was employed as a journalist.


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