OH! GIVE ME MY COOLIN
Oh, the hours I have passed in the arms of my dear
Can never be thought of but with a sad tear;
Oh, forbear then, forbear then, to mention her name,
It recalls to my mem’ry the cause of my pain.
How often to love me she fondly has sworn,
And, when parted from me, would ne’er cease to mourn,
All hardships for me she would cheerfully bear,
And, at night, on my bosom forget all her care.
To some distant climate together we’ll roam,
And forget all the misery we met at home.
Fate, now be propitious, and grant me thine aid,
Oh, give me my Coolin, and I am repaid.
I have only this copy from the “Universal Songster,” I (1825) 1828. The song was often called “The Coolin; Or, The Lady of the Desert,” and this subtitle is the title of the tune in a late 18th and an early 19th century Scots music collection. “O’Kane, the lady of the desert” is a contemporary song I’ve seen mentioned, but never found. “The Coolun,” song and tune, are in “The Vocal Magazine,” II, #40, Edinburgh, 1798. Tune only was published (with variations) in the US in 1816 in “Riley’s Flute Melodies.”
I took my identification of “Molly St. George” from Alfred Moffat, but this may be incorrect (as others have proved to be). “Molly St. George,” song and tune are in Donal O’Sullivan’s “Songs of the Irish,” p. 181, where the tune is attributed to Thomas Connellon in the late 17th century.
Probably the best place to look for further information is in Donall O’Sullivan’s edition of Bunting’s MSS, which appeared as three or four volumes of “The Journal of the Irish Folk Song Society” in the late 1920’s.
HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 7-May-02.