MY OWN DEAR NATIVE LAND (Traditional)
There's a dear little isle in the Western Ocean
An island of purity, holy and grand
Whose name fills its daughters and sons with emotion
When heard on the shores of a far distant land.
It's Ireland, God bless her, the birthplace of heroes
The home of the patriot, warrior and sage
Of bards and of chieftains whose names live in story
May they live forever on history's page.
Refrain For I love every blade of grass, green on your mountain,
Every leaf on your tree, every rock upon your strand
I love your green hills and your murmuring fountains
I love you, a cuisle, my own dear native land.
You once were a proud and a glorious nation
Your name and your fame were known all o'er the world
'Til misfortune came o'er you and sad desolation
And the emerald banner in slavery lay unfurled.
They tortured your children, despoiled your green bowers
They tried to exterminate you long, long ago
But the Irish are somehow like wild, creeping flowers
The faster you pluck them, the quicker they grow.
This is as I learned it growing up in the Liverpool Irish community in the 1960s, very similar to the 'Green Linnet' version referred to earlier in this thread. Presumably written abroad by an exile, but accepted as traditional then.
Yes, a wonderful collection of songs and memories- I've been singing these all day!