The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #37740   Message #28060
Posted By: Alice
12-May-98 - 09:37 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Jackets Green
Subject: Lyr Add: JACKETS GREEN
At the end of the "Where is Spancil Hill" thread, Big Mick requested the lyrics for 2 songs. One is 'Jackets Green'. A year ago, I had also requested complete lyrics to 'Jackets Green' on a Celtic music news group thread. The e-mailed response came from Frank Maher. The first verse and a few other words (learned from a Mary O'Hara recording) I sing a little differently than Frank's version. Here are both first verses, with a copy/paste of Frank's emailed version, and the different words here and there in parentheses.

When I was a maiden young and fair
On the pleasant banks of Lee
No bird that in the green wood sang
Was half so blithe and free.
My heart near beat with flying feet
The lark sang me his queen
When down through the glen rode Sarsfield's men
And they wore their jackets green.

Jackets Green

When I was a maiden fair and young, on the pleasant banks of Lee,
No bird that in the greenwood sung was half so blithe and free.
My heart ne'er beat with flying feet, no love sang me her queen,
Till down the glen rode Sarsfield's men, and they wore the jackets green.

Young Donel sat on his gallant grey like a king on a royal seat,
And my heart leapt out on his regal way, to worship at his feet.
Oh! Love, had you come in those colours dressed, and wooed with a soldier's mien,
I'd have laid my head on your throbbing breast for the sake of your jacket green.

No hoarded wealth (no property) did my love own, save the good sword that he bore,
But I loved him for himself alone, and the colours bright he wore;
For had he come in England's red, to make me England's queen,
I'd rove (I'd run to) the high green hills instead, for the sake of the Irish green.

When William stormed with shot and shell, at the walls of Garryowen,
In the breach of death my Donal fell, and he sleeps near the treaty stone;
That breach the foeman never crossed, while he swung his broadsword keen
But I do not weep my darling lost, (my Donal dead) for he fell in his jacket green.

When Sarsfield sailed away I wept as I heard the wild ochone,
I felt, then, dead as the men who slept 'neath the fields of Garryowen-
While Ireland held my Donel blessed, and no wild sea rolled between,
Till I would fold him to my breast, all robed in his Irish green.

My soul has sobbed like waves of woe, that sad o'er tombstones break,
For I buried my heart in his grave below, for his and for Ireland's sake.
And I cry, "Make way for the soldier's bride, in your halls of death, sad queen,"
For I long to rest by my true love's side, and wrapped in the folds of green.

I saw the Shannon's purple tide roll by the Irish town,
As I stood in the breach by Donal's side, when England's flag went down,
And now it glowers as it seeks the skies, like a blood-red curse between,
I weep, but 'tis not women's sighs that will raise the Irish green.

Oh! Ireland, sad is thy lonely soul, and loud beats the winter sea,
But sadder and higher the wild waves roll from the hearts that break for thee.
Yet grief shall come to our heartless foes, and their thrones in the dust be seen,
But Irish maids love none but those who wear the jackets green.

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