The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156740   Message #3830137
Posted By: Richard Mellish
03-Jan-17 - 07:44 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Leaving of Limerick
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Leaving of Limerick
I have been re-reading this thread and the Origins: Leaving of Liverpool one which discusses the relationship between these two songs. I have also been listening to the Nora Butler recording on her CD and to performances of this song by several other singers that are available on the Web.

BobKnight 17 Mar 15 - 03:15 PM said
The second line of the second verse has always seemed nonsensical to me - unless someone has an explantion for it
and GUEST,guest 17 Mar 15 - 06:41 PM agreed
The second line sometimes is given as weave it over my shoulder perhaps just as nonsensical.

The sequence
"I will take you by the lily white hand
And I'll wave it oer my shoulder"
is certainly nonsense if one takes the word "it" to refer to the girl's hand, so that can't have been the meaning. Was "wave it over my shoulder" a common alternative to just "wave" in Hiberno-English?

I am inclined to sing this song myself but would like to do something about that line. Some of the singers have made small changes to the words elsewhere in the song, but I haven't found a version that has dealt with that line.

One set of words on the web starts that verse with "In the morning when I'm going I'll wave my lily-white hand", which does allow the next line to make some sense but seems pretty silly in itself.

The usual first line where he will take her hand is fine, except that "lily-white" is superfluous and spoils the metre, so I am inclined to leave that out.

And then there's the extra verse "when I think of the pleasant days ..." that appears in some versions. Where did that come from? Butler doesn't sing it on the CD. Did she sing it on another occasion or did it turn up somewhere else?