The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #45170   Message #3934897
Posted By: GUEST,Matthew Olwell
03-Jul-18 - 12:38 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Ballad of O'Carolan Country (J McDermott)
I have been studying up on this song and the area it describes and I think I can clean up the lyrics a bit. There are some place names that are spelled incorrectly above (some are still murky, as I can't find them to verify the names). Here's my best guess so far, which I think more closely matches the 1977 recording:

Ballad of Ther O’Carolan Country (Josie McDermott)

The learned men who’ve used the pen, and wrote the praises high
Must have forgot a beauty spot, that in North Roscommon lie
They overlooked LaHinde with its wooded banks, and Kilronan's lovely dell
And the Keadue mountains looking down, on Lasair's holy well

In bye-gone days the people came in thousands there to pray
To do a station round the well, and from the grave to take some clay
But the curse of immigration, its evil work has done
And our grand old Irish customs are fast fading one by one

On the hill above the graveyard lies, so peaceful to be seen
The grand old ancient abbey, overgrown with ivy green
Where the blackbird, finch, and linnet, softly sing their serenade
Round that holy plot, that treasured spot, where O’Carolan's bones are laid

On the road to Ballyfarnon, as you slowly wend your way
You pass the house at Alderford, where O'Carolan used to stay
Where the music of his noble harp, once echoed loud and shrill
Round that little town of high renown, near the foot of Stanton's hill

As you journey on by Mulloughlas, you can visit Brigid's well
Where pilgrims came in days of yore, historians can tell
Where a pattern was held each year, with bands and banners gay
And thousands came to join the fun, on each St. Patrick's day

All you strangers who love scenery, come take a tip from me
Come down to North Roscommon, those lovely sights to see
You're sure of hospitality if ever you roam that way
In the town of Ballyfarnon, at the foot of Stanton's Bray

Notes: In the RTE documentary where McDermott sings the first verse of this song live, he substitutes "Lough Meelagh’s wooded banks" for LaHinde (LaHinde being one of the places I can't find to verify spelling, and I am taking my best guess but could be completely wrong). Elsewhere, I have corrected to match proper place names (Kilronan, Keadue, Alderford, etc.)

Words/places that might still be incorrect/can’t verify: LaHinde, Stanton's Hill, Mulloughlas, Brigid, Stanton's Bray (Brey? probably a word for a hill).