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Lyrics in Digital Tradition as of 5/28/02
Last night as I lay dreaming of pleasant days gone by
My mind being bent on rambling to Ireland I did fly
I stepped on board a vision and I followed with the wind
And I shortly came to anchor at the cross of Spancil Hill
It being the 23rd June the day before the fair
When lreland's sons and daughters in crowds assembled there
The young and the old, the brave and the bold their journey to fulfill
There were jovial conversations at the fair of Spancil Hill
I went to see my neighbors to hear what they might say
The old ones were all dead and gone and the young one's turning grey
I met with the tailor Quigley, he's a bould as ever still
Sure he used to make my britches when I lived in Spancil Hill
I paid a flying visit to my first and only love
She's as white as any lily and as gentle as a dove
She threw her arms around me saying "Johnny I love you still
" Oh she's Ned the farmers daughter and the flower of Spancil HiII
I dreamt I held and kissed her as in the days of yore
She said, "Johnny you're only joking like many's the time before"
The cock he crew in the morning he crew both loud and shrill
And I awoke in California, many miles from Spancil Hill.
Recorded by Christy Moore on Prosperous
Tune file : SPNLHL
CLICK TO PLAY
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From thread Where Is Spancil Hill? http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?ThreadID=4808 Click Here
Subject: RE: Where is Spancil Hill?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 05-May-98 - 04:57 PM
This is the original version of "Spancilhill".
All the characters and places in this song are real. It is a song written by a 23-year-old man in the full knowledge that he was mortally ill. He knew he would die far from home and far from his loved one whom he would never see again.
Many thanks to Robbie McMahon, Spancilhill, Co. Clare for keeping the song and its stories alive and for sharing them with us.
Last night as I lay dreaming, of the pleasant days gone by,
My mind being bent on rambling and to Erin's Isle I did fly.
I stepped on board a vision and sailed out with a will,
'Till I gladly came to anchor at the Cross of Spancilhill.
Enchanted by the novelty, delighted with the scenes,
Where in my early childhood, I often times have been.
I thought I heard a murmur, I think I hear it still,
'Tis that little stream of water at the Cross of Spancilhill.
And to amuse my fancy, I lay upon the ground,
Where all my school companions, in crowds assembled 'round.
Some have grown to manhood, while more their graves did fill,
Oh I thought we were all young again, at the Cross of Spancilhill.
It being on a Sabbath morning, I thought I heard a bell,
O'er hills and vallies sounded, in notes that seemed to tell,
That Father Dan was coming, his duty to fulfill,
At the parish church of Clooney, just one mile from Spancilhill.
And when our duty did commence, we all knelt down in prayer,
In hopes for to be ready, to climb the Golden Stair.
And when back home returning, we danced with right good will,
To Martin Moilen's music, at the Cross of Spancilhill.
It being on the twenty third of June, the day before the fair,
Sure Erin's sons and daughters, they all assembled there.
The young, the old, the stout and the bold, they came to sport and kill,
What a curious combination, at the Fair of Spancilhill.
I went into my old home, as every stone can tell,
The old boreen was just the same, and the apple tree over the well,
I miss my sister Ellen, my brothers Pat and Bill,
Sure I only met my strange faces at my home in Spancilhill.
I called to see my neighbors, to hear what they might say,
The old were getting feeble, and the young ones turning grey.
I met with tailor Quigley, he's as brave as ever still,
Sure he always made my breeches when I lived in Spancilhill.
I paid a flying visit, to my first and only love,
She's as pure as any lilly, and as gentle as a dove.
She threw her arms around me, saying Mike I love you still,
She is Mack the Ranger's daughter, the Pride of Spancilhill.
I thought I stooped to kiss her, as I did in days of yore,
Says she Mike you're only joking, as you often were before,
The cock crew on the roost again, he crew both loud and shrill,
And I awoke in California, far far from Spancilhill.
But when my vision faded, the tears came in my eyes,
In hope to see that dear old spot, some day before I die.
May the Joyous King of Angels, His Choicest Blessings spill,
On that Glorious spot of Nature, the Cross of Spancilhill.
Michael Considine... born circa 1859 [should be circa 1850 - Alice Flynn] and died circa 1873 [age of 23 - Alice]
Date: 10-Mar-99 - 09:35 AM
There's a booklet from Sean P.OCillin, titled "Ballads of Co. Clare 1850-1976". To my surprise, it prints (with very few changes) the original lyrics Frank has posted on May, 5th, 1998. In this booklet the song is called "The Cross of Spancelhill[sic!]", the correct author is given and as tune "Spancelhill" is given. Does this mean the song was written to a then known tune also called "Spancilhill"?