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Origins: O Maire Bhan aka Song of the Wild Geese

gravyben 16 Sep 13 - 01:54 PM
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Subject: Origins: O Maire Bhan aka Song of the Wild Geese
From: gravyben
Date: 16 Sep 13 - 01:54 PM

I'm looking for information -- origin, composer, aliases, whatever -- for a song billed on Tim & John Lyons' _Easy & Bold_ as "Goodbye (O Maire Ban)." It's a lovely tune that appears to reference the exile of Irish Jacobite soldiers to the continent after their defeat at Aughrim. I believe it's also called the Song of the Wild Geese and perhaps the Song of the Expatriates. Lyrics (more or less) are below.

Does anyone have insight on this? I think the liner notes the Lyons album may have some info, but I bought the mp3 version :(



Goodbye (O Maire Bhan) a/k/a the Song of the Wild Geese
From John Lyons and Tim Lyons, Easy and Bold
Sung by John Lyons

O Maire Bhan, my Maire Bhan, I've come to say goodbye love
My ship for France it sails at dawn, my fortune for to try love
The cause is lost, a stoir mo chroi, all hope is now departed
And Ireland's gallant chivalry is scattered, broken-hearted

How pleasant are our Munster vales, encrown'd in summer sheen, love
But now no more, the autumn gales unfurl the flag of [greenlove]
Soon how could I remain and see in ruin and dishonor
O'er our valleys floating free, the foeman's blood-red banner?

So better in far lands to roam, from Lee's green banks and thee love
Than to live a coward here at home, to plighted vows untrue love
So better ne'er to clasp thy hand or view those tresses shining
Than to live a craven in this land, bow down in fetters binding

Mo bhron, 'tis har to part from thee, my heart's own pearl, my true love
And to wander in a far country and leave you sad and lone love
But spring's bright flowers will crowd the glen and deck the faerie green bush
And Druith's feet will pace again, the mountains of my childhood

Farewell, farewell, mo mhuirnin bhan; time flies, I must away now
'Twill soon be dawn, 'twill soon be dawn, my horse begins to neigh now
But still preserve that heart of thine as changeless as yon river
And I will still be true to thee, anear, afar, forever!

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