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Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow

GUEST,Rory 12 Nov 20 - 03:15 AM
leeneia 12 Nov 20 - 12:09 PM
leeneia 12 Nov 20 - 12:21 PM
Phil Edwards 12 Nov 20 - 03:57 PM
leeneia 13 Nov 20 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,Daniel Kelly 25 Jun 21 - 08:27 PM
Reinhard 26 Jun 21 - 07:56 AM
leeneia 26 Jun 21 - 12:21 PM
leeneia 29 Jun 21 - 02:09 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: GUEST,Rory
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 03:15 AM

"The Tern and the Swallow"


Written by Neilly Coney (1918-1988) 1974.
An eel fisherman from Killygonland County Tyrone

Neilly Coney was featured in a documentery series: LOOK NORTH.
A Four-part documentary series looking at well known places and traditional ways of life in Northern Ireland.
Episode: The Tern And The Swallow.
A report on Lough Neagh by fisherman Neilly Coney
Production company: BBC Northern Ireland
Producer: David Hammond
Date: 05/04/1974


The song is about an Irish emigrant reaching old age and longing to return home to County Armagh on the banks of Lough Neagh, where he wishes to be buried.


When the Cuckoo is calling over woodland and valley
And the Tern and the Swallow flies over our bay
Then it’s longing I’ll be for the land of my father
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh

A home I have made in the land of the stranger
And it’s manys a long year since I left Derry quay
Still I dream of the blooming and the glens of old Ireland
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh

And it’s soon I must start and this is my last journey
For my eyes they grow dim and hair sparse and grey
And it’s soon I must follow the Tern and the Swallow
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh

I long for to see the dark waters of Lough Neagh
And I long for to gaze on Slieve Gallion Braes
And I long for to follow the Tern and the Swallow
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh

And when I return to my native land
In the Spring I will hear the Cuckoo sing round Lough Neagh
And I’ll be out there waiting for the Tern and Swallow
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh

And all I ask is a cairn in the land of my father
Where Bann and black water sweep down to Lough Neagh  



Artist recordings

Cara Dillon
Album: Wanderer (2017) (above lyrics)

Maurice Leyden
Album: The Tern and the Swallow (2016)



.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 12:09 PM

Thank you, Rory. That's a good song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: leeneia
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 12:21 PM

You can hear Mr. Coney himself sing it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSQEJZqaaig

At 1:11 he sings a verse not in the OP. I like it because it mentions rivers I know.

There's grand is the Rio [pronounced Rye-oh]
and fair's the Ohio.
And wide the Missouri, of mention I make.
Still an urge makes me follow
the tern and the swallow
as bonnie black waters
weave down to Lough Neagh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 12 Nov 20 - 03:57 PM

Cara Dillon's version uses two verses added by Maurice Leyden (he says as much in the notes to his CD The Tern and the Swallow). I love Maurice's singing, but as a writer he's not a patch on Nailly himself. There are also a couple of slips in the transcription above - the Blackwater is the name of a river, for instance.

The original lyrics are as follows.

THE TERN AND THE SWALLOW (Nailly Coney)

When the cuckoo is calling o'er woodland and valley
And the tern and the swallow flies over our bay
Then it’s longing I’ll be for the land of my fathers
Where Bann and Blackwater sweep down to Lough Neagh

A home I have made in this land of the stranger
'Tis many's the long year since I left Derry Quay
Still I dream of the bloom in the glens of old Ireland
Where Bann and Blackwater sweep down to Lough Neagh

'Tis grand is the Rio and fair the Ohio
And wide the Missouri of mention I make.
Still an urge makes me follow the tern and the swallow
Where Bann and Blackwater sweep down to Lough Neagh

It’s soon I must start and this is my last journey
For my eyes they grow dim and my hair sparse and grey
And soon I must follow the tern and the swallow
Where Bann and Blackwater sweep down to Lough Neagh

So adieu to the Rio, goodbye the Ohio,
And farewell Missouri so far, far away.
All I ask is a cairn in the land of my fathers
Where Bann and Blackwater sweep down to Lough Neagh


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: leeneia
Date: 13 Nov 20 - 01:59 PM

Thanks, Phil.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: GUEST,Daniel Kelly
Date: 25 Jun 21 - 08:27 PM

This seems to be the same tune as ‘bold Fenian men’ or ‘down by the glenside”, maybe a common gaelic origin?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: Reinhard
Date: 26 Jun 21 - 07:56 AM

Of course there must be another song with the same tune: One good tern deserves another!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: leeneia
Date: 26 Jun 21 - 12:21 PM

Brilliant, Reinhard.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Tern and the Swallow
From: leeneia
Date: 29 Jun 21 - 02:09 PM

I've listened to 'Bold Fenian Men' and 'The Tern and the Swallow.' The tunes are quite a bit alike for the first half, but they end differently. Me, I think that the lyrics are so different, and the images they bring to mind are so different, that I never noticed the similar tunes.


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