The Hills Of Kerry lyrics

by Danny Doyle

Oh the palm trees wave on high
All along that fertile shore
Adieu ya' Hills of Kerry
I never will see you more
Oh why did I leave my home,
And why did I cross the sea
And leave the small birds singing
Around you sweet Tralee?

The noble and the brave
Have departed from your shore
They’ve gone, they’ve gone to fight the wars
Where the mighty canons roar
Will they ever again return
To see old Ireland free
And hear the small birds singing
Around you sweet Tralee

Will I ever see the shamrock,
That sprig so fine and grand
Or hear the curlew flying high
O'er lowly Banna Strand
As I stand on this foreign shore
And think on what might be
Will I ever more return again,
To see you sweet Tralee

No more I'll see the sunbeams
On that precious harvest morn
Or hear the reaper singing
In a field of golden corn
There's an end to every woe
And a cure for every pain
But the laughing eye's of my darling girl,
I never will see again

Oh the palm trees wave on high
All along that fertile shore
Adieu, ya' Hills of Kerry,
I never will see you more
Oh, why did I leave my home,
And why did I cross the sea?
And leave the small birds singing,
Around you sweet Tralee

And leave the small birds singing,
Around you sweet Tralee

Song Details

Dingle Peninsula - Count Kerry
Dingle Peninsula - County Kerry

Writer: Traditional

Brief: The song reflects the authors lament at leaving his homeland and beautiful town of Kerry. He ponders over the many that have left, and the many that may never return - whether fighting abroad or emigrating. He recalls the beauty surrounding Kerry, her fertile shores, the flora and fauna, his darling girl, and while standing on a foreign shore thinking about what might be, he wonders why he ever left.

References:
Adieu - French word for 'farewell' or 'goodbye'
Kerry - a county of the south west Republic of Ireland, in the West Munster province: a mostly mountainous area including the highest peaks in Ireland, with a deeply indented coast and many offshore islands.
Tralee - county town of Kerry
Banna Strand - a beach situated in Tralee Bay
curlew - long-legged shorebird
reaper - nightingale / bird

Category: Irish Folk, emigration

Covers: Dublin City Ramblers, Mick Flavin, Sean Dynes, Paddy Reilly, Seamus Kennedy, Johnny McEvoy, Pat Woods, Louis O'Carroll, John Bennett...

The Hills Of Kerry by Danny Doyle is featured on the compilation album Irish Memories - (Jan 1, 1997).

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