The Moorlough Shore lyrics
Your hills and dales and flowery vales
That lie near the Moorlough Shore.
Your vines that blow by Borden's grove.
Will I ever see you more
Where the primrose glows
And the violet grows
Where the trout and salmon play.
With my line and hook delight I took
To spend my youthful days.
Last night I went to see my love,
To hear what she might say.
To see if she'd take pity on me,
Lest I might go away.
She said, "I loved an Irish lad,
And he was my only joy,
And ever since I saw his face
I have loved that soldier boy."
Perhaps your soldier lad is lost
Sailing over the sea of Maine.
Or perhaps he's gone with some other one
You may never see him again.
Well if my Irish lad is lost,
He's the one I do adore,
And seven years I'll wait for him
By the banks of the Moorlough Shore...
Fairwell to Sinclaire's castle ground.
Fairwell to the foggy hill.
Where the linen wefts like bleaching silk
And the bulging stream runs still
Near there I spent my youthful days
But alas, they are no more
For cruelty has banished me
Far away from the Moorlough Shore
Words & Music: Traditional Irish Air - The melody line is also known by various titles and lyrics including, The Maid of Mourne Shore, Moorlough Mary, Banks of the Moorlough Shore, An Traigh Múghdhorna, The Foggy Dew, The Maids Of The Mountain Shore, Down by the Salley Gardens, Gort Na Saileán, As Harvest Comes On...
Brief: The song is about a young man who falls in love with a woman but she refuses his advances - she is in love with a sailor boy and will await 7 years for his return. In frustration he eventually leaves his childhood home but will never forget the girl he loved by the banks of the Moorlough Shore.
The song is set in Straban, a town in West Tyrone, Northern Ireland, where names and places along the River Mourne a tributary of the River Foyle) are also mentioned... Borden's grove, Sinclaire's castle ground, Holly Hill, etc..
Moorlough - a quiet upland lake route in Strabane`s countryside
weft - a woven fabric or garment..
Sea of Maine - large gulf of the Atlantic Ocean on the east coast of North America
foggy hill - refers to Holyhill (pronounced Holly Hill), a Sinclair estate in the parish of Leckpatrick, where there is also a Moorlough Road. The following is an excerpt from SinclairGenealogy.info in relation to the song:
The Sinclairs established themselves in Tyrone and Donegal in the seventeenth century, and by the 1770s had set up a thriving linen business at Holyhill. In 1778, Mrs Elizabeth Sinclair asked permission from the landowner to divert the course of the Glenmornan River (a tributary of the Foyle) to provide water for a flax mill or a bleaching green... www.sinclairgenealogy.info/moorlough-shore
Category: Love Song
Covers: Sinead O'Connor, Rita Eriksen & Dolores Keane, Jennifer Byrne, Tommy Fleming, Tina Mulrooney, Susan McKeown, The Corrs from their album Home (pictured).