MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
As The Ship Sailed Away From Ireland
Morris Houlihan NFLD 2 Tape 11 Track 2
Flatrock Audio:
Ballad

LEACH: All right
HOULIHAN:(sings)

One day on the dock l stood watching the ships
I saw one in particular there
I noticed that she was just going to sail
Oh and l had few minutes to spare

Tears in each eye wished each other good-bye
As the ship sailed away o'er the tide
I’ll mention to you all l see in that day
As the vessel was just goin' to sail on the tide

CHORUS:
Friends are sayin' goodbye goodbye
Tears were seen on every eye
Fond mothers cried, true lovers sighed
As the ship sailed away from old Ireland

I saw a young fellow an Irishman too
As a young girl stood close by his side
Sayin' Nora my darling when l go out west
Will you come and be Dennis' bride

I love the old place and the dear ones at home
Just t'ink on the sorrow and care
If you remain here Nora my dear
Oh l never could call you my wife

When we will go to that beautiful land
Out West oh where Dennis won't fail
Wit’ a fond kiss they parted that night p’raps for life
As the vessel was just going to sail

CHORUS:
Friends are sayin' goodbye goodbye
Tears were seen on every eye
Fond mothers cried, true lovers sighed
As the ship sailed away from old Ireland

Just as the last line that held the big ship
Was loosed a gale of cry
A man overboard you also could see
Oh for he made a foam in the tide

As quick as the lightning dashed one gallant youth
And into the water right there
He caught the big fellow and there held him fast
Till a boat came to rescue the pair

God bless you dear fellow he frequently said
For l think there's no one can tell
How this bit of a youngster saved this big fellow's life
As the vessel was just going to sail

CHORUS:
Friends are sayin' goodbye goodbye
Tears were seen on every eye
Fond mothers cried, true lovers sighed
As the ship sailed away from old Ireland

[Pause]
LEACH: All right
HOULIHAN: (Sings):

The next sight was touching, an old couple there
Was bidding their youngster farewell
He had done something wrong and was charged for a fee
And he dreaded the cold prison cell

His parents were sending him far o'er the foam
Just as they were saying good-bye
A soldier, a sergeant deprived of him there
Which brought tears to the old couple's eyes

The youngster was charged wit' desertion poor lad
He trembled and turned deat'ly pale
Which he caused the old couple to die on the quay
As the vessel was just going to sail

CHORUS:
Friends are sayin' goodbye goodbye
Tears were seen on every eye
Fond mothers cried, true lovers sighed
As the ship sailed away from old Ireland


Notes


Text: Relates the reactions of friends and relatives seeing their loved ones off to America from a dock in Ireland. One man falls overboard and is saved by a youth. Another young man is arrested for desertion before he could escape to the New World.

Tune: The form is three verses plus a chorus. Melodies for the chorus and verse differ so the musical form in AAAB. The singer repeats the first verse. The meter is 6/8 but sometimes this singer will extend a beat/word in the middle of a line.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.