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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,gecko Origins: Song 'Sweet Portaferry' (7) Origins: Song 'Sweet Portaferry' 24 Apr 19

I'm hoping you'll be able to help with some info about this song. Perhaps the song I know as Sweet Portaferry is known by a different name but I've exhausted my usual lines of inquiry and drawn a blank. Can't find it in the DT Lyrics either.
First two lines go:

You may gaze from green mountains across the bright seas
Where wonder and pleasement are taking their ease..

After a break of many years I've recently started playing in a weekly Irish session here in Cairns and the tune to the song is played as part of an arrangement. Now, I immediately recognised the tune but could not bring either the lyrics or song title to mind - I'm claiming a Senior Moment. No-one in the session knew it as a song but I've now dug out my copy of the words from about thirty years ago and I had forgotten just how beautiful the words were. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this message, there doesn't appear to be much online about it.

I'll try and post it here in it's entirety as I'm not familiar with 'blue clickies'


You may gaze from green mountains across the bright seas

Where wonder and pleasement are taking their ease

You may search the world over from there to Japan

Transported with nature and the glory of Man

But why should men tail foreign lands to explore

When wonder and pleasement are here at the door

And who would go roving through country and town

from sweet Portaferry and the kingdom of Down

It lies in a harbour convenient and free

Where the waters of Strangford run swirling to sea

To bear on their bosom the yield of our toil

When farmer and fisherman plough lake and soil

Their bright silver comes in our nets to the strand

Our gold and our glory are planted by hand

But who would give beauty for gain or renown

And leave Portaferry and the kingdom of Down

If I were a poor man Id work on my land

Content with the beauty at every hand

But if I were a rich man my care to beguile

Id fill up my pockets and wander awhile

And what though Id wander on strange lands and seas

And think my land middling compared against these

I know when old age makes a sage of a clown

Id seek Portaferry and the kingdom of Down.

Over to you, dear mudcatter friends.

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