Mudcat Café message #1155909 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16707   Message #1155909
Posted By: Joe Offer
06-Apr-04 - 02:21 PM
Thread Name: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Subject: RE: Help: Origins of Carrickfergus
Kevin, with all the threads we have on this song, we may have exhausted it. Most of the information, however, is in this thread. I found a version and a comment on the version buried in another thread. I thought I'd post them here, to keep things together. I closed off the "Carrickfergus" threads that didn't go anywhere, to avoid splitting the discussion too much.
-Joe Offer-
Thread #29963   Message #381683
Posted By: Nynia
24-Jan-01 - 08:53 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)

Mary tells me that I sing more verses than are currently in the DT, so here's the version I sing. Most people seem to sing Van's shortened version these days.


I wish I had you in Carrickfergus
Only four nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
The deepest ocean to be by your side
But the water is wide I cannot get over
And neither have I wings to fly
Oh I wish I could find me a handy boatman
To ferry me over to my love and die

The night was dark and the sky uneasy
The mighty ocean was tossed and wild
When my own true love, sweet Bridget Vessey
She crossed the ocean and left me behind
Left me behind to count my losses
And see my sweet darling in every glass
How sweet is living, but yet I'm crying
How long the dark night, it takes to pass

My childhood days bring back sad reflection
Of happy times spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on like melting snow
But I spend my days in endless roaming
Soft is the grass and my bed is free
Oh to be home now in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

And in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stones as black as ink
With gold and silver I did support her
But I'll sing no more 'till I get a drink
I'm drunk to the day and I'm seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Oh but I am sick now and my days are numbered
So come all ye young men and lay me down

Twelve months from now in Carrickfergus
Enquire for me and you'll see my grave
The greenest turf in all of Ireland
Will cover me as I take my rest
My troubles done, my wandering over
I'll go no more, from town to town
I'm going home now to Carrickfergus
I'll get some young men to lay me down.


Thread #29963   Message #382701
Posted By: GUEST,Annraoi
25-Jan-01 - 08:24 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Carrickfergus (full version?)

Sorcha, indeed.
Carrickfergus is well discussed in former threads but the last word has not yet been said. The verses above quoted are non-traditional with the exception of one and four.
The earliest version was first recorded in ballad sheets from pre-Famine Ireland and was in both Irish and English. The latest examples collected in the field date from the 20th century and were also macaronic. In the re-popularisation of the song in the "revival" of the 1960's, the Irish verses were omitted, thus mutilating the song.