Boating on Lough Ree

Lyrics

Here I am now sad and lonely all in the distant west
The happy scenes of bygone days at night disturb my rest
For in this faithful heart of mine forgotten it never can be
Those days I spent with my Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree

Oh she was young and so beautiful, she was gentle as a fawn
Her eyes they shone like diamonds bright or the stars at early dawn
Her smiles she had for everyone but her kisses were all for me
And entranced I gazed on my Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree

And she pledged herself to be my bride, how happy then was I
How dulcet were the joys of love how quickly they flew by
But Heaven’s own light shone in her eyes she was too good for me
And an angel claimed her for his own and he took her from Lough Ree

I have crossed through many’s the thorny path my hair’s a silvery hue
Yet her thrilling voice speaks to my heart in tones I can’t subdue
Her comely form still haunts my mind, her pleasing face I see
It’s the blushing face of Mary Bán a-boating on Lough Ree

And it leaves me sad and so lonely now in this far distant west
The happy scenes of bygone days at night disturb my rest
For in this faithful heart of mine, forgotten it never can be
The days I spent with my Mary Bán a- boating on Lough Ree


Notes

John Keegan Casey was an eighteen-year old schoolteacher in Newtowncashel, Co. Longford, when he fell in love with Mary Hanly. He met her on one of his regular Sunday boating trips with the Costello family on Lough Ree. Mary came from The Black Island on Lough Ree. Sadly, the love affair was short-lived as she was drowned in a boating accident on the lake soon afterwards. Keegan Casey penned this lament to her memory.



County

Roscommon

Song Themes

Requiem