Fairy Tree

Lyrics

All night around the thorn tree
The little people play
And men and women passing
Will turn their heads away
From break of dawn til moonrise
Alone it stands on high
With twisted springs for branches
Across the winter sky

They’ll tell you dead men hung there
Its black and bitter fruit
To guard the buried treasure
Round which it twines its root
They’ll tell you Cromwell hung them
But that could never be
He’d be in dread like others
To touch the Fairy Tree

But Katie Ryan who saw there
In some sweet dream she had,
The Blessed Son of Mary
And all His face was sad
She dreamt she heard Him saying
“Why should they be afraid?”
When from a branch of thorn tree
The crown I wore was made?

From moonrise round the thorn tree
The little people play
And men and women passing
Will turn their heads away
But if your heart’s a child’s heart
And if your eyes are clean
You’ll never fear the thorn tree
That grows beyond Clogheen


Notes

Lyrics – Isabel Leslie, alias Temple Lane, Clogheen
Temple Lane was used as a pen-name because that’s where Isabel Leslie lived – on Temple lane, near her father’s rectory. The fairy tree is actually a solitary hawthorn tree.
Music by Vincent O’Brien.


Song Clip


County

Tipperary

Song Themes

Times past

Songwriter