Bogs of Shanaheever


My youth is long past and I am mighty dreary
An exile I am cast on the wilds of the prairie
I’m hunting the wild deer, the panther and the beaver
But I look back with pride on the bogs of Shanaheever

Andy and Nora in their absence do get ready
By the light of the moon go and tell Master Freddie
Oh tell him to prepare and to be mighty clever
For it’s the last night of hunting on the bogs of Shanaheever

Now coursed was Toby and Bruce was long-winded
Coursed every round, the two-year-old was splendid
This two-year-old hound he was knacky and clever
But the next I heard there was a death of the bogs of Shanaheever

From the shores of Lough Annagh to the plains of Kilbrickan
By the light of the moon, my poor heart was a-tickin’
We took Bruce to his grave and we laid him down forever
Then I sat down and cried like a broken-hearted lover
And I paid my passage to New York from the bogs of Shanaheever

Now Ireland my land, fare thee well now and forever
There is no land on earth that I love with such great fervour
If ever she’s free, I’ll go back again and see her
And I’ll settle down forever on the bogs of Shanaheever


Shanaheever is a bogland outside Clifden in County Galway.

The song, written by Joe Heaney, is about two poachers who used their greyhounds to catch rabbits on a private estate at Shanaheever. Bruce, one of the dogs plunged to its death over edge of a precipice which left the poacher heartbroken. He emigrated to America.

Song Clip