Farewell to Miltown Malbay


Farewell to Miltown Malbay, a long and sad farewell
The sorrow in my heart today no words of mine can tell
I’m parting from my dear old friends, the scenes I fondly love
May happiness attend them all, and blessings from above

A bright and pleasant youth was mine among the good folks there
No kinder hearts can e’er be found than those that throb in Clare
And oh, how crushed and sad I feel, my tears fall down like rain
As I look my last upon the place I’ll never see again

From Barr a’ Bhaile to the Square I often took a stroll
And rambled out the Ennis Road, where Roberts’ was my goal
To play a game of Oughts and Combs and pass the time away
While listening to traditions old and legends of Mal Bay.

And often too, I sought Pat Burke’s where we had many a spree
Where Garrett Barry with his pipes filled our young hearts with glee
And put young and old up dancing sets upon the kitchen floor
The joy and fun that I had there, I never will have more

The sea is gemmed with twinkling stars, the sun shines bright today
The rocky shore is fringed with foam from Spanish Point to Freagh
The verdant fields go rolling down from Ballard to the sea
Oh, what a soul-entrancing sight is spread out there for me

The Angelus is merrily a-ringing in the air
Men bare their heads and silently, to Mary breathe a prayer
If e’er I find this act devout beyond the ocean foam
‘Twill bring to memory, my last day I spent in my old home

Farewell to Miltown Malbay, farewell to one and all
The sights I’ve seen, the joys I’ve had, I often will recall
For with my heart, I love the spot where I was born and nursed
And where, upon those sun-kissed flags, I crawled about at first


Written by Tomás Ó hAodha (1866-1935), schoolteacher, playwright, poet and Gaelic scholar from Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare. This song was published in his anthology, ‘The Hills of Clare’.

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