Old Bog Road


My feet are here on Broadway this blessed harvest morn
But oh, the ache that’s in my heart for the spot where I was born
My weary hands are blistered through work in cold and heat
And oh, to swing a scythe once more through a field of Irish wheat
Had I the chance to wander back, or own a king’s abode
I’d sooner see the hawthorn tree by the Old Bog Road

When I was young and restless, my mind was ill at ease
Through dreaming of America and the gold beyond the seas
Oh, sorrow rake their money, ‘tis hard to find the same
And what’s the world to any man if no one speaks his name
I’ve had my day and here I am a-building bricks by load
A long three thousand miles away from the Old Bog Road

My mother died last springtime, when Erin’s fields were green
The neighbours said her waking was the finest ever seen
There were snowdrops and primroses piled high above her bed
And Ferns Church was crowded when her funeral Mass was read
And here was I on Broadway a-building bricks by load.
When they carried out her coffin down the old Bog Road

There was a decent girl at home who used to walk with me
Her eyes were soft and sorrowful like moonlight o’er the sea
Her name was Mary Dwyer, but that was long ago
The ways of God are wiser than the things that man might know
She died the day I left her, a-building bricks per load
I’d best forget the days I’ve spent on the old Bog Road

Ah, life’s a weary puzzle, past finding out by man
I’ll take the day for what it’s worth and do the best I can
Since no one cares a rush for me, what need is there to moan
I’ll go my way and draw my pay and smoke my pipe alone
Each human heart must bear its grief though bitter be the load
So God be with you, Ireland, and the Old Bog Road


One of the great emigration songs, it was written by Teresa Bayton

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