Roscommon exiles


My thoughts today are far away
With the land that gave me birth
In the scenes of happy boyhood’s days
Of pleasure, fun and mirth
By where the River Shannon flows
And the Suck rolls by Coolmeen
With Ballymurry and Athleague
And my own beloved Clooneen

I see again, in fancy
The dear haunts of long ago
Sweet Carrowrea and Mote Park
And the hill of Tullyroe
The woodlands green around Castlestrange
Where in childhood I did roam
And the verdant hillside near old Creggs
Where stood my father’s home

I am proud of old Roscommon
Which was first to lead the van
When Erin called her gallant sons
To crush the Black and Tan
Knockcroghery, Scramouge, Four-mile-house
And the Woodlands of Loughglynn
Have stood the test with Ireland’s best
‘Neath the Orange, White and Green

I will honour Ireland’s martyred dead
While life with me remains
Some of them shed their life’s last blood
Upon Roscommon’ plains
Though they are gone they still live on
And honoured is each name
In Green and Gold they are enscrolled
On Ireland’s scroll of fame


By Peter James Burns (1883 – 1933)

This and other Roscommon songs I found on Roscommon Singers Circle site

Peter James (Pete) Burns was known in New York entertainment circles as ‘The Boy from Athleague’. He was born in Clooneen in 1883 and emigrated to New York while still in his teens. Blessed with a fine tenor voice, he quickly made a name for himself as an entertainer and, obviously, could compose as well. He wrote ‘A Roscommon Exiles Song’ prior to a return visit to the land of his birth in 1926. Pete Burns died in New York in 1933.



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