Henry's Songbook

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Thousands Are Sailing

  • (Trad)

    So good luck to those people and safe may they land
    They are leaving their country for a far distant strand
    They are leaving old Ireland, no longer can stay
    And thousands are sailing to America

    You brave Irish heroes wherever you be
    I pray stand a moment and listen to me
    Your sons and fair daughters are now going away
    And thousands are sailing to America

    The night before leaving they are bidding goodbye
    And it's early next morning their heart gives a sigh
    They do kiss their mothers and then they do say
    Fare thee well, dearest father, we must now go away
    Their friends and relations, their neighbours also
    When the trunks they are packed up all ready to go
    The tears form their eyes they fall down like the rain
    And the horses are prancing going off for the train

    When they do reach the station you will hear their last cry
    With handkerchiefs waving and bidding goodbye
    Their hearts will be breaking on leaving the shore
    Fare thee well, dear old Ireland, we will ne'er see you more
    So I pity the mother that rears up the child
    And likewise the father who labours and toils
    To try to support them he will work night and day
    And when they are reared up they will go away

    (as sung by Andy Irvine)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1981:] I have a lot of songs about emigration in my repertoire, not so much because I like singing about it but because there are so many fine ballads on the subject I can't resist them. This one always strikes me as being different! Most emigration songs are highly subjective. The unfortunate hero sings of saying goodbye to sweetheart and country - this one appears to have been written by a poet or ballad-maker who stands apart and views the subject objectively. For me this gives it a very modern feel. The late Eddie Butcher of Co. Derry sang a version of this song one day when I went to visit him. Subsequently I heard another version sung by Robin Morton and Cathal McConnell which they had from John Maguire of Co. Fermanagh. I juggled the words about a bit, wrote a few more and put it to a tune of my own. (Andy Irvine, notes 'Folk Friends II')

  • See also John Moulden, Thousands are sailing: a brief song history of Irish emigration (Ulstersongs, Portrush 1994) - go to and click on "books"

Quelle: Ireland

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aktualisiert am 03.05.2002