Galway Bay Lyrics And Guitar Chords
This Irish folk song was written by Dr. Arthur Colahan [ also included is Asthoreen Bawn ] This song is hardly ever played at sessions any more, Why not ? It has a beautiful air and some lovely sentiments, I still sing it and it always goes down well,The words of this song were changed by Bing Chrosby, well just one word ''Strangers'' which was originally written as ''English'' . The song featured in the film The Quiet Man where it was sang in the pub. The youtube video is of Brian Flynn guitar teacher who strives to keep the old songs alive. Also recorded by Daniel O'Donnell, Celtic Woman, Foster And Allen, Johnny Cash. Brian uses a capo on the first fret. There's another song called ''My Own Dear Galway Bay'' which sometimes gets confused with this one and the reason is that when people are recording it they put the wrong title on the song.
If[D] you ever go accross the sea to[A] Ireland,
It may be at the[A7] dawning of the[D] day,
You will sit and watch the moon rise over[Em] Claddagh,
And watch the[A7] sun go down on Galway[D] bay.
Just to hear again the ripple of the trout stream
The women in the meadow making hay,
And to sit beside the turf fire in a cabin,
And watch the bare-foot gosoons as they play,
For the breezes blowing over the sea's from Ireland,
Are perfumed by the heather as it blows,
And the women in the uplands diggin praties,
Speak a language that strangers do not know,
For the stranger came and tried to teach us their ways,
They scorned us just for being whi we are,
But they might as well go chacing after moonbeams,
Or light a penny candle from a star.
And if there is going to be a life here after,
And somehow I am sure there's going to be,
I will ask my God to let me make my heaven
In that dear land accross the Irish sea.
Arthur Colahan was born in Galway in 1885. He took up medicine and graduated from Queen's College, Galway in 1913. When World War broke out he enlisted in the British Army's Medical Corps and served in India. After the war, he settled in Leicester, where he worked as a psychiatrist in the police and prison services. His hobby was music and he wrote songs such as Cade Ring, Macushla Mine and the beautiful Galway Bay. He often spent his holidays in his beloved County Galway, and liked nothing better than an evening at the piano while his brothers and sisters sang Irish songs, including his own that he had written in Leicester. Galway Bay, which was written in memory of one of his brothers who drowned in the Bay, is the song of the grief of an exile and had he lived we're sure he would have objected to the version made famous by Bing Crosby, who altered the word 'English' to 'strangers.' Dr. Colahan died at his Leicester home on 9 September 1952 and his remains were removed to Galway for burial in the family grave. Even today there is still no mention of his name on the Celtic Cross that marks the grave of the man of who it was said "money didn't interest him, Glory didn't interest him. He was very gentle and very humble." This entry thanks to Max Wade-Matthews and was taken from his CD: "A Walk Through Leicester." "Galway Bay," published in 1947, was second in the USA in "The Lucky Strike Cigarettes Hit Parade Radio Show - 1935 to 1955" charts for a total of 12 weeks in 1949.
Here's another version sent in by Garrett Taylor
Oh, it's maybe someday I'll go back to Ireland,
if my dear old wife would only pass away.
for she's nearly driven me mad with her naggin',
and she's got a mouth as big as Galway Bay
When she's drinkin' 16 pints down at Paddy Murphy's,
and the barman says,"I think it's time to go."
Well she doesn't seem to answer him in Gaelic,
but a language that the clergy does not know.
When she drinks her 16 pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon,
you know she can't walk home without a sway.
If the sea was beer instead of salty water,
I'm sure she'd live and die in Galway Bay.
On her back there is tatooed the map of Ireland,
and when she takes her bath on Saturday,
she rubs that Sunlight soap down around by Claddagh,
just to watch the suds roll down by Galway Bay.
Here's another of Arthur Colahan's songs Asthoreen Bawn which was recorded by Brian Coll. To play along with Brian with the youtube video use the chords here.
[E]The winds that blow a[B]cross the sea from [E]Ireland
Come [A]laden with the [E]salt of Irish [B]foam
Sure I [E]never seem to hear them but they [A]whisper
Asthoreen [E]Bawn when are ye [B]coming [E]home.[B][E]
And when they reach the [B]smoke fog of our [E]cities
And [A]down our narrow [E]streets and slums they [B]roam
To[E] me it always seems a thousand [A]pities
That when they're [E]lonely here they [B]can't go [E]home.
I do not blame the English winds not knowing
They measure ours by standards of their own
Sure they've never heard the wild bird on the brown bog cry
Asthoreen Bawn when are ye coming home
Here are the chords in the key of G
If[G] you ever go accross the sea to[D] Ireland,
It may be at the[D7] dawning of the[G] day,
You will sit and watch the moon rise over[Am] Claddagh,
And watch the[D7] sun go down on Galway[G] bay.