Lough Sheelin Side Lyrics And Chords
A traditional song.This version is from the Wolfe Tones, The Tones put a chorus on this song, but the song was originally written with no chorus.This is the best version of the song from The Wolfe Tones , what a mighty singer Tommy Byrne is , and what a band the 'Tones are. i think Tommy sings this in the key of F Major. The tin whistle sheet music is included in the key of D. Also recorded by Foster And Allen.
[G]Farewell my country a long farewell fare[Em]well,
My[C] tale of[D] anguish no[G] tongue can tell,
For Im forsed to fly o're the ocean[Em] wide,
From the[C] home I[D] love by Lough[C] Sheelin[G] side.
How proud was I of my girl so fair,
I was envied most by the young men there,
When I brought her back a bashful bride,
From my cottage home by Lough Sheelin side.
Chorus][G] Farewell my love a fond a[C]dieu,
Farewell my ]G]comrades and my [Em]country C]too
[D7]For I'm [G]forced to fly o're the ocean [Em]wide
From the [C]home I [D]loved by Lough [C]Sheelin [G]Side
But all our joys were too good to last,
For the landlord came our young hopes to blast,
In vain we pleaded for mercy no,
He hurled us out in the blinding snow.
But no one opened for us their doors,
For ill felt vengeance would reach them sure,
My Eileen fainted in my arms and died,
On that snowy night by Lough Sheelin side.
I buried her down in the churchyard low
Where in the springtime the wild flowers grow,
I shed no tears for my tongue felt dry
On that fearfull night by Lough Sheelin side.
Farewell my country farewell all day,
The ship will soon take me far away,
But my fond heart would sooner bide,
Near my Eileen's grave by lough Sheelin side.
To be evicted from your home at any time was a death sentence dut during times of famine it was certain death, if any of their relatives or friends took them in they too would be evicted. The only way of avoiding this certain fate was emigration. The majority of those evicted were from the cottier or small farmer class, holding under five acres. They got no compensation, they had very little money and certainly not enough for a passage to America. They may have succeeded in securing a passage to England or Scotland.
Evicted families in many cases were driven from their area and left to wander aimlessly around unfamiliar countryside. They had no protection from the harsh Irish weather and begged and scavenged what they could as they travelled. They descended on villages and towns, cities were overrun by crowds of helpless people seeking relief and shelter. Some of them made it to parts of England or Scotland, some made it to the poor house, but most of them died.
Official figure of evictions were not recorded in Ireland until 1849. Up until that year it was reckoned that 250,000 evictions had taken place. From 1849 to the beginning of 1852, almost 50,000 families were made homeless. These figures peaked in 1850 when 19,949 were evicted. It reduced to 13,350 in ’51. The horrors of eviction continued until 1911. In all 131,341 families (over 600,000 people) were recorded to have suffered this awful fate from the beginning of records.
According to the census of 1841 there were 310,000 holdings of under 5 acres but by 1849 there numbers had reduced to 98,179 and holdings of between 5 and 10 acres also decreased in numbers. In 1841 there were 252,778 of this type of farm and their numbers declined to 213,897. It was this class along with the labourers who held no land that suffered most during the famine. There was an increase of the bigger type of farm of over 15 acres. In 1841 their numbers were 79,338 and after 1849 this went up to 150,120. The 30 acre farm also increased in number from 48,623 to 156,960.
There was massive confusion and despair amongst the poor tenants who were bewildered by the events taking place around them. The Redcoats and police stood by while the bailiffs, landlord and his ruffians evicted the occupants in a most aggressive and inhumane manner. The military presence was there to enforce the eviction order and prevent resistance The poor people were stunned and all they could say was“O maise, Dia linn” (God bless us)
Stories of evictions were recalled and passed on through the folklore of Ireland and Irish America. The landlords were sometimes present at evictions. Nobody was spared, the sick, healthy, old and dying. The houses were levelled with a battering-ram and the roofs were torched. A story was told of a man named Diver who was among those being evicted out of their homes in County Louth. The landlord offered the sum of one pound to anyone prepared to set fire to his house. Diver, who was standing among the crowd of neighbours, stepped forward and volunteered to earn it. He went for the kitchen where the turf fire was still smouldering. He brought the burning embers on a shovel and put them on the ageing thatched roof. Fanned by a strong breeze the home of many generations of his family and a lifetime of memories were gone in seconds in ablaze of fire. The neighbours were stunned. The landlord tendered the money to Diver. He turned on his heels and walked away. The emigrants took the memories away with them and carried a deep hatred of England and landlords which shaped the opinions of the Irish abroad. Brian Warfield The Wolfe Tones 2011