Moorlough Shore (The)

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MOORLOUGH SHORE, THE. AKA – "Banks of the Moorlough Shore." AKA and see "Foggy Dew (1) (The)," "Maid of the Mourne Shore." Irish, Air. A Dorian. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "The Moorlough Shore" is a traditional Irish ballad, which first appears in print in an 1886 broadside, now at the Bodleian Library. Cowdery (1990) believes this melody to belong to the "Boyne Water (1)" family of tunes, and it is similar to the second strain of P.W. Joyce's "Foggy Dew (3)" and the second half of "To Seek for the Lambs." Over the years there has been much debate about where the song is set, although some think the location to be in County Antrim, or County Tyrone, close to Strabane. There are a number of places referred to in the lyrics that link it to Holyhill (usually pronounced Holly Hill), in that latter county. However, there is no definitive conclusion as to locale. The song begins:

Your hills and dales and flowery vales,
That lie near the Moorlough Shore.
Your vines that blow by Bordons Grove [Burden’s Row],
Will I ever see you more.
Where the primrose blows and the violet grows,
Where the trout and salmon play,
With my line and hook, delight I took
To spend my youthful days.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Cowdery (Melodic Tradition of Ireland), 1990; Ex. 48.

Recorded sources: Dolores Keane – "Lion in a Cage." Topic 12TS314, Kevin Mitchell – "Free and Easy" (1977).

See also listing at:
See/hear Sinead O'Connor sing the tune on youtube.com [1]




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