Shamrock Shore (The)

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X:1 T:Shamrock Shore, The M:C L:1/8 R:Air S:Joyce – Ancient Irish Music (1890) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Eb E2 | A2 (GA) F2 (GB) | c2f2 (e>c)(BG) | (FE)(FG) E2 E2 | E6 (3Bcd | e2 (de) c2 (de) | f2 (ed) (cB)(GB) | c3G (BG)(EG) | F6 B2 | e2 (de) c2 (de) | f2 (ed) (cB)GB | c3G (BG)(EG) | F6 (3EFG | A2 (GA) F2 (GB) | c2f2 e>cBG | (FE)(FG) E2 E2 | E6 ||



SHAMROCK SHORE, THE (An traig seam roga). Irish, Air (4/4 time). D Major (Joyce, 1909; O’Neill): E Flat Major (Howe, Joyce, 1890). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part. "This air, and one verse of the song, was published for the first time by me in my Ancient Irish Music, from which it is reprinted here. It was a favourite in my young days, and I have several copies of the words printed on ballad sheets" (Joyce). It was mentioned in travellers' accounts as having been a favorite air played on the bagpipes in the latter 18th century (Flood, 1906). Howe’s and Joyce’s (1890) versions are identical.

In early spring when small birds sing and lambkins sport and play,
My way I took, my friends forsook, and came to Dublin quay;
I enter’d as a passenger, and to England I sailed o’er;
I bade farewell to all my friends, and I left the shamrock shore. ....... [Joyce, 1890]

Ye muses mine, with me combine and grant me your relief,
While here alone I sigh and moan, I'm overwhelmed with grief:
While here alone I sigh and moan far from my friends and home;
My troubled mind no rest can find since I left the Shamrock shore. .......[Joyce, 1909]

The version usually heard in modern times (as, for example, from the Boys of the Lough {“Piper’s Broken Finger”}) begins:

From Derry quay we sailed away on the twenty-third of May
We were taken on board by a pleasant crew, bound for Amerikay
Fresh water then we did take on, five thousand gallons or more
In case we'd run short going to New York far away from the shamrock shore.

Then fare thee well, sweet Liza dear and likewise unto Derry town
And twice farewell to my comrades brave that dwell on that sainted ground
If fame or fortune shall favour me, and I to have money in store
I'll go back and I'll wed the wee lassie I left on Paddy's green shamrock shore.


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - noted from the singing of Joseph Martin (Co. Limerick), but it is well known in Munster [Joyce].

Printed sources : - Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 20. Elias Howe (Howe’s 500 Irish Melodies Ancient and Modern), Boston, c. 1880; p. 502 (a collection of “Irish” tunes from previous Howe publications, plus 200 tunes from P.M. Joyce’s 1873 Ancient Irish Music). Joyce (Ancient Irish Music), 1890; No. 42, p. 44. Joyce (Old Irish Folk Music and Songs), 1909; No. 415, pp. 226-227. O'Neill (Music of Ireland: 1850 Melodies), 1903; No. 48, p. 9.






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