Posts Tagged “Ireland”

Video Shorts at the Irish Roots Cafe #16.
Skibbereen, a tale of famine and troubles
from our house band Sean Nós Abú.

Launch of Irish Video Shorts, season two!
Today we resume our Irish Video Shorts
program. The first selections this season
are my Irish Song videos, to be followed
by Irish genealogy video shorts.

Here are my notes on todays Irish video:
Skibbereen, a tale of famine and troubles.
This song tells of the coming of the great
Irish famine and troubles that ensue.

It begins with a young boy asking his father
why they left Ireland. After all, he hears
it spoken of by his father in glowing terms
all the time.

The Reason Revealed
This opens a floodgate of descriptions
including the potato crop failure, eviction,
rebellion, and death of the childs mother.
It ends with the young man vowing to return
to Ireland, reclaiming his heritage at all

Considered the grandaddy of all famine songs
actually written near the famine era, it has
become a favorite here at the Irish Roots
Cafe. (note: Kilkelly, another favorite song,
tells of a later Irish famine, and was written
in the last half of the 20th century.)

Watch and listen to Skibbereen on our iTunes video
podcast channel here, for free:

For all of our podcast channels see the
iTunes Irish Provider Page (click below):
Here are the lyrics that I use to sing this song:

Oh, Father dear, I oft times hear you talk of Erin’s Isle,
Her lofty scenes, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,
Oh, then why did you abandon it, the reason do me tell?

Oh, son I loved my native land with energy and pride
‘Til a blight came upon my crops, and the sheep and cattle died,
The rent and taxes were so pay, I could not them redeem,
And that’s the cruel reason why, I left old Skibbereen.

Oh, It’s well I do remember, that cold December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive us all away
They set my roof on fire, with their demon yellow spleen
And that’s another reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
She fainted o’er in anguish, desolation all around.
She did not rise, but passed away, from life to immortal dream,
She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,
I could not leave you with my friends, for you bore your father’s name,
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
and heaved a sigh, and said goodbye, to dear old Skibbereen

Its well I do remember, the year of ’48
When erins sons they rose again
to battle against their fate
I was hunted through the mountains
as a traitor to the queen
And thats another reason why
I left old Skibbereen.

Oh father dear, the day will come when vengeance loud will call
and Erins sons will rally round, together one and all
and I will be the man to lead the van, beneath the flag of green
And loud and high we’ll raise the cry,
Revenge for Skibbereen!


   The #1 Celtic band in the U.S. on RN (4/25/2012)
  We have singers who specialize in Sean Nós Song,
  as well Irish Ballads in the English Language.
  Check out our band page on Reverbnation
  by clicking the picture on the left !

   Our ‘band’ name is set up as ‘Sean Nós Abu’
   Sean Nós means ‘old style’. Abu is a war cry !
   We are the house band for the Irish Roots Cafe

You can follow Sean Nós Abú on Reverbnation at:
Contact Us
You can reach the Irish Roots Cafe on Twitter; Facebook;; and by mail at our U.S. location:

The Irish Roots Cafe
Box 7575
Kansas City, Missouri 64116

Sponsors Welcome.
Remember to keep the hedgerow growing –
with your donation, subscription or membership.
– Thank you, Mike O’Laughlin

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The Irish Song and Recitation Festival
at with Mike O’Laughlin

Todays Song: Over The Mountain
Sung by:         Mike O’Laughlin
run time:        8 min. 49 secs.

Listen to the song and comments on todays podcast:

Listen to all of our songs and interviews on our song page at:

Todays entry is ‘Over the Mountain’, a song
I first heard by Joe Heaney in his ‘Say a Song’
Listen to the secret code word ‘over the mountain’.
You might wonder what it means during the
course of the song…. A fine look at the courtin’ of
the mountain people in Ireland is it ?
Several other phrases with meaning beyond the
words are found in this song, and I discuss that
briefly on the show.
As always, we end up with the singing of the song:

Lyrics (one of several variations):

One night when the moon loomined the sky
I first took a notion to marry
so I put on me hat and away I did fly
You’d swear I was in a great hurry

I came to a spot where often I’d been
my heart gave a jump when my darling I’d seen
I opened the door and bid her good night
saying will you come over the mountain

my fine dear but what has come over you now
but I’m glad to see you so merry
it’s now twelve o’clock you should be in bed
but come in I’ll a waken my mammy

If you think I am jesting, my jesting is true
I courted twelve months and I think that should do
and before I go home I’ll be married to you
If you’ll come with me over the mountain

If I was to make an elopement with you
its sure to be wrought with great danger
the neighbors would tattle and cackle us all
and my friends they would gaze on in wonder

Oh let them tattle and cackle away
consult with your self for its very near day
and I don’t give a rap what the lot of them say
if you come with me over the mountain

Oh I must away now its home I must go
I think it is fitting and better
so farewell my darling farewell for awhile
and this will put and end to the matter

Oh wait just a minute let put on my shoes
my heart gave a leap when I heard the glad news
She came to the door saying maybe I’ll choose
to come with you over the mountain

By this time the moon has sunk in the west
for the dawn of a bright summers morning
off we did go the pair it was one
for the wedding the two hearts were pining

The Saugurtay came without more delay
he married us both on the very same day
and it’s often we talk when we’ve nothing to say
of the trip we made over the mountain

my home page on Sean Nós Song:

Join up on our Sean Nós fan page on Facebook:!/group.php?gid=117709528260564

Listen to the complete ‘Irish Song’ broadcast series here:

Hope you’ll be singing or listening in the finale for
season 3, on the Irish Song and Recitation Festival !

The Hedge School has 7 Broadcast series, including :

The History of Ireland
Irish in America
Irish Video Shorts
Irish Song and recitation
Irish Family History and genealogy
Irish Family History photo enhanced with links.

All are available at the Irish Roots Cafe online at:

Some available on the iTunes Irish provider page:
Contact Us

You can reach the Irish Roots Cafe on Twitter; Facebook;; and by mail at our U.S. location:

Mike O’Laughlin
The Irish Roots Cafe
Box 7575
Kansas City, Missouri 64116
Leave a message on our Phone (816) 256-3360

Sponsors Welcome.
Remember to keep the hedge growing –
with your donation, subscription or membership.
– Thank you.

You can reach us for speaking engagements,
exhibits, and educational events. Since 1984.
©2010 IGF, This information is intended
for personal non-commercial use only.
Please apply for any other usage in writing.

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