Lyrics to Erin Gra Mo Chroi

Back in 2001, I had found an interesting discussion in a thread at Mudcat.org folk forum about the origin of this song.   Several recordings in English are available, but as time went by in the discussion, it seems probable that the original was in Irish.  This post was from Brian in 2002: “Alice I found something interesting on this song, although not the songs author. There is an Irish language song with the the title, AN TRÉIGEAN(THE DESERTION). the author is credited to a Tom Sailí Ó Flaithearta. I don’t have any idea how old the song is. Never to contradict myself, I did find one reference to this name as actor in a play here: Cré na Cille. there is is one verse I found particularly interesting:

Shuigh mé síos liom féin ar an Tulláinín úd féir,
San áit ar chéadléirigh tú do ghrá dom
Dúirt an ghealach liom is na réalta, is an ghaoth i mbarr na gcraobh
Gur éalaigh tú thar sáile uaim le náire

This roughly translates to:

I sat myself down alone on yonder grassy land,
The spot where you first proclaimed your love to me
The moon and the stars told me as the wind in the top of the branches
That you slipped away across the ocean with shame.

In the English version, the author rhymed alone and stone in the same way the Irish Language version rhymed féin and féir.

This indicates to me that the author of the English Language song was aware of not only the melody, but the Irish Language song and had some Irish as well.

Brían”  – end quote

Of the versions I have found, this one by the famous sean nos singer Joe Heaney, is the one I like best. -Alice

ERIN GRÁ MO CHROÍ
as sung by Joe Heaney

Verse 1

At the setting of the sun, when my daily work was done,
I wandered to the sea shore for a walk.
I being all alone, I sat down upon a stone,
To gaze on the scenery of New York.

Chorus:

Oh Erin grá mo chroí, you’re the only land for me,
You’re the fairest spot my eyes did e’er behold.
You’re the bright star of the West, and the land St Patrick blessed,
You’re far dearer than silver or of gold.

Verse 2

The turf will burn bright on the hearth at home tonight,
The snowflakes will fall fast on a Winter’s day.
St Patrick’s day will come and the shamrock will be worn,
In my own native isle so far away.

Chorus:

Verse 3

It broke my mother’s heart when from her I went to part.
Will I ever see my darling any more.
Not until my bones are laid in a cold and silent grave,
In my own native isle so far away.

Chorus:

Here is a link to my singing of this song, as I posted earlier in the blog:
Erin gra mo chroi sung by Alice

See full post here: gallery of art by alice flynn2011-03-17.