The Faughan side, song

Eddie Butcher, singing in English
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Oh, a stream like crystal it runs down, It’s rare for to be seen,
Where there you'll see  the Irish oak trimmed with the ivy green;
The shamrock, rose and thistle and the lily too beside
They do flourish all together, boys, along the Faughan side.

If you but seen this lovely place all in the summer time
Each bush and tree they looked so gay and meadows in their prime;
The blackbird and the golden thrush they tune their notes so gay,
Oh, but still I have a notion of going to America.

Farewell unto this lovely place, from it I mean to roam
To leave my friends in Ireland, my own dear old Irish home,
Farewell unto my comrades all and the place where they reside
For many a pleasant day we spent along the Faughan side.

It's about three miles from Derry to the bridge of Drumahoe
Where there I spent some happy nights I would have yous all to know,
Where lambs do sport, fair maids do court and small fish gently glide,
In the blooming spring small birds does sing along the Faughan side.

The leaving of this lovely place it grieves my heart full sore
But the parting with my own wee girl it grieves me ten times more;
If ever I return again I will make her my bride,
I will roll her in my arms down along the Faughan (spoken) side.


This is a favourite of Eddie’s and was among the first songs he sang me and the very first one we recorded. For one of those ‘topographical lyrics’ which abound in Anglo-Irish, it is unusually economical and well made. The Faughan river flows into Lough Foyle on the east side of Derry city. The only printed version I have seen is Henry’s Co. Antrim one dating from 1935, when the song must have been only a generation or two old. Eddie’s version and the Antrim one are textually close. Recently, the song has been taken up by groups performing traditional music in Ulster. See also no 39, commentary.