O’Donnell’s lament, song

Jimmy McBride, singing in English
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Kind friends draw nigh and pity I
As I sit alone I moan and cry
Thin watery rays of a winter’s sun
Cast shadows high on my cell herein
I oft times think and I sometimes sigh
Of days in Ireland long gone by
Glenhola fair by the cliffs so high
‘Neath Knockfola’s shade where I’d live and die.

My youthful days I spent quite free
But famine struck and we had to flee
The food was scarce the soil was bare
The tyrant landlord sure he didn’t care
Our hearts and minds were sad with pain
As my father locked the door with chain
Past Tory Island and far o’er the sea
We did set sail to the land of the free.

I lived carefree for many’s a year
In that golden land far from Saxon fear
Work hours were long and the going was tough
But at the end of the day I had more than enough
I yearned and longed for my native shore
I then returned to stray once more
Among friends so kind and loved ones dear
Eighteen eighty three being the faithful year.

From Derry so fair to England’s shore
And south to Cape Town I sailed once more
My heart was light as I crossed the sea
With a loving maiden close by me
On board the ship I observed a man
With wife and children he seemed wan
I challenged him your heart seems sad
I believe you’re a traitor from Ireland.

With shaking hand and frothing mouth
He breathed a curse and at me he did shout
True I’m not Power but James Carey
I informed on friends for gold you see
A long black hand gun he then pulled free
And a bullet he let fly at me
Three shots rang out from my pistol small
He dropped in his gore ‘gainst the cabin wall.

My tale’s now o’er my sadness great
The sentence is death I await my fate
Early at morn my remains go down
In a grave unmarked in cold prison ground
Remember friends where ever you go
‘Twas in self defence I laid him low
Think of Pat O’Donnell one and all
Round green Gweedore and Donegal.