O’Reilly from the County Cavan, song

Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain), singing in English
© Item in copyright  (contact for information on re-use)
Downloads: PDF |  Metadata (Dublin Core)


As once I strayed from the County Cavan one evening in the month of May
I spied a damsel she was fair and handsome she appeared to me like the queen of May
I stepped up to her and kindly asked her if she‘d be willing to be a sailor’s bride
Oh no kind sir I would never marry for I am inclined for a single life.

Oh you foolish creature you pride of nature sure you differ far from all female kind
For you are so youthful genteel and handsome for to marry you I’d be inclined
Well indeed kind sir I am going to tell you I have could be married five years ago
To one O'Reilly from the County Cavan that oft times grieves my poor heart full sore.

Well don’t depend on Reilly for he will leave you and he will go off to a foreign shore
Come along with me love and I will make you a lady so delay on Reilly not any more
Sure if Reilly is living I love him dearly and if he’s dead may God grant him rest 
For there is no other will ever enjoy me for he is the one that I love best.

Well if I had you love in Phoenix Island three thousand miles from your native shore
Or in some valley where no one could see us sure you might consent for to be my own
Well you have not me love on Phoenix Island nor three thousand miles from my native home
Nor in some valley where no one could see us so I'll wait for Reilly ‘til he come home.

You're like the swan love that floats over the ocean and making motion with both her wings
Sure your fine appearance is so enticing for any Duke Lord or Irish king
But youth and folly makes young men marry perhaps they’ll rue it some other day
But what can't be cured love must be endured love so fare thee well darling we are off to sea.

see also   O'Reilly from the County Cavan / Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain) video