O’Reilly from the county Cavan, song / Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain), singing in English

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As once I strayed to 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.

Well I stepped up to her and I kindly asked her
If she’d be willing to be a sailor's bride
Oh no kind Sir I will 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, gentle, and handsome
And to marry you I’d be inclined.

Well then kind Sir I am going to tell you
I could be married five years ago
To one young 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’ll go off to a foreign shore
Come along with me love and I’ll make you a lady
So delay on Reilly not anymore.

Well if Reilly was living sure 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’s the one that I love best.

Well if I had you love on a Phoenix island
Three thousand miles from your native home
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 a Phoenix island
Nor three thousand miles from my native home
Nor in some valley where no one can see us
So I’ll wait for Reilly ‘til he comes home.

Well you’re like the swan love that floats over the ocean
And makes a motion with both her wings
For your fine appearance is so enticing
For any duke, lord, or Irish king.

For 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 farewell darling we’re off to sea.

O’Reilly from the county Cavan, song / Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain), singing in English
ITMA Reference Number:657-NC-V8
Main Performer: Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain)
Title:O'Reilly from the county Cavan [videorecording] / Michael McGonigle (James Eoghain), singing in English
Subject:Ireland: Singing in English
Corporate Author:Inishowen Traditional Singers' Circle
Recording Location:McFeeley's Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal
Recording Date:27 March 1993
Collection:Jimmy McBride Collection
Physical Description:1 computer file (MPEG-4, 5 min. 19 sec.) :digital, stereo
Copyright:Performer and Inishowen Traditional Singers' Circle
Roud Number:267

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