Search

 

The Hills of Glenswilly

Roud #5087

Written by Michael McGinley of Donegal, this song laments the necessity of leaving Donegal for a foreign land. Song collector Jim Carroll notes that McGinley may have composed the song while he travelled to New Zealand in 1879 aboard the “Invercardill.” The lyrics seem to indicate a political cause for emigration through the references to exile and raising a green flag over the hills of Glenswilly.

Listen to Bernard Nash sing “The hills of Glenswilly,” view Aidan O'Hara's transcript, and download your own copy of the words.

The hills of Glenswilly / Bernard Nash

Get the details

The hills of Glenswilly / Bernard Nash

The hills of Glenswilly, song (Attention fellow countrymen come here my native news …) Written by Michael McGinley of Donegal, this song laments the necessity of leaving Donegal for a foreign land. Song collector Jim Carroll notes that McGinley may have composed the song while he travelled to New Zealand in 1879 aboard the “Invercardill.” The lyrics seem to indicate a political cause for emigration through the references to exile and raising a green flag over the hills of Glenswilly. 

Bernard Nash's version of “The hills of Glenswilly”

Attention fellow countrymen come hear my native news,
Although my song it is sorrowful and I hope you’ll me excuse.
I left my native residence, some foreign clime to see,
And I bid goodbye to Donegal and likewise Glenswilly.

Brave stalwart men around me stood and my comrades brave and true,
And as he clasped each well-known hand for to bid my last adieu.
I said to my fellow countrymen, ‘Give heed and we’ll be seen,’
We’ll raise the green flag proudly over the hills of Glenswilly.

No more will I see the sycamore, will I hear the blackbirds sing,
No more I’ll see the white cuckoo for to welcome back the spring;
No more I’ll see your fertile looks, a chuisle geal mo chroí
In a foreign soil I mean to toil and I’m far from Glenswilly.

Now peace and plenty made supreme around Glenswilly’s shore,
And may the tide of providence, we’ll see our homes once more,
And may the time soon come around when I’ll return some day,
And I’ll live the life that me father lived and I’ll die in Glenswilly.