Carroll Bán (Bawn) (Lehr and Best)

'Twas in the town of Wexford
they sentenced him to die,
'Twas in the town of Wexford
they built a gallows high,
And there one sunny morning
while beamed a pleasant dawn,
Upon that cursed gibbet
they hung my Carroll bán.

O he was true and loyal,
O he was proud and fair,
And only nineteen summers
shone on his golden hair;
And when his gallant brothers
had grasped the pike in hand,
Where the green flag streamed the fairest,
he stood for his native land.

I saw him cross the heather
with his bold company,
And from the rising hillside
he waved his hand to me;
Then on my wild heart settled
a load of woe and pain,
Mo bhrón it's throbbing told me
we'd never meet again.

He fought the Saxon foemen
by Slaney's glancing wave,
But brutal strength o'erpowered
the gallant and the brave;
And in the fight which followed
that day of misery,
Sore wounded he was taken
my Carroll bán mo chroi.

O fhíor ghéar that ever
I saw the dreadful sight,
His locks all damply hanging
and his cheeks a deadly white.
What wonder if my ringlets
would change from dark to grey,
Or if the blessèd hand of God
would take my life away.

The meadow path is lonely,
and the hearth is cold and dim,
And the silent churchyard blossom
blooms softly over him;
And my heart that's ever sobbing
for the calm rest coming on,
With its weary pulse lies sleeping
beside my Carroll bán.

####.... John Keegan (Leo) Casey [1846-1870] a Fenian from Mullingar, IE ....####
John Keegan (Leo) Casey (1846-1870), known as the Poet of the Fenians, was an Irish poet, orator and republican who was famous as the writer of the song Rising Of The Moon, and as one of the central figures in the Fenian Rising of 1867. He was imprisoned by the English and died on St Patrick's Day in 1870.

This variant collected in 1976 from Mrs Caroline (Carrie) Brennan [1892-1994] of Ship Cove, Placentia Bay, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as #17 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.30-31, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

A variant was arranged and recorded by Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne (How Good Is Me Life ©2007 SingSong Inc, St John's, NL).

Liner Notes: "St John's, Newfoundland, was the only place outside Ireland to see an uprising related to the United Irish rebellion of 1798. While the culprits were caught and some of them hanged, there remained strong local sympathies for the situation in Ireland. Many of Newfoundland's early Irish settlers came from the Wexford and Waterford area and, as we've found to our pleasure, those links are maintained today." ~ Jim Payne and Fergus O'Byrne

Genevieve Lehr commented that Carrie Brennan pronounced the Irish Gaelic words correctly but did not know their meaning. Ms Lehr then defined:
Mo chroi - (machree) my love or my heart.
Mo bhrón - (mavrone/marone) o my sorrow.
Fhíor ghéar - (fear gear) expression of intense grief.
Bán - (bawn) fair, often written as it is pronounced.


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