DERVISH

Cathy Jordan of Dervish  Photo: © Michael Fisher

Cathy Jordan of Dervish Photo: © Michael Fisher

Just back from a great concert by Dervish at the Elmwood Hall in Belfast as part of the 51st Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queens. One of the highlights came at the end as part of the encore demanded by the audience. Cathy Jordan sang unaccompanied the ballad Slieve Gallion Brae, a song about a townland in the Sperrin mountains in County Derry, near Ballinascreen. Great that she was able to do so with the audience maintaining complete silence as they listened to her voice.

It is a song that Tommy Makem revived and one that Cathy reproduces on her website.

SLIEVE GALLION BRAE (traditional)

My name is Joe McGarvey as you might understand

I come from Derryginnet and I own a farm of land

But the rents were getting higher and I could no longer pay

So farewell unto ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

As I went a walking one morning in May

To view your fair valleys and your mountains so gay

I was thinking of your flowers all going to decay

That grow around ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

Oft times have I wandered with my dog and my gun

And travelled your valleys for joy and for fun

But those days are gone forever and I can no longer stray

So farewell unto ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

Oft times in the evenings and the sun in the west

I roamed hand in hand with the one I love best

But the dreams of youth have vanished and I am far away

So farewell unto ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

It is not the want of employment at home

That caused the poor sons of old Ireland to roam

But the rents are getting higher and I can no longer pay

So farewell unto ye bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

Farewell to old Erin, a land that is so green

To the Parish of Lissen and the cross of Ballinascreen

May good fortune shine upon you when I am far away

And a long farewell to bonny, bonny Slieve Gallion Brae

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