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Fields Of Athenry

Known as the Fields of Ath-henry to the folk community. A pleasant but hackneyed folk song about the Irish Famine. Supposedly traditional (19th century) but actually written by Pete St John and first recorded by Paddy Reilly.

Lyrics:

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young girl calling
"Michael, they have taken you away,
For you stole Trevelyan's corn,
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay."

Chorus:
Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall, I heard a young man calling
"Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free
Against the famine and the crown,
I rebelled, they cut me down.
Now you must raise our child with dignity."

By a lonely harbour wall, she watched the last star fall
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
For she lived to hope and pray for her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

Alternative lyrics expressing the overdone nature of the song in folk clubs:

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are singing it again
If I hear it one more time, I think I'll lose my mind
I'm so fed up with the Fields of Athenry

chorus:

Oh no the Fields of Athenry
If I hear it one more time I think I'll die
It's such a boring song it goes on and on and on
I'm so fed up with the Fields of Athenry

From within the prison wall I heard a young man calling
Mary why do you think I'm here
In here we all agree transportation'll set us free
Free from the Fields of Athenry

By a lonely harbour wall I saw the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the tide
Hold on that girl did say I'm coming with you to Botany Bay
To escape from the Fields of Athenry