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Edward Boyle

from The Long Grey Line by Debra Cowan



From the singing of Cathal McConnell (Cathal’s source: Paddy Maguire, Aughakillymaude, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland)

Edward Boyle is a song about emigration. It originated in a time when many young men were leaving Ireland to seek their fortunes on the “shores of Amerikay”. I always thought that Edward Boyle must have been quite a guy: not only was he popular and a fine athlete, he played the flute as well.


Ye tender hearted maidens
Of a high or a low degree
Likewise you foolish lovers
Come listen unto me
Whilst here I am be-wailing
The youth that I adore
That has now fled from my arms
Bound for Columbia shore

In the time I well remember
It being the month of May
When Flora's flow’ry mantle
Bedeck'd the meadows gay
The fields were decorated
And nature seemed to smile
It was there I parted from my own true love
My charming Edward Boyle

His friends and kind relations
They did him now convey
Unto Belfast town of high renown
Until they reached the quay
With a heart undaunted, he set sail
He left his Shamrock Shore
All joy be with you, Edward Boyle
Will I never see you more

In the county of Fermanagh
In the parish of Roslea
In the hills of Graugh-da-waddy
In the mountains of Tribay
Brought up by honest parents
All free from grief and toil
Ah but now they are sunk in sorrow
For the loss of young Edward Boyle

This country has got lonesome
Since young Edward went away
He was the pride of the college lands
How sweet his flute could play
The young men all both great and small
They swore they'd leave the soil
In hopes once more on Columbia's shore
They would meet with young Edward Boyle

My curse on you, Columbus
'Twas you who found out the way
And likewise to Amerikay
That has stolen my love away
From that time down sure we are bound
In hardship, grief and toil
To lament and mourn for our love's return
Like I for young Edward Boyle

Now to conclude and finish
Young men and maids be true
Let never you part for riches great
As some false lovers do
Was I posessed of the universe
Or St. Patrick's blessed Isle
I would part with it all tomorrow
For one sight of you, Edward Boyle


from The Long Grey Line, released January 23, 2001
Vocals: Debra Cowan
Guitar: Gaston Bernard
Celtic Harp: Lorraine Hammond


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Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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