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LAND OF THE GAEL, THE (Garry McMahon) Recorded by: Garry McMahon; P.J. Murrihy; Elle Marie O'Dwyer I wish I was westward of Dingle On the golden sands of Béal Bán Where I'd wait for the mountain of Brandon To appear in the red light of dawn I'd gaze over Smerwick Harbour See the yacht with its billowing sail My body is here in the Bowery But my heart's in the Land of the Gael Too free with the juice of the barley** It softens my will and my brain And whenever I save a few dollars I fall off the wagon again But I'm thinking of Kerry in Ireland The Blaskets and fair Ceann Sibéal When the sun is a red ball of fire As it sets on the Land of the Gael In my mind's eye I see every detail Her mountains, valleys and seas The butterfly dancing a hornpipe The thistledown flying in the breeze The fuschia, loosestrife and cowparsley The primrose that blooms in the vale I'll pick the wild flowers in the Summertime When I'm back in the Land of the Gael Now the wind like a knife it goes through me And with hunger I'm ready to fall And the snowflakes are swirling around me As I head for the Church Mission Hall I hear the sweet song of the skylark And I list to the curlew's sad wail As over the ocean they call me To come back to the Land of the Gael For it's fifty long years since I left it A young fellow still in my teens Did I ever return, now you ask me I go back every night in my dreams Yes, the call of my homeland's all powerful And I'm certain this time I'll not fail Then I'll hear my own tongue and again I'll be young When I'm home in the Land of the Gael **This line is often sung as 'For the curse of the drink is upon me' (Transcribed by Mel Priddle - July 2014)


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