Star of the county Down lyric and video

Star of the County Down

The famous song about County Down was written by Cathal McGarvey.

Cathal was part of Dublin’s literary circle and Gaelic league revival in the early 1900’s forming around An Stad – the Irish translation for ‘The Stop’.

An Stad was a meeting place for enthusiasts of the Irish language, Gaelic games and Irish Nationalism.

Cathal was originally a Donegal man.

Cathal McGarvey Star of The County Down

The Song

The song tells the story of a young man who spots a beautiful young lady in Banbridge, County Down while walking down the street and falls in love at first sight.

Cathal McGarvey Star of The County Down Original Lyrics

The melody (tune) of the song originates from a old English ballad called Dives and Lazarus and the hymn Kingsfold.

This song was documented in a collection called The English and Scottish Popular Ballads by Francis James Child in the 1880’s.

You will most definitely hear the similarity in the melody of Dives and Lazarus and The Star of The County Down in the video below.

 

The same melody was used in the Irish Song My Love Nell

Check out some great versions of The Star of The County Down below.

Star of the County Down as featured in the hit video game Assassin’s Creed.

Guitar Instrumental of the Star of the County Down by Warrenpoint guitarist and guitar teacher, Adrian Curran !

 

Van Morrison and The Chieftains perform the Star of the County Down

 

Star of The County Down Lyrics

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One evening last July
Down a bóithrín green came a sweet cailín
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so neat in her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, I’d to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling queer
And I said, says I, to a passerby
“Who’s your one with the nut-brown hair?”
He smiled at me, and with pride says he,
“She’s the gem of old Ireland’s crown.
Young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann
And the star of the County Down.”

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

She’d a soft brown eye and
a look so sly and a smile like the rose in June
And you held each note from her auburn throat,
as she lilted lamenting tunes
At the pattern dance you’d be in trance
as she skipped through a jig or reel
When her eyes she’d roll, as she’d lift soul
And your heart she would likely steal

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

At the harvest fair she’ll be surely there
and I’ll dress my Sunday clothes
With my hat cocked right and my shoes shon bright
for a smile from the nut-brown Rose
No horse I’ll yoke, or pipe I smoke,
’til the rust in my plough turn brown
And a smiling bride by my own fireside
sits the star of the County Down

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

She’d a soft brown eye and
a look so sly and a smile like the rose in June
And you held each note from her auburn throat,
as she lilted lamenting tunes
At the pattern dance you’d be in trance
as she skipped through a jig or reel
When her eyes she’d roll, as she’d lift soul
And your heart she would likely steal

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One evening last July
Down a bóithrín green came a sweet cailín
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so neat in her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, I’d to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

 

From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
From Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the fair cailín
That I met in the County Down.

My Love Nell

Oh! come all ye boys, from far and near,
And listen awhile to me:
And a dismal story you will hear
About my love and me.
I courted long-my love was sthrong
As the heart of a big oak tree.
But sorry I’m to say my love is gone away
To the shores av Amerikay.

Chorus.
For, my love Nell,
Was a charm in’ girl:
From the Cove av Cork kem she-
But I weeped and I wailed
Whin the hig ship sailed
For the shores av Amerikay.

Whin I got to the church I was left in the lurch-
But let that day go hy-
Whin I got to the door, Nelly sez: “I’m poor!”
“Then, my love, sez I, good-bye!
For, I know right well you’re an Irish girl:
So you don’t come over me.”
“Oh! sez Nelly, d’ye mind, I’ll lave you far behind,
And I’ll sail for Amerikay.”-Chorus.

Now, come all ye boys, both far and near,
And a warniu’ take hy me:
A bird in the hand, as you may undherstand,
Is worth twinty thousand million on a three.
Though persuade you they may for to name the day,
Then say: ” Wait till the time suit* me.”
Then as slippy as au eel, they’ll turn on their heel,
And sail for Amerikay.-Chorus.

 

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