Thursday, 18 August 2016

Song - Old Bushmills

The following emigrant-style song was written down in 1939 by Uel Kane of Ballytaggart, a townland that lies a few miles east of Ballymoney, County Antrim:

Old Bushmills

There's a dear little spot far away o'er the sea
And bright in my memory fore'er it will be
Like a baby when sleeping, all smiling serene
And of all Erin's beauties, I call her the Queen

Tho' I may be far over the sea
On whatever fate wills
Yet near to my heart
Will be dear old Bushmills

On the banks of the Bush water* all smiling she stands
And though you may wander in far distant lands
You will all join with me, boys, and stick to the truth
In praising that town on the banks of the Bush

The fame of the Causeway is known far and near
While Carrick-a rede to the tourist is dear
And the Lakes of Killarney and Wicklow's high hills
But to me they seem common compared with Bushmills

Though never again may I see her sweet face
Yet in my bosom I'll keep her, the cosiest place
And when I am weary with cares or with ills
Sure it will banish them all when I think of Bushmills

An almost identical version of the song appears on the website. It's attributed to 'Northern Constitution, Coleraine Songs of the People 375 edited by Willie Devine', is titled "Dear Old Bushmills" and has a different final line:

I will banish them all with a drop of Bushmills.

* Bush Water is an earlier name for the river that meanders through the town.