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"The Fields of Athenry"

Ireland, 2002 —

The song "The Fields of Athenry" seems as much a national anthem of Ireland as the official one — whatever that is.

"The Fields of Athenry" is omnipresent in Ireland, and many artists have recorded it— never mind all those who've played it live or walked up the street after pub and club singing it.


Here are the lyrics, from one source:

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Micheal they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn's corn
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.


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 ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.


By a lonely harbor wall
She watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.