Wind That Shakes the Barley

Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

I sat within the valley green
I sat me with my true love
My sad heart strove the two between
The old love and the new love
The old for her, the new that made me
Think on Ireland dearly
While soft the wind blew down the glade
And shook the golden barley

'Twas hard the mournful words to frame
To break the ties that bound us
But harder still to bear the shame
Of foreign chains around us
And so I said, "The mountain glen
I'll seek at morning early
And join the bold United Men"
While soft winds shook the barley

Sad I kissed away her tears
Her arms around me clinging
When to my ears that fateful shot
Came out the wildwood ringing
The bullet pierced my true love's heart
In life's young spring so early
And there within my arms she died
While soft winds shook the barley

I bore her to some mountain stream
And many's the summer blossom
I placed with branches soft and green
About her gore-stained bosom
I wept and kissed her cold, cold corpse
Then rushed o'er hill and valley
My vengeance on the foe to wreak
While soft winds shook the barley

'Twas blood for blood without remorse
I took at Oulart Hollow
And placed my true love's clay cold corpse
Where mine full soon may follow
Around her grave I wander drear
Noon, night and morning early
With aching heart whene'er I hear
The wind that shakes the barley

Song Notes

Written by Dr Robert Dwyer Joyce (1830-1883). The folk process has been at work on this and in most versions sung today, including the one I give above, there are various small differences from the text as Joyce wrote it.

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