The star of the County Down

Near to Banbridge town, in the county Down
One morning in July
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by
Oh, she looked so neat from her two white feet
To the sheen of her nutbrown hair
Sure the coaxing elf, I'd to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.

From Banrty Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the county Down

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling quare
'And I said' says I to a passer-by
'Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?'
Oh, he smiled at me, and with pride says he:
'That's the gem of Ireland's crown,
She's young rosie McCann, from the banks of the Bann
She's the Star of the county down.'

From Bantry Bay...

She'd a soft brown eye and a look so sly
And a smile like the rose in June
And you hung on each note from her lily-white throat
As she lilted an Irish tune
At the pattern dance you were held in trance
As she tripped through a reela or a jug
And when her eyes she'd roll, she'd coax upon my soul
A spud from a hungry pig.

From Bantry Bay...

I've travelled a bit, but never was hit
Since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered thee
To the charm of young Rosie McCann
With a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I meet within shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the Star of the county Down

From Bantry Bay...

At the crossroads fair I'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
And I'll try sheep's eyes and deludhering lies
On the heart of the nut-brown Rose
No pipe I smoke, no horse I'll yoke
Though my plough with rust turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the Star of the county Down.

From Bantry Bay...


written by Cathal Mac Garvey
tune traditional

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