A folk song
about the narrator's love
for, or infatuation
with, a beautiful woman
named Rose McCann who lives in the County Down
. The lyrics
uses are as follows (many versions have just the first, second, and fifth verses
, and there are other verses
we don't sing, and of course other variants
on these verses
Near 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.
She looked so sweet from her two white 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 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 rare
And I said, says I, to a passerby
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
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."
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 a trance,
As she tripped through a jig or a reel,
When her eyes she'd roll, she would lift your soul,
As your heart she'd lightly steal
I've traveled a bit, but never was hit
Since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I meet with in shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the star of the County Down.
At the harvest fair
She'll be surely there
So I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
With my shoes shone bright
And my hat cocked right
For a smile from my nut-brown Rose.
No pipe I’ll smoke,
No horse I’ll yoke
Though my plow with the rust turn brown,
Till a smiling bride
By my own fire side
Sits the Star of the County Down.