This is a set of lyrics to a more familiar tune, "Loch Lomond". Its provenance is entirely unknown, for though it is said to be a traditional Irish ballad, it is only ever written and sung in plain English. None can tell me who wrote it nor does it appear in any sources before the 20th century. The earliest recording I can find is from Josephine Beirne and George Sweatman in 1934. Tommy Makem made it famous in 1990 on his album "Songbag". This is makem's recording; this is a version recorded earlier, in 1981. I much prefer the High Kings version.



Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows
Fair is the lily of the valley 
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

Come over the hills, my bonnie Irish lass
Come over the hills to your darling
You choose the rose, love, and I'll make the vow
And I'll be your true love forever.


'Twas down by Killarney's green woods that we strayed
When the moon and the stars they were shining
The moon shone its rays on her locks of golden hair
And she swore she'd be my love forever.


It's not for the parting that my sister pains
It's not for the grief of my mother
'Tis all for the loss of my bonny Irish lass
That my heart is breaking forever.


Honestly, do actual irish songs mention Bonnie Irish Lasses? it sounds more like an Englishman trying to appear irish.

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