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Posted by R. Berg on June 22, 2001

In Reply to: Carrickfergus posted by Colin on June 21, 2001

: Where do the words of this strange traditional Irish folk song, come from? + what do they mean?

: __________________
: Traditional
: __________________

: I wish I was in Carrickfergus
: Only for nights in Ballygrand
: I would swim over the deepest ocean
: Only for nights in Ballygrand

: But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
: And neither have I the wings to fly
: I wish I had a handsome boatman
: To ferry me over, my love and I

: Now in Killenny it is reported
: On marble stones there as black as ink
: With gold and silver I would support her
: But I'll sing no more now till I get a drink

: 'Cause I am drunk today and I'm seldom sober
: A handsome rover from town to town
: Ah but i'm sick now my days are numbered
: Come all you young men and lay me down

From a brief stroll on Google: Carrickfergus is a medieval town near Belfast, and below) tells more about it. Another site says this: "A soulful song of a man in his Autumn years, wandering and alone, reflecting on his lost love, lost family, lost friends, with only his own end to look forward to."

I interpret the report on black stones in the third stanza as a gravestone inscription for the woman the narrator intended to marry.