Dear Old Donegal    (1942)

It seems like only yesterday, I sailed from out of Cork
A stranger from old Erin's isle, I landed in New York
There wasn't a soul to greet me there, a stranger on the shore
But Irish luck was with me there, and riches came galore

And now I'm going back again to dear old Erin's isle
My friends will meet me on the pier and greet me with a smile
Their faces, sure, I've almost forgot, I've been so long away
But my mother will introduce them all and this to me will say

"Shake hands with your Uncle Mike, me boy
And here is your sister Kate
And there's the girl you used to swing
Down on the garden gate
Shake hands with all of the neighbors
And kiss the colleens all
You're as welcome as the flowers in May
To dear old Donegal."

They gave a party when I came back
And they came from near and far
And the road was lined, for near a mile
With Irish jaunting cars
And the whiskey flowed like buttermilk
To fill our hearts with joy
And the piper played an Irish reel
To greet the Yankee boy

Tomorrow off to church I'll go
And wedded I will be
To my sweet little colleen
Sweet Biddy McGee
And Biddy was true and faithful
To her Barny over the sea
And she'll join the harp and shamrock
To the stars of liberty.

The dancers will reel the whole night long. Such fun as never seen
The lads will be decked in corduroy, the Colleens wearin' green
There'll be thousands that I never saw, I've been so long away
But my mother will introduce them all and this, to me, will say

"Shake hands with your Uncle Mike, me boy
And here is your sister Kate
And there's the girl you used to swing
Down on the garden gate
Shake hands with all of the neighbors
And kiss the colleens all
You're as welcome as the flowers in May
To dear old Donegal."

There came - Brannigan, Flannigan, Milligan, Gilligan
Duffy, McGuffy, Malachy, Mahone
Rafferty, Lafferty, Donnelly, Connelly
Dooley, O'Hooley, Muldowney, Malone

Calona, O'Hona, O'Rannahan, Flanaghan
(or Madigan, Cadigan, Lanihan, Flanihan)
Faigan, O'Hagan, O'Hoolihan, Flynn
Shanihan, Manihan, Fogarty, Hogarrty
Kelly, O'Kelly, McGuinness, McGuinn.

"Pat O'Brien was late!"

Then I'll shake the hand of me Uncle Mike
Shake hands with me sister Kate
Oh, I'll hug and squeeze as much as I please
The girl by the garden gate
I'll invite all the neighbors to me wedding, great and small,
And I'll live content and pay no rent in dear old Donegal!

Lyrics by Steve Graham.
Recorded by Bing Crosby.


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