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Broadside ballads entitled 'The girl I left behind me' and 'Brennan on the moor'



Now for America I'm bound,
Against my inclination-
Yes, I must leave my native ground,
Which fills me with vexation,
Though I am bound for Baltimore,
Tis nature still shall bind me,
To think on her I do adore-
The girl I left behind me.

My friends they sent me off for fear
I'd wed a steam-loom weaver;
The bonnie lass that I love dear
Is of a mild behaviour.
When crossing the Atlantic waves,
I thought the tears would blind me,
Many a heavy sigh I gave
For the girl I left behind me.

While to the land of liberty
Our vessel she was sailing,
Thinks I, I never can be free,
When parted from my Helen.
No, no, I never can find rest,
For nature it does bind me,
To think of her that I love best,
The girl I left behind me.

O cruel friends, you banished me,
And left me broken hearted;
Sweet Helen, dear, tho' far from thee,
Our hearts will ne'er be parted.
Though I am in America,
Still constant you will find me;
I'll ne'er forget, though far away,
The girl I left behind me.

Were I possessed of all the gold
That lies in Baltimore,
I'd give it all for to behold
My own dear native shore.
In Glasgow fair, on the banks of Clyde,
My friends once more will find me;
'Tis there my Helen she does bide,
The girl I left behind me.

No! all the gold in Baltimore
Can yield to me no pleasure;
The bonnie lass that I adore,
I prize above all treasure,
Farewell ye Yankee lasses free,
For here ye will not bind me;
For once more I will go and seek
The girl I left behind me.

BRENNAN On the Moor.

It's of a fearless highwayman a story I will tell,
His name was William Brennan in Ireland he did dwell,
And on the Lilvart mountains commenced his wild career,
Where many a wealthy gentleman before him shook with fear.

A brace of loaded pistols he carried night and day,
He never robb'd a poor man upon the king's highway,
But what he'd taken from the rich, like Turpin and Black Bess,
He always did divide it with the widow in distress.

One night he robb'd a packman, the name of Pedlar Bawn,
They travelled on together till the day began to dawn;
The pedlar seeing his money gone, likewise his watch and chain,
He at once encountered Brennan, and robbed him back again.

When Brennan seeing the pedlar was as good a man as he,
He took him on the highway his companion for to be;
The pedlar threw away his pack without any more delay,
And proved a faithful comrade until his dying day.

One day upon the highway as Willie he sat down,
He met the Mayor of Cashel a mile outside the town;
The mayor he knew his features-I think, young man, said he,
Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me.

O Brennan's wife had gone to town, provisions for to buy,
Then she saw her Willie, and she began to cry;
He said give me that tenpenny, as soon as Willie spoke,
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak.

When with his loaded blunderbuss, the truth I will unfold,
He made the mayor tremble, and robb'd him of his gold;
One hundred pounds he offered for his apprehension there,
And he, with his horse and saddle, to the mountains did repair.

Then Brennan being an outlaw, upon the mountains high,
Where cavalry and infantry to take him they did try,
He laughed at them with scorn, until at length it's said,
By a false-hearted young man he was basely betrayed.

In the county of Tipperary, in the place they call Clonmore,
Willie Brennan and his comrade that did suffer sore,
He lay amongst the fern, which was thick upon the field,
And nine wounds he did receive before that he did yield.

Then Brennan and his companion, knowing they were betrayed,
He with the mounted cavalry a noble battle made;
He lost his foremost finger, which was shot off by a ball,
So Brennan and his comrade they were taken after all.

So they were taken prisoners, in irons they were bound,
And conveyed to Clonmore gaol, strong walls did him surround,
They were tried and found guilty, the judge made this reply,
For robbing on the highway you're both comdemned to die.

Farewell unto my wife, and to my children three,
Likewise my aged father, he may shed tears for me;
And to my loving mother, who tore her gray locks and cried,
Saying, I wish that, Willie Brennan, in your cradle you had died,

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Probable period of publication: 1870-1890   shelfmark: L.C.1270(015)
Broadside ballads entitled 'The girl I left behind me' and 'Brennan on the moor'
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