Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Trad Tuesday: Only Our Rivers Run Free by Mickey MacConnell

This version is sung by Christy Moore though Only Our Rivers Run Free has been recorded by many Irish artists. Mickey MacConnell wrote this song in 1973 about the troubles in Northern Ireland though the song has a much older feel to it.

The lyrics are poignant and lovely:

Only Our Rivers Run Free
When apples still grow in November 
When Blossoms still bloom from each tree 
When leaves are still green in December 
It's then that our land will be free 
I wander her hills and her valleys 
And still through my sorrow I see 
A land that has never known freedom 
And only her rivers run free 

I drink to the death of her manhood 
Those men who'd rather have died 
Than to live in the cold chains of bondage 
To bring back their rights were denied 
Oh where are you now when we need you 
What burns where the flame used to be 
Are ye gone like the snows of last winter 
And will only our rivers run free? 

How sweet is life but we're crying 
How mellow the wine but it's dry 
How fragrant the rose but it's dying 
How gentle the breeze but it sighs 
What good is in youth when it's aging 
What joy is in eyes that can't see 
When there's sorrow in sunshine and flowers 
And still only our rivers run free

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