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Co-written with Jack McGuire


I went to sleep and dreamt awhile
Of my pretty Colleen Liz McGee –
So long away from her sweet smile,
Wasting years of my life out at sea ...

I'm on the big clipper that's bound for New York
With the finest of linens from Dublin and Cork.

Stormy winds blowing the ship to and fro,
Merchants are thinking of profits in gold.

I'll take my share in their fine haul
And be gone with the falling of night;
In answer to my sweetheart's call
I'll take leave of this seafaring life ...

I'm on the big clipper, now homeward bound
For Ireland and the escape I've found.

Stormy winds blowing the ship to and fro,
Merchants are greedily counting their gold.

Fare thee well, I'm off and gone,
With me purse full of sovereigns I've stole;
Away, away ... 'twill be the dawn
Before me crime's tale can be told.

I've blood on me hands, but can wash them clean
When I start a new life with me sweet colleen.

Stormy winds buffet the roads that I take;
I'm ahead of the law, but behind the storm's wake.

A hard day's journey brought me here
To the cottage where my true-love bides;
Its windows' lights shine bright and clear
As she sits by the warm fireside.

But, with head on her lap, there a young man lays –
She is stroking his hair; I am filled with rage.

Curse her for ever! I'll take my revenge:
Let them lie there together in death 'til time ends!

Well I've paid for me gold with a broken heart;
Now the whip of my conscience will drive me far.

Stormy winds lash me as I stumble on;
I've gold in me pocket, but nowhere to run.
the gathering storm
"Aufziehendes Gewitter" by Karl Kaspar Pitz, 1782

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford