words and music by traditional
as I lay dreaming of pleasant days gone by
My mind been bent on rambling to Ireland I did fly
I stepped on board a vision and followed with a will
Til next I came to anchor at the cross in Spancil Hill
It been on the twenty-third
of June the day before the fair
When Irelands sons and daughters and friends assembled there
The young, the old, the brave and the bold came their duty to fulfill
At the parish church in Clooney, a mile from Spancil Hill
Delighted by the novelty,
enchanted by the scene.
Where in me early boyhood where often I had been.
I thought I heard a murmur. I think I hear it still.
It's the little stream of water that flows down Spancil Hill.
To amuse a passing
fancy, I laid down on the ground.
And all my school companions, they shortly gathered round.
When we were home returning, we danced with bright good will
To Martin Monahan's music, at the cross at Spancil Hill.
I went to see me neighbours
to see what they might say
The old ones were all dead and gone, the young ones turning grey
But I met the tailor Quigley, he's as bold as ever still
Ah, he used to make me britches when I lived at Spancil Hill
I paid a flying visit
to my first and only love
She's as white as any lily, gentle as a dove
And she threw her arms around me, saying Johnny I love you still
Ah, she's now a farmer's daughter and the pride of Spancil Hill
I dreamt I knelt and
kissed her as in the days of yore
Ah, Johnny you're only joking as many the time before
Then the cock he crew in the morning, he crew both loud and shrill
I awoke in California, many miles from Spancil Hill
F C7 F Bb F C7 F
Bb F C7
Bb F Bb C7
F C7 F Bb F C7 F
Background: On June 23rd each year a major horse fair takes place at Spancilhill, a cross-roads four miles from Ennis. In the song the emigrant dreams of the spot and the happy memories it holds for him.
*Special Note* Although the actual town is "Spancilhill", the song has entered the folk tradition as "Spancil Hill". This is how we learned the song from our predecessors, thus that is how we list the lyrics. Click here to find out more about the actual song origins.
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