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The Connemara Cradle Song

[ Roud - ; Henry H596 ; Ballad Index HHH596 ; Mudcat 7787 ; words John Francis Waller, music trad., adapted from the tune of Down in the Valley]

According to Pat Conway’s book The Very Best Irish Songs & Ballads, (Dublin: Walton Manufacturing, 1999), page 44, Connemara Cradle Song was written by John Francis Waller (1809-1894).

The song was popularized by Mayo-born Delia Murphy (1902-1971) who apparently claimed copyright for it in 1951.

Gay Woods sang The Connemara Cradle Song in 2000 on Steeleye Span’s CD Bedlam Born. She noted:

Inspired to sing this song after hearing a play on RTE Radio: “Riders to the Sea” by J.M. Synge. For the West Wind and the Atlantic Ocean.


Steeleye Span sing The Connemara Cradle Song

On wings of the wind o’er the dark rolling deep,
Angels are coming to watch over thee,
Angels are coming to watch o’er thy sleep.
So list to the wind coming over the sea.

Chorus (2× after each verse):
Hear the wind blow, love, hear the wind blow
Lean your head over and hear the wind blow

The currachs are sailing way out on the blue,
Laden with herring of silvery hue,
O silver the herring, silver the sea -
Soon there’ll be silver for baby and me.

The currachs tomorrow will stand on the shore
And daddy goes sailing, a-sailing no more.
The nets will be drying, the nets heaven blessed,
And safe in my arms, contended he’ll rest.