Peggy O'Rafferty

Melody - "Paddy O'Rafferty"

Robert Tannahill

O could I fly like the green-coated fairy,
I'd skip o'er the ocean to dear Tipperary,
Where all the young fellows are blithsome and merry,
While here I lament my sweet Peggy O'Rafferty;
How could I bear in my bosom to leave her!
In absence I think her more lovely than ever;
With thoughts of her beauty I'm all in a fever,
Since others may woo my sweet Peggy O'Rafferty.

2. Scotland, thy lasses are modest and bonny,
But here every Jenny has got her own Johnny,
And though I might call them my jewel and honey,
My heart is at home with sweet Peggy O'Rafferty;
Wistful I think on my dear native mountains,
Their green shady glens, and their crystalline fountains,
And ceaseless I heave the deep sigh of repentance,
That ever I left my sweet Peggy O'Rafferty.

3. Fortune, 'twas thine all the light foolish notion,
That led me to rose o'er the wide-rolling ocean,
But what now to me all thy hopes of promotion.
Since I am so far from sweet Peggy O'Rafferty;
Grant me as many thirteens as will carry me
Down through the country, and over the ferry,
I'll hie me straight home into dear Tipperary,
And never more leave my sweet Peggy O'Rafferty.

In a letter to Mr George Thomson, with this song, dated 3d July, 1809, Tannahill says, "I have gleaned the three preceding airs for you. You may depend on their being genuine Hibernians. I had them taken down from the voice. The songs usually sung to them are as low stuff as can be. I am firmly of opinion, that the very popular air of 'Peggy O'Rafferty' is worthy of being adopted into the singing class, provided a good song can be had for it. I shall be glad to know your mind of it, and how my verses please you. 'The Lass that wears Green' is surely a fine little air. My song to it, and the one following, are just warm from the Parnassian mint. I cannot as yet guess how they stand."- Editor.

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