Australian Folk Songs

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Song Of The Captive (1871)

Mother, across the plain
Erin aroon !
Though bound with rankling chain,
Erin aroon !
In alien land forlorn,
Still brightest hopes are born
To me this fair spring morn
Erin aroon !

Last night the kindly stars
And the fair moon
Gilded my prison bars,
Erin aroon !
And when they waned away
Came forth the God of Day
Making my dungeon,
Erin aroon !

To me a robin sings
Hopefullest tune;
To thee my spirit wing,
Erin aroon !
And as I close my eyes
To me thy scenes arise
Fair as of Paradise !
Erin aroon !

Over the dancing foam,
Erin aroon!
On love's wings flee I home !
Erin aroon !
Clasp I the vanithe,
Climbs the child on my knee ;
I am embracing thee !
Aileen aroon !

Ah, though my dream doth breck
Sadly and soon,
When to my state I wake,
Erin aroon !
Though it no more deceives,
Yet a bright hope it leaves ;
No more my spirit grieves,
Erin aroon !

Robin, O flee thee back,
Grant me the boon,
In the sun's crimson track,
Robin aroon !
Sing to the vanithe,
Child, and Aileen machree,
That still my SOUL is free !
Erin aroon !



From the Melbourne newspaper the Advocate Saturday 9 December 1871 p. 6.

This is an adaptation of a very popular Irish song "Aileen Aroon" which we know from newspaper advertising reports was performed in Australia as early as 1845.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory