Home > Celtic Pride > Holy Ground: A Tip o’ the Hat to the Dear Emerald Isle

Holy Ground: A Tip o’ the Hat to the Dear Emerald Isle

February 27th, 2010
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Fare thee well, my lovely Dinah,
A thousand times adieu.
For we’re going away from the Holy Ground
And the girls we all love true.
We will sail the salt seas over
And then return for shore
And still I live in hope to see
The Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

You’re the girl that I adore,
And still I live in hope to see
the Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

Now when we’re out a-sailing
And you are far behind
Fine letters will I write to you
With the secrets of my mind,
The secrets of my mind, my girl,
You’re the girl that I adore,
And still I live in hope to see
The Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

Oh now the storm is raging
And we are far from shore;
The poor old ship she’s sinking fast
And the riggings they are tore.
The night is dark and dreary,
We can scarcely see the moon,
But still I live in hope to see
the Holy Ground once more.
[Fine Girl You Are]

And now the storm is over
And we are safe and well.
We will go into a public house
And we’ll sit and drink like hell.
We will drink strong ale and porter
And we’ll make the rafters roar,
And when our money is all spent
We will go to sea once more.

Chords: KEY C

verse/chorus:

Background: Irish lyrics to the tune of “Old Swansea Town Once More”. The “Holy Ground” is a quarter of Cobh (once known as Queenstown), which was inhabited mainly by fisherman. The tune is also refered to as The Cobh Sea Shanty. It was popular on the docks of Cork and Cobh as well as on the ships. The tune was originally a capstan shanty – a song sung as sailors turned the capstan to raise the achor.

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Categories: Celtic Pride
  1. Carl
    February 27th, 2010 at 13:12 | #1

    The only problem with my beloved Ireland is there are no confessional Lutheran churches. When I lived there, the only Lutheran church I knew of held services in German and they were conducted by a woman.

  2. March 1st, 2010 at 12:20 | #2

    I am 1/8th Irish, and am also one of eight children. Interestingly enough, I’m the only one that turned out Irish, so the ratio held true.

    I rediscovered my musical heritage while in seminary, and now play whistle and flute occasionally at local pub sessions here in Minneapolis. I mostly do instrumental, and love the ballads, but never got much into the shantys, or the Clancy/Makem music in general. They are a dear bunch of people, however. My family was even invited by Paddy Clancy’s widow to stay at her home in Ireland should we ever visit, and she had only just met us.

  3. Rev. David (O’Beirne) Sidwell
    March 3rd, 2010 at 07:46 | #3

    When I song like this uses a woman’s name (Dinah) this is a way of talking about Ireland. Under the English occupation patriotic songs could land you in jail. So they made the song sound like a lament for a lost or far away lover. Every Irish ear knew exactly what (not who) was being mourned. Such a song is featured prominently in John Ford’s Rio Grande.

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