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She moved through the fair“, a traditional song from the Westcoast of Ireland that may well date back to medieval times, was first published in 1909. Here is a spine-tingling rendition by Lorenna McKennett in the Alhambra, where she resurrects the Eastern influences in Celtic tradition. The Simple Minds in 1989 recorded a song called “Belfast Child”, using the traditional tune but updating the words to reflect the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Things are definitely looking up. See Spotlight in August, “Northern Ireland: Peace and Beauty”.

Lorenna McKennitt

My love said to me, “My mother won’t mind
And my father won’t slight you for your lack of kind
And she stood away from me and this she did say,
“It will not be long now ’till our wedding day.”

As she stepped away from me, and she moved through the fair
And fondly I watched her move here and move there
And then she turned homeward, with one star awake
As the swans in the evening move over the lake.

I dreamt it last night that my true love came in
So softly she entered, her feet made no din
She came up beside me and this she did say,
“It will not be long now ’till our wedding day.”

Lack of “kind” (property) or “kine” (archaeic for cows) means that she is poor. The last verse, where she comes into the room without making a sound, implies that she is in fact dead and that the singer is only dreaming of her.

Simple Minds: Belfast Child

When my love said to me
Meet me down by the gallows tree
For it’s sad news I bring
About this old town and all that it’s suffering
Some say troubles abound
Some day soon they’re gonna pull the old town down
One day we’ll return here,
When the Belfast child sings again

Brothers, sisters, where are you now
As I look for you right through the crowd
All my life here I’ve spent
With my faith in God, the church and the government
Some say troubles abound
Some day soon they’re gonna pull the old town down

One day we’ll return here,
When the Belfast child sings again
Some come back Billy, won’t you come on home
Come back Mary, you’ve been away so long
The streets are empty, and your mother’s gone
The girls are crying, its been oh so long

Come back people, you’ve been gone a while
And the war is raging, in the Emerald Isle
That’s flesh and blood, man, that’s flesh and blood
All the girls are crying but all’s not lost

The streets are empty, the streets are cold
Won’t you come on home, won’t you come on home
The streets are empty, life goes on

One day we’ll return here
When the Belfast child sings again
learning english with songs :-) englischlernen mit liedern