By ©Diana Thornton
I was a regular at O’Flaherty’s, Danny O’Flaherty’s pub in the French Quarter of New Orleans. O’Flaherty’s was as close as one can come to a real Irish pub here in the states. Danny and his brother Patrick both spoke Gaelic and may of the people who worked and frequented were Irish, Scottish, Welsh, etc. My great grandmother was a Graham. The DNA says I’m 24% Irish or Scottish. In 1993, Danny asked me to write a song about Irish immigration. I’d never tried to write a song about something specific so I was surprised by how easy it came to me. Perhaps all my genealogy experience helped. Danny recorded it for his album “From the Heart” Buy his album here
I recorded two versions for my own albums.
Away, Look Away, from the mountains of my home.
Away, Turn Away, from the marrow of my bones.
It’s with sorrow and sadness I leave her behind,
and goodbye feels like dying too slow.
Yet the land won’t support us, no work can be found,
there seems no other choice but to go.
Away, Sail Away, to a life of new unknowns.
Survive, and remain, through the struggle we have made.
I work to be free, and to never be afraid.
The land of my father seems lost in the mist, though he reads me his letters from there.
They’re just names from a place that I’d rather not know, I’ve got too many worries to care.
I pray for today, while the mem’ries slowly fade.
Arise, Rise Again, to the history in your name.
Recall and rejoice, the circle knows no shame
It’s been three generations since grandfather died, but his stories still live in my dreams.
And his legacy lingers in children and song, so it’s never as lost as it seems.
Look over your shoulder – your grandfather’s near, his blood flows within you too deep.
The pride of a heritage wakens to sing, like a winter bird rising from sleep.
Away, sail away, to return from where we came.
Email me for the chords.