Cara Dillon

The Streets of Derry – Cara Dillon with Paul Brady

There was a time when I had a television. One of the series I loved watching was “Transatlantic Sessions” where a bunch of folk musicians got together to play some beautiful music. If I remember correctly, it took place in a large old Perthshire house, and the sessions were interspersed with views across the gorgeous Scottish countryside. I have followed Irish lass Cara Dillon for a number of years and saw her once, in concert. She has incredible talent and is quite stunning. Here she is with husband, Sam Lakeman, and fellow countryman, Paul Brady.


After the morning there comes an evening
And after evening another day
And after a false love there comes a true love
I’d have you listen now to what I say

I swear my love is the finest young man
As fair as any the sun shines on
But how to save him, I do not know it
For he has got a sentence to be hung

As he was marching the streets of Derry
I own he marched up right manfully
Being much more like a commanding officer
Than a man to die upon the gallows tree

What keeps my love, she’s so long in coming?
Oh what detains her so long from me?
Or does she think it a shame or scandal
To see me die upon the gallows tree?

He looked around and he saw her coming
And she was dressed all in woollen fine
The weary steed that my love was riding
It flew more swifftly than the wind

Come down, come down from that cruel gallows
I’ve got your pardon from the king
And I’ll let them see that they dare not hang you
And I’ll crown my love with a bunch of green


Bold Jamie


Oh rise up my darling and come with me
I want to go with you and leave this country
To leave my fathers dwelling, this house and the land
So away goes Jamie, his love in his arms

They go over hills and the mountains and glens
Travelling all through the night in the mist and the rain
But her father has followed and has taken his men
And he captured poor Jamie, his love in his arms

Now home she was taken, her room she is bound
While poor Jamie lies on the cold stoney ground
And he knows all the while before the judge he will stand
For the stealing of nothing but his own true love’s hand

In the cold hard iron his hands they are bound
Handcuffed like a murderer and tied to the ground
And the goaler tells Jamie “last night I did hear
That your Lady will hang you or else set you clear”

But the judge says “this young girl being tender in youth
If Jamie is guilty she will tell the truth”
Then the radiant beauty before him did stand
“Oh I’m happy to see you my bold Irish lad”

But the father cries out “Lord have pity on me
For the man came to bring disgrace to my family
And he stole my only daughter, all part of his plan
And if you don’t hang him I will quit the land”

But the daughter is crying and begging is she
“The fault isn’t Jamie’s, the blame lies with me
I forced him to leave and run away with me
And I’ll die if I can’t save my bold Jamie”

“Good Lord he has stole all her jewels and her rings
Gold watches and amber, all my precious things
And it cost me a fortune in thousands of pounds
And I’ll take the life of Jamie before I lie in the ground

“Good Lord I gave them as a token of love
An when we are parted I’ll have them removed
But a true lovers token wear on your right hand
And think of me darling when you’re in a foreign land”

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