Banks Of Claudy

(Traditional version)

Words & Music:

Traditional Irish


It was on a summer's morning all in the month of May

Down by yon flowery gardens I carelessly did stray

I overheard a fair maid in sorrow did complain

All for her absent lover who plowed the raging main


I boldly stepped up to her and gived her a surprise

I knew she did not know me, for I being in disguise

I said, "My charming creature, my heart and joy's delight

How far do you mean to wander this dark and dreary night?"


"Kind sir, the way to Claudy, if you will please to show

Oh take pity on a fair maid that knows not where to go

I am on the search of a faithless young man and Johnny is his name

And all on the Banks of Claudy I am told he does remain"


"This is the Banks of Claudy, fair maid, where on you stand

But don't depend on Johnny for he's a false young man

Oh don't depend on Johnny, for he'll not meet you here

But tarry with me in yon greenwoods, no danger need you fear"


"Oh if Johnny, he was here this night, he'd keep me from all harm

But he's in the field of battle all in his uniform

Since he's in the field of battle, his foes he does defy

Like a ruling king of honor, he fought in the war of Troy"


"It is six long weeks and better since Johnny left the shore

He is crossing the wide ocean where the foaming billows roar

Since he's crossing the wide ocean for honor and for fame

But this I heard, the ship was wrecked on the fatal coast of Spain"


Oh it's when she heard the dreadful news, she flew into despair

With a wringing of her hands and a toring of her hair

Saying, "If Johnny, he is drowned, no man on earth I'll take

But through lonesome groves and valleys I'll wander for his sake"


Oh it's when he saw her loyalty, no longer could he stand

He flew into her arms saying, "Betsy, I'm the man"

Saying, "Betsy, I'm the young man, the cause of all your pain

But since we've met on Claudy's banks, we shall never part again"


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