The Emigrant Voyage to America
Words: Trad. / Music: Tom Walsh

Since the terrible famine in Ireland, which began in 1846, emigration soon became a
source of refuge. For many, there was no other alternative but to leave or starve!
This song is about the departure of some of emigrants who could more easily be
counted in their thousands. It was individuals though who left their personal
stories behind as narrated in this straightforward song of farewell from Cobh
(formally Queenstown) and their weary journey across the Atlantic Ocean.


On the 22 Day of march in 1894,
A young aspiring Irishman sailed for the Yankee shore.
Oh, leaving Queenstown quay in Cork on that eventful day,
These were his words, his parting words that lonely youth did say.

Goodbye lovely Erins Isle that we may never see no more.
A long farewell to all my friends that’s on the Shamrock Shore.
I’m bound to cross the raging waves to prosper if I can.
With prospects bright before me in the land of Uncle Sam.

The tender if steamed out from the quay, the shouts and walls arose,
On every side I heard those cries, great sorrows to disclose.
That monarch of the raging sea lay still beneath my view.
A ship that no-one ever steared, tat never steamed untrue.

Goodbye lovely Erins Isle...

Her passengers been got on board the bells did loudly sound.
Her course then quickly she reversed, we soon were westward bound.
And steaming ‘round off kerrys coast we all gave manys a wail.

We took one look, one partng glimpse of lovely Inisfail.

Goodbye lovely Erins Isle...

When we had sailed three thousand miles across the trackless trail.
We spied two gorgeous icebergs that were floating on the main.
That morning fair, the sky being clear, on deck we all di run.
To view those crystal monsters that were dazzling in the sun.

Goodbye lovely Erins Isle...

On Ellis Island we did land after sailing o’er the seas.
The Stars and Stripes there proudly waved and fluttered in the bree.
How proud our hearts would beat that day if o’er us could be seen,
Our ancient flag, our own dear flag, our lovely flag of green.
Goodbye lovely Erins Isle...