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The Star of Sweet Dundalk

from Leaving Lurgangreen by Sarah Markey

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Almost three years ago, myself and Marty met up to put some music together and I told him I'd love to record a song from Dundalk in memory of my granny. Using the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, he sourced the lyrics to this beautiful song and together we then wrote the melody and arrangement.

"The Star of Sweet Dundalk" was collected in Drogheda and printed on a broadside ballad sheet as part of the Sabine Baring-Gould Popular Literature Collection.


The Star of Sweet Dundalk

In beauteous spring when birds do sing
And cheer each myrtle shade
And shepherds’ swains serenade the plains
To find their lambs that strayed
Nigh Roden’s grove I chanced to rove
To take a rural walk
When to my sight, appeared in white
The star of sweet Dundalk

I stood and gazed, being quite amazed
And still did her admire
Whose frame complete, would captivate
Prince, Lord, Knight, Duke or squire
With trembling tone, I made my moan
And struggled for to talk
Oh maiden fair please ease my care
Dear star of sweet Dundalk

I said fair maid, pray don’t degrade
Your poor heartbroken swain
Be not severe, but lend an ear
And ease my love-sick pain
Your answer sure, will kill or cure
Fair maid, from me don’t walk
But grant relief to my sick grief
Right star of sweet Dundalk

Kind sir if I would now comply
And give to you my hand
Perhaps that you would prove untrue
Be pleased to understand
My father he would banish me
And forlorn I might walk
Through Erin’s plain, like one insane
Far from my sweet Dundalk

Enchanting dame whilst life remain
Should you but condescend
For to be mine I would be thine
Until the very end
And you my dear would be my care
No matter who might talk
I’d bend to none, but you alone
Bright star of Sweet Dundalk

Kind sir I vow, I’ll milk my cow
Your love I shant prevent
So come with me I think you’ll see
My father will consent
So hand in hand they made their plans
And carelessly did walk
And slowly paced, to her sweet place
The town of sweet Dundalk

Her father he then welcomed me
And acted very mild
And he did grant, what I did want
Which was his only child
Without demand gave me his land
And house as white as chalk
In unity we live all three
In the town of Sweet Dundalk


from Leaving Lurgangreen, released May 6, 2022
Lyrics trad. (sourced from the Sabine Baring-Gould Popular Literature Collection via the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library)

Melody/arr. Sarah Markey, Marty Barry
Strings arr. Charlie Stewart

Sarah Markey - Eb Flute/vocals
Marty Barry - Guitar
Conor Markey - Bouzouki
Charlie Stewart - Double bass/strings


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Sarah Markey Glasgow, UK

Traditional flute player, singer and harpist based in Glasgow.

2019 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalist.

Debut album "Leaving Lurgangreen" available to pre-order now!
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