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Dan O'Hara


[Song Brook]

Key of C

From the singing of the great Delia Murphy. My good friend Dr. Jim Flanagan, anthropologist, musician and singer from Ballyvourney, County Cork, kindly passed on the following about Dan O'Hara: Having visited the Heritage Center in Clifden, County Galway, Jim found that Dan O'Hara was indeed a real person who lived in the years leading up to the famine of 1846/47 with his wife and eight children. He had a homestead between Clifden and Recess in Connemara but when he increased the size of the windows in his cottage, this "improvement" led the landlord to increase his rent. When he could not pay he was evicted. He emigrated to New York but during the passage over his wife and three of his children died. He arrived in New York a sad and broken man and made a meager living by selling matches on the street corners of the city.

Sure it's poor I am today
For God gave and took away
And He left without a home poor Dan O'Hara
With these matches in my hand
In the frost and snow I stand
So it's here I am today your broken hearted

Achusla geal mo chroi*, won't you buy
a box from me
And you'll have the prayers of Dan from Connemara
I'll sell them cheap and low, buy a box before you go
From the broken hearted farmer Dan O'Hara

In the year of sixty-four
I had acres by the score
And the grandest land you ever ran a plough through
But the landlord came you know
And he laid our home so low
So it's here I am today your broken hearted

For twenty years or more
Did misfortune cross our door
My poor old wife and I were sadly parted
We were scattered far and wide
And our children starved and died
So it's here I am today your broken hearted

Though in frost and snow I stand
Sure the shadow of God's hand
It lies warm about the brow of Dan O'Hara
And soon with God above
I will meet the ones I love
And I'll find the joys I lost in Connemara

*Achuisla geal mo chroi: Dear brightness of my heart