Margaret McEleney


I am a blithe young sailor lad who lately came ashore
It was my whole intention to spend my gold in store.
I espied a fair maid walking all in her Sunday dress
Saying my sailor gay is far away from the banks of Inverness.

And viewing all my chances as I walked up yonder way
I knew it was my Mary by what I heard her say.
I asked her if she was engaged she modestly said yes
To a sailor gay so far away from the banks of Inverness.

What colour was your true love’s hair or what was your true love’s name?
For I have been on the battlefield and I might know the same.
He had a ring on his little finger and a star all on his breast
Young Willie was my true love’s name from the banks of the Inverness.

If Willie was your true love’s name his face you’ll never see more
For he’s bound up in irons strong all on fair Turkey’s shore.
If that be so said Mary I’ll never go to rest
But I’ll wander brokenhearted on the banks of Inverness.

Then when he saw her loyalty he could no longer rest
He showed his little finger and the star all on his breast.
Throw off those tarry trousers put on your true blue dress
And you’ll go no more to battle from the banks of Inverness.

So now this couple are married they got married at great speed
They’ve a company of young sailor boys to walk with them indeed.
They have got money plenty to relieve their distress
God bless their lot in that sweet cot on the banks of Inverness.



26 February 1993


McFeeley‘s Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal


5 min. 10 sec.


Jimmy McBride Collection


Perfomer and Inishowen Traditional Singers‘ Circle

Roud Number