Roseanne McGonigle


One evening fair to take the air alone I chanced to stray
By down a lucid silvery stream that ran along my way
I spied two lovers talking seated by a ruined hall
And the fair one’s name was Mary Jane the star of Donegal.

He clasped her hand and thus began my darling I must go
Unto the land of stars and stripes where peace and plenty flow
But I want your faithful promise that you’ll wed none at all
Until I do return unto the star of Donegal.

She blushed and sighed and thus replied it grieves my heart full sore
To think that you’re compelled to go and leave your native shore
Here is my hand you have my heart my only gift is small
But stay at home and do not roam from matchless Donegal.

My charming maid the young man said at home I cannot stay
To the Californian gold fields I’m bound to make my way
To accumulate a fortune and to build a splendid home
To elevate to rank in state my star of Donegal.

She raised her lily hand and said this castle in its day
With all its plains and large domains from Lifford to the sea
Belonged to my ancestors with many a splendid hall
And if my father had his rights he’d be lord of Donegal.

My charming maid the young man said the time is drawing near
When the Irish will return home after their long career
Our lovely land by God’s command the fairest of them all
And heaven will see old Ireland free bright star of Donegal.

She raised her lily hand and said God grant that I may see
Saint Patrick’s lovely isle of saints great glorious and free
If that were so then none would go to New York or Montréal
But cultivate and acreate the lands of Donegal.

He clasped her in his arms and my darling he did say
You know I love you dearly although I’m going away
Let us get wed without fear or dread and put an end to all
And then I’ll have my darling love the star of Donegal.



5 July 1991


McFeeley‘s Bar, Clonmany, Co. Donegal


5 min. 33 sec.


Jimmy McBride Collection


Performer and Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle

Roud Number