Old Woman In Cotton

Old woman in cotton upon the doorstep
How do you live tell me how are you kept
How have you aged since the days when you leapt
In the meadow before I was born

Old woman in cotton, say why does your glance
Stab the young maidens and lads like a lance
How many years since the days when you danced
In the meadow before I was born

Old woman in cotton tell me how long
You’ve sat here and thought on all of the wrongs
Done you since you sang a young lassie’s song
In the meadow before I was born

Old woman in cotton no longer a dove
When sunset surrounds you what do you think of
Is it the young lad that once you did love
In the meadow before I was born

Old woman in cotton upon the doorstep
How many years has your vigil been kept
How many tears have your wrinkled eyes wept
In the meadow before I was born

Words and Music by Pat Carroll/Andy Irvine

“In 1966 I concocted a faux-folk song lyric called “Dublin Lady”.  It was set by the singer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Irvine in his pre-legendary days as an original member of the group Sweeney’s Men who were active during what in Ireland was inaccurately called the “ballad boom”.  The group never recorded “Dublin Lady” although they did record another Carroll/Irvine song, “Old Woman in Cotton” as the ‘B’-side of a single that reached Number 5 in the Irish hit parade. It was one of only two songs of mine that have ever troubled the compilers of any best selling music charts. The publishing rights to both of these songs were originally assigned to the Segway Music Company Ltd., then located in a music store off Dublin’s Parnell Square and overseen by (in my experience) a pleasant gentleman named Vincent Nordell.” Pat Carroll

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