At Twenty-One


Lyric as sung by Andy Irvine

At twenty-one I first begun
To court my neighbour’s child
We both being young and full of fun
Bright Phoebus on us smiled
We both being young and full of fun
Right well we did agree
‘Twas well I knew she would prove true
And loyal unto me.

At twenty-two no man could view
All the beauty that this maid possessed
Her curling hair in ringlets fair
Hung down her snow white breast
The picture of her two blue eyes
My pencil cannot tell
Her effigy no hand could draw
Nor paint her parallel

At twenty-four I did adore
This beautiful young fair
When she gave her hand
To a rich young man
Alas but I was poor
They sailed away across the sea
And left me here to mourn
That bright May day she sailed away
Never more for to return

Recorded by Andy Irvine/Dick Gaughan on “Parallel Lines” (1981)
Andy notes: “I heard this song from the singing of Robert Cinnamond who lived a ripe old age at the banks of Lough Neagh. He had a vast repertoire, much of which was collected for the BBC by Sean O’Boyle in 1955, including this heart-breaker.”


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