Star of the County Down
words and music traditional
Near to Banbridge Town, in the County Down
One morning last July,
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen,
And she smiled as she passed me by;
Well, she looked so sweet from her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair;
Such a coaxing elf, sure I shook myself
To make sure I was really there.
From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay,
And from Galway to Dublin town,
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.
As she onward sped, sure I shook my head
And I looked with a feeling rare.
Then I said, says I, to a passer-by,
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
Well, he smiled at me, and with pride says he,
"That's the gem of old Ireland's crown,
She's young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann,
She's the Star of the County Down."
Well I've traveled a bit, but ne'er was hit
Since my roving career began;
Then fair and square I surrendered there
To the charms of young Rose McCann.
I'd a heart to let and no tenant yet
Did I see in shawl or gown,
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the Star of the County Down.
At the harvest fair, I'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
With my shoes shone bright, and my hat cocked right
For a smile from my nut-brown Rose.
No pipe I'll smoke, and no horse I'll yoke
Though with rust my plow turns brown,
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the Star of the County Down.
Background: I don't remember where I first heard this song, but I love it. The first recorded copy of the song took place in the late eighteenth century.