Star of the County Down
Sheet Music (and more information about this song)
Near Banbridge Town, in the County Down
one morning last July,
from a boreen green came a sweet colleen,
and she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so neat from her two bare feet
to the sheen of her nut-brown hair,
Such a coaxing elf, sure I shook myself
for to see I was really there.
From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay,
and from Galway to Dublin town,
no maid I've seen like the brown colleen
that I met in the County Down.
As she onward sped sure I shook my head
and I looked with a feeling rare,
and I said, says I, to a passer-by,
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
He smiled at me, and he said, says he,
"That's the gem of Ireland's crown,
young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann,
she's the Star of the County Down."
She'd a soft brown eye and a look so sly
and a smile like the rose in June
And you hung on each note from her lily-white throat,
as she lilted an Irish tune.
At the pattern dance you were held in trance
as she skipped through a jig or reel
When her eyes she'd roll, she would lift your soul
And your heart she would likely steal
I've travelled a bit, but I ne'er was hit
since my roving career began.
But 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 meet with in shawl or gown,
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the Star of the County Down.
At the harvest fair she'll be surely there
and I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
with my hat cocked right, and my shoes shone bright,
for a smile from my nut-brown Rose.
No pipe I'll smoke, no horse I'll yoke
till my plow it is rust coloured brown,
till my smiling bride by my own fireside
sits the Star of the County Down.
History: Words by Cathal McGarvey (1866-1927), Ramelton, County Donegal.