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IRTRAD-L  November 1998

IRTRAD-L November 1998

Subject:

Re: Thousands are sailing

From:

Sean O'Malley <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Irish Traditional Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Nov 1998 15:27:06 -0500

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (92 lines)

On Fri, 6 Nov 1998, (John Moulden) wrote:

> << Does anyone know about a song called Thousands are sailing which sung
>  by the Pogues? >>
> Below is a version collated from the ones sung by the traditional singer John
> Maguire of Roslea, Co Fermanagh and one in the papers of Sam Henry and
> published in with background and music in my book "Thousands are sailing: a
> brief song history of Irish emigration." It is freely offered for singing or
> study but is subject to copyright if reproduced for profit.

And here's the Pogues version off the WWW ... Anyone have the *tune* for
the *original* (non-Pogues) version?  Can't find it anywhere...

-=-
   Thousands Are Sailing
                                        by
                                    The Pogues

   "Thousands Are Sailing"
   If I Should Fall from Grace with God (CD, 1988)

   The island it is silent now
   But the ghosts still haunt the waves
   And the torch lights up a famished man
   Who fortune could not save

   Did you work upon the railroad
   Did you rid the streets of crime
   Were your dollars from the white house
   Were they from the five and dime
   Did the old songs taunt or cheer you
   And did they still make you cry
   Did you count the months and years
   Or did your teardrops quickly dry

   Ah, No, says he 'twas not to be
   On a coffin ship I came here
   And I never even got so far
   That they could change my name

   Thousands are sailing
   Across the Western Ocean
   To a land of opportunity
   That some of them will never see
   Fortune prevailing
   Across the Western Ocean
   Their bellies full
   And their spirits free
   They'll break the chains of poverty
   And they'll dance
   In Manhattan's desert twilight
   In the death of afternoon
   We stepped hand in hand on Broadway
   Like the first man on the moon

   And "The Blackbird" broke the silence
   As you whistled it so sweet
   And in Brendan Behan's footsteps
   I danced up and down the street

   Then we said goodnight to Broadway
   Giving it our best regards
   Tipped our hats to Mister Cohan
   Dear old Times Square's favourite bard

   Then we raised a glass to J.F.K.
   And a dozen more besides
   When I got back to my empty room
   I suppose I must have cried

   Thousands are sailing
   Again across the ocean
   Where the hand of opportunity
   Draws tickets in a lottery
   Postcards we're mailing
   Of sky-blue skies and oceans
   From rooms the daylight never sees
   Where lights don't glow on Christmas trees

   But we dance to the music
   And we dance
   Thousands are sailing
   Across the Western Ocean
   Where the hand of opportunity
   Draws tickets in a lottery

   Where e'er we go, we celebrate
   The land that makes us refugees
   From fear of Priests with empty plates
   From guilt and weeping effigies
   And we dance

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