Monday, March 7, 2011

When New York Was Irish

Words and music by Terence Winch
A bonus to the Rise Up Singing Project. This isn't in Rise Up Singing, but it's a nice one to sing nevertheless.

Erratum: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was not set 150 years ago. I may have implied that. It's set in the first 20 years of the 20th century. Whatevs.

Verses: G - - D / G Em C D D7 / 1st / G Em CD7 G
Chorus: G - C D / G Em C Am D7 / G Em C D / G Em CD7 G

I'll sing you a song of days long ago
when the people from Galway and the County Mayo
And all over Ireland came over to stay
And take up a new life in Americay

They were ever so happy, they were ever so sad
To grow old in the new world through good times and bad
All the parties and weddings, the ceilis and wakes
When New York was Irish, full of joys and heartbreaks / heartaches

We worked on the subways, we ran the saloons
We built all the bridges, we played all the tunes
We put out the fires and controlled City Hall
We started with nothing and wound up with it all

You could travel from Kingsbridge to Queens or midtown
from Highbridge to Bay Ridge, from uptown to down
from the East Side to the seaside those sweet summer scenes
We made New York City our island of dreams

I look at the photos now brittle with time
Of the people I cherished when the city was mine
Oh, how I loved all those radiant smiles
How I long for the days when we danced in the aisles

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