Sheet Music: Carrickfergus

Alternate titlesDo Bhí Bean Uasal
ComposerTraditional Irish
InstrumentationFlute solo
KeyA major
Time signature4/4
Tempo58 BPM
Performance time1:10
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (46 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (546 kB)
Date added2010-05-28
Last updated2010-05-28
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 1.2 (average)
Celtic Music, Traditional/Folk


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Friday 28 May 2010

Tune of the Day: Carrickfergus

Traditional Irish song

The origins of this Irish folk song are unclear, but it has been traced to an Irish language song, “Do Bhí Bean Uasal” (“There Was a Noblewoman”), which is attested to the poet Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Gonna, who died in 1745. The original Irish lyrics were about an unfaithful wife, a bawdy and humorous ditty. By contrast, the English lyrics are sentimental and nostalgic.

I wish I was in Carrickfergus,
only for nights in Ballygran
I would swim over the deepest ocean,
the deepest ocean for my love to find
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
and neither have I wings to fly
If I could find me a handsome boatman
to ferry me over to my love and die

The song has been recorded by many well-known performers including Joan Baez, Dominic Behan, Charlotte Church, The Dubliners, Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry, Loreena McKennitt and Órla Fallon of Celtic Woman.