The Streets Of Derry


After the morning there comes an evening
And after the evening another day
And after a false love there comes a true love
I’ll have you listen now to what I say

I swear my love is the finest young man
As fair as any the sun shines on
But how to save him I do not know it
For he has got a sentence to be hung

As he was marching the streets of Derry
I know he marched up right manfully
Being much more like a commanding officer
Than a man to die upon the gallows tree

What keeps my love? She’s so long in coming
Oh, what detains her so long from me?
Or does she think it’s a shame or scandal
To see me die upon the gallows tree?

He looked around and he saw her coming
And she was dressed all in woolen fine
The weary steed that my love was riding
It flew more swiftly than the wind

Come down, come down from the cruel gallows
I’ve got your pardon from the king
And I’ll let them see that they dare not hang you
And I’ll crown my love with a bunch of green

This song is also known as Derry Gaol. Listed in the Roud Folk Song Index as No 896.

Sarah Makem sang Derry Gaol in a Peter Kennedy recording on the anthology Fair Game and Foul (The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 7) 1961.