The Lagan Love

from Norwood Gothic by Lily Bentley

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A beautiful traditional song collected in Donegal in 1903 by Joseph Campbell, who is also believed to have written the English words.

(I made one small lyrical amendment... line four of the final verse is usually 'that knows no taint of sin'. I wasn't taken with the moral attitudes that implied. 'That knows no shame or sin', I felt, made the line more about how she feels about herself and her relationship, and less about how her behaviour is judged.)



Where Lagan stream sings lullaby
There blows a lily fair
The twilight gleam is in her eye
The night is on her hair
And like a lovesick leannan-sidhe
She has my heart in thrall
No life have I, nor liberty
For love is lord of all

And often when the beetle’s horn
Have lulled the eve to sleep
I steal unto her shieling lorn
And through the dooring peep
There on the cricket’s singing stone
She spreads the bog wood fire
And hums in sad soft undertone
The song of heart’s desire

Her welcome, like her love for me
Is from the heart within
Her warm kiss is felicity
That knows no shame or sin
And when I stir my foot to go
’Tis leaving love and light
To feel the wind of longing blow
From out the dark of night


from Norwood Gothic, released February 1, 2019
Lyrics: Traditional Irish

Vocals: Lily Bentley
Everything Else: Gerry Diver

Produced by Gerry Diver


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Lily Bentley London, UK

Folk singer, songwriter and Crystal Palatian

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