Across the Western Sea(R. Kavana)
We sailed first from Cork to Liverpool to start us on our way
On our long voyage to that land across the Western Sea
From harsh rule and starvation in our poor native home
As Britain sold our precious food for export o’er the foam.
Chorus: We’re bound for the St. Lawrence where The Circular it said
We’d find liberty and tolerance to earn our daily bread
Tomorrow mornin’, wind or hale, from Liverpool away
Out on the ocean we will sail across the Western Sea.
When we arrived on Merseyside we were frightened by the sight
We’d never seen a place this size and slept on the quayside
Rejecting lures of runners to exchange our meager wares
For floorspace in cellars where they’d rob us of our fares.
After we had paid the fair amount we worked out every hour
To make every single penny count as our funds they were devoured
We lined up along the quay to face the ship’s inspection
We languished there beside the sea trying to avoid infection.
The night before our ship it sailed they let us stay on board
Our pipers and our fiddlers wailed – their music our reward
After so much anxious waiting we were ready to depart
We spent our last hours singing songs to break an exile’s heart.