The Tinkerman's Daughter (Michael McConnel) The small birds were lining the bleak autumn branches Preparing to fly to a far sunny shore When the tinkers made camp at a bend in the river Returning from the horse fair in Ballinsloe Now the harvest being o'er the farmer went walkin Along the Faele River that borders his land And 'twas there he first saw her twixt firelight and water The tinkerman's daughter, the red-headed Ann. Next morning he rose from a night without resting He went straight to the tinker and made himself known And at a pub in Listowell they worked out a bargain To the tinker a pony, to the daughter a home Where the trees cast their shadows along the Faele River The tinker and the farmer they inspected the land And a white gelding pony was the price they agreed on For the tinkerman's daughter, the red-headed Ann. Now the wedding soon o'er the tinkers departed They were eager to travel on south down the road But the sound of the iron-shod wheels crunch on gravel Was as bitter to her as the way she'd been sold But she tried hard to please him she did all his bidding She slept in his bed and she worked on the land But the walls of that cabin pressed tighter and tighter Around the tinkerman's daughter, the red-headed Ann. Now as white as the hands of a priest or the hangman The snow spread it's blanket the next Christmas round And the tinkerman's daughter slipped out from her bedside Turned her back to the land and her face to the town And it's said someone saw her at dusk that same evening She was making her way out by Liracrumpane And that was the last that the settled folk saw her The tinkerman's daughter, the red-headed Ann. When the north Kerry hills cut the Faele at Listowell At a farm on its banks lives a bitter old man And he swears by the shotgun he keeps by his bedside That he'll kill any tinker that camps on his land And yet, when he hears iron-shod wheels crunch on gravel Or a horse in the chaps of a bright caravan His day's work tormented, his night's sleep demented By the tinkerman's daughter, the red-headed Ann. from an album called Circles of Stone, by Ceili's Muse, a 3-woman vocal group from Austin (I think) in Texas. TN apr97
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!