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Kilkelly Ireland, eighteen and sixty
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my dear and lovin' son John.
Your good friend schoolmaster Pat McNamara
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was so good as to write these words down.
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Your brothers have all gone to find work in England,
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the house is so empty and sad.
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The crop of potatoes is sorely infected
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a third to a half of them bad.
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And your sister Bridget and Patrick O'Donnell
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are goin' to be married in June.
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Mother says not to work on the railroad,
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be sure to come all home soon.

Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and seventy, my dear and lovin' son John
Hello to your misses and to your four children may they grow healthy and strong.
Michael has got a wee bit of trouble I suppose that he never will learn.
Because of the dampness there's no turf to speak of and now we have nothing to burn.
And Bridget is happy he named a child for her although she's got six of her own.
You say you found work but you don't say what kind, when you'll be coming home?


Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and eighty, dear Michael and John my sons
I'm sorry to give you the very sad news that your dear old mother has gone.
We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly, your brothers and Bridget were there.
You don't have to worry she died very quickly remember her in your prayers.
And it's so good here at Michael's returning with money he's sure to buy land.
For the crop has been poor and the people are selling at any price that they can.

Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and ninety, my dear and lovin' son John
I suppose that I must be close on eighty, it's thirty years since you're gone.
Because of all of the money you sent me I'm still living out of my own.
Michael has built himself a fine house and Bridget's daughters have grown.
And thank you for sending your family picture the lovely young women and men
You say that you might even come for a visit what joy to see you again.


Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and ninety-two, my dear brother John
I'm sorry I didn't write sooner to tell you that father has done.
He was living with Bridget she says he was cheerful and healthy right down to the end.
Ah you should have seen him playing with the grand children of Pat McNamara your friend.
And we buried him alongside of mother down at Kilkelly churchyard.
He was a strong and a feisty old man considering his life was so hard.
And it's funny the way he kept talking about you he called for you at the end.
Why don't you think about coming to visit, we'd all love to see you again.

(Noten)   (Midi)