My Lagan Love
Margaret Barry sang My Lagan Love in a recording made by Ewan MacColl on March 10, 1956 on her 1956 Riverside album Songs of an Irish Tinker Lady: Street Songs and Ballads. This recording was also included in 1965 on her Topic LP Her Mantle So Green: Irish Street Songs and Fiddle Tunes. Another recording made by Alan Lomax in 1953 was included in 1998 on her Rounder anthology I Sang Through the Fairs.
Dominic Behan sang Lagan Love in 1958 on his Topic album Irish Songs.
Barry Dransfield sang My Lagan Love in 1978 on his Topic album Bowin' and Scrapin'.
Boreen sang My Lagan Love in 1997 on their CD Enchanted Ways. They commented in their liner notes:
And old but still moving song, with a lovely melody and a slow chase through the depths of Irish musical moods.
Barbara Dickson sang My Lagan Love on the second CD (“In Concert”) of her 2001 album For the Record.
Hector Gilchrist sang My Lagan Love in 2018 on his WildGoose CD Gleanings. He noted:
This is a poem by Joseph Campbell, which was set to a traditional air, perhaps from Galway, by Herbert Hughes. There has been some dispute concerning the location but clearly the Lagan river runs South of Belfast and on of the original verses mention Lambeg near Belfast. Lagan or Laggan is from the Gaelic for a low place by a river and similar place names can be found in Ireland and Scotland. The song has been recorded by Margaret Barry and many others since. I have sung this for many years from from date in the 60s and recorded it previously on a cassette, produced by Richard Digance in 1985.
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 love-sick leannan-sidhe
She has my heart in thrall
Nor life I owe nor liberty
For love is lord of all.
Her father sails a running-barge
'Twixt Leamh-beag and The Druim;
And on the lonely river-marge
She clears his hearth for him.
When she was only fairy-high
Her gentle mother died;
But dew-Love keeps her memory
Green on the Lagan side.
And often when the beetle's horn
Hath lulled the eve to sleep
I steal unto her shieling lorn
And thru the dooring peep.
There on the cricket's singing stone,
She spares the bogwood fire,
And hums in sad sweet undertone
The songs of heart's desire.
Her welcome, like her love for me,
Is from her heart within:
Her warm kiss is felicity
That knows no taint of 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.
(repeat first verse)