> Lal & Norma Waterson > Songs > A Stór Mo Chroí

A Stór Mo Chroí

[ Roud 3076 ; Ballad Index RcAStMC ; Brian O’Higgins (Brian na Banban, 1882-1949)]

Seán Mac Donnchadha (John McDonagh) sang Stór Mo Chrói (Treasure of My Heart) on the 1968 Topic album Grand Airs of Connemara. This track was also included in 1996 on the Topic anthology Irish Voices. Breandan Breathnach and A.L. Lloyd noted on the first album:

An emigration song, made in English, to an Irish air. A solemn warning against the social injustices of the strangers' land where “germs adorn the great and grand” while others are pale with hunger. Seán Mac Donnchadha learnt the song during a visit to Clare. The tune is a variant of Ar Nhruach na Carraige Baine (The Brink of the White Rock).

Mick Flynn sang A Stór Mo Chroí on the 1978 Topic album of songs from County Clare, The Lambs on the Green Hills.

This song, long a favourite amongst singers and at one time almost obligatory at fleadh competitions was written by Brian O’Higgins (na Bán Bán). Mick uses the same tune as Willie Clancy, a Clare variant of Bruach na Carraige Baine (The Brink of the White Rock).

Ollie Conway from Mullagh, Co Clare, sang A Stór Mo Chroí (Treasure of My Heart) to Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie in September 1973. This recording was included on the Musical Traditions anthology Across the Hills of Clare. Carroll and Mackenzie noted:

This was written by Brian O'Higgins (Brian na Banban, 1882-1949), IRA member, Sinn Fein TD and founder of The Irish College at Carrigaholt, South West Clare. It almost certainly owes its great popularity to the singing of Seán 'ac Dhonncha of Carna, County Galway. It was also sung and played as a slow air on the pipes by Miltown Malbay piper, Willie Clancy.

The “Waterdaughters” Lal and Norma Waterson sang A Stór Mo Chroí live at the Leicester Tradition Folk Club on 17 October 1988. This recording was included in 2004 on the Watersons' 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.

Sisters Unlimited sang A Stór Mo Chroí (My Dearest Love) in 1995 on their Fellside CD No Bed of Roses, and the group's member Peta Webb sang A Stór Mo Chroí ogain in her 2003 Musical Traditions album The Magpie's Nest.

Bill Jones sang Stór Mo Chroí in 2001 on her album Panchpuran. A recording from concert at The Live Theatre in Newcastle on 2 December 2001 was included in the following year on her album Live at The Live..

Maggie Boyle sang A Stór Mo Chroí in 2008 on her group Sketch's eponymous album Sketch.

Lyrics

Ollie Conway sings A Stór Mo Chroí (Treasure of My Heart)

A stór mo chroí, when you're far away
From the home you'll soon be leaving;
For its manys the time by night and by day
Your heart will be sorely grieving.
For the stranger's land may be bright and grand
And rich in its treasures golden;
You may pine, I know, for the long, long ago
And the love you'll soon be leaving.

A stór mo chroí, in the stranger's land,
There'll be plenty of welt and wailing;
Where the gems adorn the great and the grand,
There'll be faces with hunger paling.
Though the road may be tiresome and hard to tread,
And the lights of the city may blind you,
Return a stór, to Erin's shore,
And the love you're leaving behind you.

A stór mo chroí, when the evening mist
On mountain and valley is falling,
Won't you turn away from the throng and the bliss,
And maybe you'd hear me calling;
For the sound of a voice that you'll surely miss,
Of somebody's speedy returning,
Aroon, aroon, won't you come back soon
To the love that is always burning.

Lal and Norma Waterson sing A Stór Mo Chroí

A stór mo chroí, when you're far away
From the home you will soon be leaving,
There's many a time by night and by day
When your heart will be sorely grieving.
The stranger's land may be bright and fair,
And rich with its treasures golden.
But you'll pine, I know, for the long, long ago
And the love that is never olden.

A stór mo chroí, in the stranger's land
There is plenty of wealth and wailing.
Where gems adorn both the great and the grand
There are faces with hunger paling.
The roads may be tiresome and hard to tread
And the lights of the city may blind you.
Oh turn, a stór, to your old native shore
And the one you have left behind you.

A stór mo chroí, when the evening's mist
Over mountain and sea is falling,
Just turn around, I am in your list
And maybe you'll hear me calling.
For the sound of a voice that you will surely miss
Is somebody's speedy returning.
Aroon, aroon, oh, come back soon
To the one who will always love you.

Acknowledgements

Transcribed from the singing of Lal and Norma Waterson based on the lyrics found on the Digital Tradition.