Sail Away
        c. Bill O'Connor, 2004

Much of what is written about Irish immigration to the United States, takes place during and after the Great Famine in Ireland.  While researching songs of the civil war era, I came across a description of parades held in New York.  These parades had groups representing various nationalities marching to show their support of the war effort and their love of America.  I looked for songs which talked about Irish immigration prior to 1845 and, when I didn't see any I liked, decided to write this composition.
And while the setting is Maine, the beautiful Wisconsin country side influenced my thinking.

Album: Coming Home/Bill & Lin O'Connor and Larry Theiss

REFRAIN:
Well it's sail away, sail 'cross the wide open sea
Sail away, sail from my home and family
Yes it's sail away, sail to America's shore
To the land that I'll make my home land ever more.

 

The year is 1835 Jack Connelly is my name
I left my native Ireland to farm land in Maine
I never will forget the sorrow in my mother's eyes
As we both knew I'd not return before the day I died.

REFRAIN

I never will forget the land that I left behind
Its rolling hills and valleys are still vivid in my mind
But the land that I've adopted has a beauty all its own
And I'm proud that I can till its soil and call this land my home.

REFRAIN

And though it's Irish that I am and what I'll ever be
I've found that I'm American and I love my new country
My children and their children will grow up free and strong
In this land of opportunity,  this land I now call "home".

LAST REFRAIN:
So it's sail away, sail 'cross the wide open sea
Sail away, sail from my home and family
Yes it's sail away, sail to America's shore
To the land that I'll make my home land ever more.
To the land of the free and my home land ever more!