I wrote this song based on an Irish old poem called, 'The Winding Banks of Erne', by William Allingham (1824-1889)  It features on Sean O' Driscoll's CD: "Sticking Out A Mile From Blarney"

Farewell to Ballyshanny
Bill Watkins

Farewell to Ballyshanny
Where I was bred and born
Go where I may I'll think of you
Come every night and morn.
Where I never was a stranger
And every house is known
And not a face in all the place
But partly seems my own.
I leave my warm heart with you
Though my back I'm forced to turn
Farewell to Ballyshanny
On the winding banks of Erne.

No more on summer evenings
I'll wander down the hill
When the trout are rising on the fly
And the salmon to the rill.
Or walk along the mossy banks
Where the shining waters run
Into the bay, to melt away 
The Atlantic's setting sun.
The great ship lies at anchor
With the red flag at her stern
To bear away we immigrants
From the winding banks of Erne.

The shanachies and wise folk talk
Of Erin's days gone by
Who formed that rath upon the hill
And where their bones may lie.
Of kings and saints and warrior chiefs
And tales of ancient power
With tender songs so sweetly sung
Way past the midnight hour.
The mournful song of exile
Is now for me to learn.
As I leave my friends and loved ones
On the winding banks of Erne.

I walk around my dear old town
In the early morning sun
If enemies, long past I meet
I'll pardon every one.
I hope that man and women kind
Will do the same by me
My loving friends I'll bear in mind
As I cross that rolling sea.
But a thousand chances are to one
That I never may return.
To my own dear Ballyshanny
On the winding banks of Erne.

If ever I make good in life
I hope one day to cast
My anchor in that lovely place
Where my childhood days were passed.
My friends, who once were young and proud
Would all be old and grey.
New faces born, with every morn
As the old ones fade away.
If providence proves kind to me
Then surely I'll return
To my own dear Ballyshanny
On the winding banks of Erne.