The Makem & Spain Brothers: The Tradition Continues
Back to song list


I'll tell you the story of Bridget O'Shea
A lovely sweet girl of devotion
And soon, she was married and moved far away
And settled she down by the ocean
And soon it was, she was weakened and ill
And soon it would be, she would die
And all of the doctors, with all of their skills
And all of their learning, could not tell her why.

So back to her hometown, young Bridget did ride
And left her new home by the water
It was better to die with her father beside
For she was his own lovely daughter
She died and was buried, young Bridget O'Shea
And her husband, then married another
Who bore him a child in the sweet month of May
And they named the child after its mother

Some months had passed by, when the summer had come
And a letter arrived in the night
From a farmer in Fermoy, the letter begun
It is to the family of Bridget, I write
He said, "For some weeks now, I could not explain
Whenever the night came around
Whatever wee food on the table remained
By early next morning, could never be found".

"So I with suspicion, decided one night
To stay, so I might catch a thief
When, in from the door walked a beautiful sight
Young Bridget O'Shea, as I've come to believe".
She told how the fairies had stole her away
And left, but a changeling instead
And to eat of their food meant with them, she must stay
"But for that my family should save me", she said.

Her husband and father and mother agreed
To seek out a priest as their guide
For, knowledge and faith, they surely would need
And so, on the clergy, they often relied
They found them a priest, who was Father McGuinn
Who heard what they had for to say
"To save her", said he, "puts her husband in sin
For he married another, when she went away".

"And though, it is sad that we lose a young lass
When she once was happy and gay
Her time with the fairies, it someday will pass
But, a sin does not leave us, and Bridget must stay".
And when our young bridget had heard of the news,
She lowered her head with a sigh
And ate of the food that the fairies had grew
And stayed with them for 'till she laid down and died.

- Words and music by Conor Makem