The Makem & Spain Brothers: The Tradition Continues
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When We Danced in Donegal


I remember the cattle were ill that year
For the winter was long and cold
And the old man was cursing near all the day
When he drove them to town to be sold
I told him that Jimmy had the loan of a car
And was driving to Donegal town
And I asked could he drive all the cattle
Just himself and the hound

Ah, but that was long ago
When the roads were driven slow
A man could whistle gaily
If he had a girl or no
When the piper played his tunes
And the fear a tighe (far-a-tee) would call
The night when first I met you
And we danced in Donegal

We took the road through Killybegs
And we drove by Inver Bay
Overtaking a tractor before Mount Charles
Who was towing a fresh load of hay
The farmer he winked and his wee dog he barked
As he pulled to the side to give way
And as sure as the weather he went home
For a drop of the tay

The door to the barn was open
And the smoke was billowing out
And the fear a tighe was taking requests
And the dancers all started to shout
He called out the Siege of Ennis
And the crowd fairly gave out a cheer
And I knew fairly well that the night
Would be magic in here

Then Jimmy he tugged the arm of my shirt
And he pointed away to the wall
And I saw you and wondered why the prettiest girl
Wasn’t dancing with no one at all
He told me a girl that was pretty as you
Wouldn’t dance with a farmer as I
And I knew he was right, but I’d be damned
If I still wouldn’t try

End Chorus:
For it wasn’t so long ago
When the roads were driven slow
But a man can still whistle gaily
If he has a girl or no
And the piper plays his tunes
And the fear a tighe still calls
And I always will remember
When we danced in Donegal


- Words and music by Conor Makem
Copyright 2006