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It's that time of year again...time for a folk song node.

"A Stór Mo Chroí" is an Irish ballad written by Brian O'Higgins in the late 1920s, based on the tune of Bruach na Carriage Báine.

It's written with Ireland in mind, but it works for emigration in general -- a song about the relationship between those who leave and those who stay. Higgins was an Irish patriot who participated in the 1916 uprising, so he's writing from the perspective of those left behind, calling to his people over the sea to remember those they love. The title translates to "Treasure of my Heart."

A stor mo chroi when you're far away

From the home you will soon be leaving

It's many's the time by night and by day

When your heart will be sorely grieving

For the stranger's land may be bright and fair

Rich in it's treasures golden

But you'll pine I know for days long long ago

And the one that is never olden

A stor mo chroi in the stranger's land

There is plenty of wealth and wailing

Where gems adorn the great and the grand

Where the faces with hunger paling

When the road it is tiresome and hard to tread

And the lights of their cities blind you

Oh turn a stor to Erin's shore

And the one that you leave behind you

A stor mo chroi when the evening mist

Over mountain and sea is falling

Oh turn a stor and then you list

And maybe you will hear me calling

For the sound of a voice you will surely miss

Somebody speedily returning

A rune a rune won't you come back soon

To the one that will always love you


It's different than your usual folk song, considering that there's a definite authorship and canon lyrics...but it's an Irish ballad, so people treat it like your regular folk song, and record their own covers, with slightly variant lyrics and melody. My favorite version is by Maura O'Connel. Jennifer Sheehand's version is also pretty good. As well as Colm O'Donnel's.

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