1. Willie Reilly

From the recording The Empress

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Willie Reilly

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Willie Reilly (traditional, arranged by The McDades)

Oh Early one morning, so sound as I did sleep
I heard the voice of my love a-calling at my feet
O rise up, Willie Reilly and come away with me
Unto that foreign countryland and married we will be

I leave my fathers’ dwelling forsake my mother’s fee
Go through a howling wilderness and married we will be
Her father followed after with seven well- armed men
Overtaken was poor Reilly with his lovely Polly Ann

Oh early next morning the jailer son’s came down
O rise up Willie Reilly, your trial is at hand
Before the judge the jury, your trial you must standm
I’m afraid you’ll suffer sorely, for your lovely Polly Ann

Up spoke her aged father, and these words he did say
He stole from me gold watches, he stole from me gold rings
He stole a silver brooch pin, was worth a thousand pounds
I’ll have the life of Reilly if I spend ten thousand pound

Then up spoke her aged lawyer, and these words he did say
To hang a man for love boys, I call it murderee
To hang a man for love boys, that’s murder you can see
O spare the life of Reilly, let him leave his country

Here is a ring among the rest I’d have for you to wear
My ring has forty diamonds, it’s plaited with my hair
Now when you wear it Reilly, wear it on your right hand
And think of my poor broken heart, when you’re in that foreign land