Cathy Jordan and Dervish (one of my favorite singer/bands) performing For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name live. And farther below is the Irish form of the song, performed by the great Liam Clancy.

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Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí (For Ireland, I’d Not Tell Her Name)

There’s a home by the wide AvonmoreThat would sweep o’er the broad open seaAnd wide rivers where the waves wash ashoreWhilst bulrushes they wave to the breezeWhere the green ivy clings round the doorAnd the birds sweetly sing on each treeO me darling they’re tuning they’re notesIs ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

Like a sick man that longs for the dawnI do long for the light of her smileAnd I pray for my own cailin banWhile I’m waiting for her by the stileOh I’d climb all the hills of this landAnd I’d swim all the depths of the seaTo get one kiss from her lily-white handIs ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

I have toiled sore those years of my lifeThrough storm, through sunshine and rainAnd I surely would venture my lifeFor to shield her one moment from painFor she being my comfort in lifeThough my comfort and joy she may beShe’s my own, she is my promised wifeIs ar Éirinn ní neosfainn cé hí

O but when I will call her my ownAnd it’s married we both then will beLike the king and the queen on their throneWe’ll be living in sweet unityO it’s then I’ll have a home of my ownAnd I’ll rear up a nice familyO it’s then that her name will be knownBut for Ireland I won’t tell her name

Irish version

Liam Clancy performs the version “as Gaeilge.”

Aréir is mé téarnamh um’ neoinAr an dtaobh thall den teóra ‘na mbím,Do théarnaig an spéir-bhean im’ chómhairD’fhág taomanach breóite lag sinn.Do ghéilleas dá méin is dá cló,Dá béal tanaí beó mhilis binn,Do léimeas fé dhéin dul ‘na cómhair,Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

Dá ngéilleadh an spéir-bhean dom’ ghlór,Siad ráidhte mo bheól a bheadh fíor;Go deimhin duit go ndéanfainn a gnóDo léirchur i gcóir is i gcrich.Dó léighfinn go léir stair dom’ stór,‘S ba mhéinn liom í thógaint dom chroí,‘S do bhearfainn an chraobh dhi ina dóid,Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.

Tá spéir-bhruinneal mhaordha dheas ógAr an taobh thall de’n teóra ‘na mbím.Tá féile ‘gus daonnacht is meóinIs deise ró mhór ins an mhnaoi,Tá folt lei a’ tuitim go feóir,Go cocánach ómarach buí.Tá lasadh ‘na leacain mar rós,Is ar éirinn ní n-eósainn cé h-í.


Last night as I strolled abroadOn the far side of my farmI was approached by a comely maidenWho left me distraught and weak.I was captivated by her demeanour and shapelinessBy her sensitive and delicate mouth,I hastened to approach herBut for Ireland I’d not tell her name.

If only this maiden heeded my words,What I’d tell her would be true.Indeed I’d devote myself to herAnd see to her welfare.I would regale her with my storyAnd I longed to take her to my heartWhere I’d grant her pride of placeBut for Ireland I’d not tell her name.

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There is a beautiful young maidenOn the far side of my farmGenerosity and kindness shine in her faceWith the exceeding beauty of her countenance.Her hair reaches to the groundSparkling like yellow gold;Her cheeks blush like the roseBut for Ireland I’d not tell her name.