She is Far From the Land
DESCRIPTION: "She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps." She rejects other lovers. She sings wild songs he loved about home. "He had lived for his country, for his country he died." She will join him soon.
AUTHOR: Thomas Moore (1779-1852)
EARLIEST DATE: 1846 (_Irish Melodies_ by Thomas Moore, according to Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: grief love death nonballad patriotic
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Moylan 157, "She Is Far From the Land" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Edward Hayes, The Ballads of Ireland (Boston, 1859), Vol I, pp. 332-333, "She Is Far From the Land"
ADDITIONAL: Thomas Kinsella, _The New Oxford Book of Irish Verse_ (Oxford, 1989), pp. 267-268, (no title) (1 text)
Bodleian, Harding B 20(142), "She Is Far From the Land" ("She is far from the land where her young hero sleeps"), J. Harkness (Preston), 1840-1866; also Firth b.26(319), "She Is Far From the Land"
cf. "Oh! Breathe Not His Name" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
cf. "When He Who Adores Thee" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
cf. "The Man from God-Knows-Where" (subject: concealed allusions to Robert Emmet)
NOTES: Zimmermann p. 77 fn. 11 uses "She is far from the land" as an example of "songs [that] evoke prudently Robert Emmet's fate." - BS
If so, that gives an interesting possible dual meaning to this one. One part would refer to the many Irish exiles around the world. The other might refer to Sarah Curran, Emmet's sweetheart, who was disowned by her father for her closeness to the condemnned rebel. No one seems to know her final fate, though.
Moore, we should add, knew Emmet; according to Robert Kee, Moore was "Emmet's old friend and fellow student at Trinity" (see The Most Distressful Country, being volumeI of The Green Flag, p. 168). Kee regards Moore as having "set the tone" for Emmet's legend. - RBW
Moylan: "The subject of this song is Sarah Curran, Emmet's fiancee and daughter of John Philpot Curran, the lawyer who had defended Wolfe Tone." Hayes's notes are along the same line, but with more details. - BS
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.