“Swansea Town (The Holy Ground)”


The singer is leaving (home and/or sweetheart). He describes the various troubles the ship faces on her voyage (around the Horn), including bad weather. (He writes to his girl when the ship stops in port.) At last he arrives home with great rejoicing


Normally known in Ireland as "The Holy Ground" (there is even a spot in Cork called "The Holy Ground") and "Swansea Town" in the wider world. Doerflinger's text opens with a stanza not found in the Irish versions but with connections to several Appalachian songs:

Now the Lord made the bee and the bee did make honey,

Oh, the Devil sends the girls for to spend the sailors' money." - RBW


  1. Doerflinger, pp. 152-154, "Swansea Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Hugill, p. 431-436, "Old Swansea Town Once More," "In Cameltoon Once More," "The Holy Ground Once More" (4 texts, 4 tunes) [AbEd, pp. 323-328]
  3. OLochlainn-More 97, "The Holy Ground" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Roud #929
  6. BI, Doe152


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1951
Found in: US(MA) Ireland