“Sweet Inishcara”


"I have travelled in exile midst cold-hearted strangers" in Canada and India/Indies looking for gold and spices. The singer returns home to find his home in ruins and his sweetheart dead. He will join her. "In heaven she'll welcome her wanderer home"


When I was puzzling about the text of "The Exile of Cork" John Moulden pointed out that it belongs here. The matrix number for the McNulty Family's "Exile of Cork" is E3-CB-3235-1A.

Spottswood lists Tim Donovan, "The Exile of Cork" (on Decca 12157) with session date Apr 7, 1938 (matrix number 63574-A). If it can be verified that that recording is for this song it would establish a new earliest date (source: _Ethnic Music on Records: a Discography of Ethnic Recordings Produced in the United States, 1893 to 1942_ by Richard K Spottswood (Urbana, c1990), p. 2751).

The singer's home is "by the beautiful Lee" and finds, when he returns, that "sweet Inishcara o'er-shadows her grave." Below Cork City, the Lee flows past Inniscara and enters the Celtic Sea.

OCanainn: "This was composed some sixty years ago [c.1918]...." - BS


  • Paddy Breen, "Sweet Inishcara" (on Voice04)
  • The McNulty Family, "The Exile of Cork" (Copley 9-228-B)


  1. OCanainn, pp. 48-49, "The Exile's Return" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #12923
  3. BI, RcSweIni


Author: John Fitzgerald (source: OCanainn)
Earliest date: before 1958 (recording, Copley 9-228-B)
Found in: Ireland