Near to Banbridge town, in the county Down,
One morning in July,
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by;
Oh she looked so neat from her two white feet
to the sheen of her nut brown hair.
Sure the soaxing elf, I'd to shake myself,
to make sure I was staning there.
Oh from Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay, and from Galway to Dublin town,
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen,
that I met in the county Down
As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling quare,
'And I said,' says I to a passer-by,
'Who's the maid with the nut brown hair?'
Oh, he smiled at me, and with pride says he:
'That's the gem of Ireland's crown,
She's young Rosie McCann, from the banks of the Bana
She's the Star of the County Down.'
She'd a soft brown eye and a look so sly,
And a smile like the rose in June,
And you hung on each note from her lily-white throat,
As she lilted an Irish tune.
At the pattern dance you were held in trance
As she tripped through a reel or jig,
And when her eyes she'd roll, she'd coax upon my soul
A spud from a hungry pig.
I've travelled a bit, but never was hit,
Since my roving career began;
But fair and square I surrended thee
To the charm of young Rosie McCann
With a heart to let and no tenant yet,
Did I meet within shawl or gown.
But in she went and I asked no rent
From the star of the County Down.
At the crossroads fair I'll surely be there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes,
And I'll try sheep's eyes and deluding lies
On the heart of the nut-brown Rose.
No pipe I smoke, no horse I yoke
Though my plough with rust turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the Star of the County Down