The Maid of Millstreet

The Maid of Millstreet

By Con “Poet” Ahern

As performed on a recent LTV2 show by Jerry O’Riordan, Ballinatona
It was on a fine Summer’s morning,
And I going to Drishane for some lime.
The birds in each grove sang most charming,
Sweet nature being all in its prime
When a nice looking bright looking fair one,
Per chance on my way I did meet,
Her beauty enticed me completely,
She’s that lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.
When I saw her step forward so airy,
I thought it was Venus of old.
Her hair in loose ringlets were waving,
And her carriage of nature’s best bode.
Her eyes in bright lustre were beaming,
Her smile was engaging and sweet.
Oh! I never yet met with her equals,
She’s that lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.
My horse now being very much heated,
Made far better haste on the road.
So I asked this young lass to be seated,
Until I would gain her abode.
She said “Sir, my home is convenient,
Down by the next stream you will meet”
That was the kind answer she made me,
She’s that Lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.
I being in good terms with Bacchus,
And then with this maid did agree.
Being proud to receive such an answer,
From one so unacquainted with me.
With brandy and wine  I was treated,
You must be aware it was sweet.
When brewed by this beautiful angel,
She’s that Lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.
And we sat at one end of the table,
My hand round her waist it was drawn.
How reckless the moments we wasted,
And little I cared for Drishane
Although the road homeward being dreary,
And hills on my way I did meet.
Yes I’d rather stay talking to Mary,
She’s that Lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.
When homeward at last I once started,
It changed to a dark gloomy day.
The lime in my cart it was slaking,
And half of it dripping away.
“Twas at Mauma I suffered severely,
With the pelting of rain and of sleet.
And all for the cause of Miss Mary,
She’s that Lovely nice Maid of Millstreet.

(The Songs and Poems of The Launey Valley – Compiled by Barry O’Brien)



Cornelius T. Aherne of Carrigthomas, Ballinagree, Aghinagh, composed many beautiful songs during his life-time. He died about sixty years ago at the early age of thirty.
Many stories are told of how he got the gift of verse-making. Some say that in his early youth he slept by the bank of a river one night and waking in the morning found to his astonishment that he had acquired the gift of poetry in some mysterious manner. This, however, is untrue as his sisters and nephew were also able to compose.
Among his many songs, and ballads, were, “The Praises of Macroom”. The Praises of Ballinagree “The Lovely Green Banks of the Laune”. “Gougane”. “The Maid of Millstreet”. “For Tons of Bright Gold” etc.
The most of his songs are in the English language but there are a few in Irish.
He owned a farm and was also a learned man. The people of the locality liked his poetry and the whole parish was in mourning at his death.
In former times his songs were the only ones sung at every gathering but many are forgotten now. [Dúchas]

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