Add Explanation
Add Meaning
New! Read & write lyrics explanations
  • Highlight lyrics and explain them to earn Karma points.
Paddy Reilly – Fields Of Athenry lyrics

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyn's corn
So the young might see the morn
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing
We had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters mary when you're free
Against the famine and the crown
I rebelled they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity


By a lonely harbour wall
She watched the last star falling
As the prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely round the fields of Athenry


Lyrics taken from

  • Email
  • Correct


  • u
    The song was written during the Irish famine to depict the present hardship of a young married couple, and the abuse of the English Crown against the Irish population, which eventually culminated in the establishment of the IRA.
    Prior to these times, the two young louers spent some good quite times at the sea side country, watching the wee small birds. The fields were void of young farmers, who had been scripted into the army.
    The goverment prison ships would come to Athenry, Botney Bay, to pick up the young Irish men for prison and/ or armp duty.
    These were hard times for the Irish.
    P.S. My folks immigrated from Scotland to Cape Breton, Canada, my father (Bob Stewart from Aberdeen and my Mother (Mary Currie) from Motherwell, Scotland, my father was a coal miner and a labour leader in Canada.
    I am a Professional Engineer, married to Lestra Maclean, who's ancestors come from The Isle of Sky (we met at High School, Glacé Bay, Cape Breton, Canada.
    Bill Stewart
    Add your reply

    Write about your feelings and thoughts

    Know what this song is about? Does it mean anything special hidden between the lines to you? Share your meaning with community, make it interesting and valuable. Make sure you've read our simple tips.
    Min 50 words
    Not bad
    This page is missing some information about the song. Please expand it to include this information. You can help by uploading artist's image, adding song structure elements or creating lyrics explanation.