She is Far From the Land
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

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Lyrics
Thomas Moore (1779-1852) wrote the words to an old air Open the Door. It is also known as Island of Sorrow. The subject of the tune is Sarah Curran, fiance of the Irish patriot, Robert Emmet.

Robert Emmet (1778-1803) helped plan and lead an uprising in Dublin in 1803. Forced to act early because of an explosion at one of the arms depots, the uprising disintegrated into chaos. Wearing a green and white uniform Emmet and a small troop marched on Dublin Castle, killing the Lord Chief Justice on the way. He fled, hoping to escape to America with his fiance Sarah Curran. He was captured and hung.

At his trial Emmet requested that no epitaph be written for him until Ireland took her place among the nations of the earth.

Another song by Thomas Moore's Oh, Breathe Not His Name was also inspired by Emmet, as was the tune Nell Flaherty's Drake.

For a complete list of tunes by Thomas Moore at this site see the Contemplator's Short Biography of Thomas Moore.

She is far from the land
Where her young hero sleeps,
And lovers are round her, sighing;
But coldly she turns
From their gaze, and weeps,
For her heart in his grave is lying.

She sings the wild songs
Of her dear native plains,
Ev'ry note which she loved awakening -
Ah! little they think
Who delight in her strains,
How the heart of the Minstrel
is breaking.

He had lived for his love,
For his country he died,
They were all that to life
Had entwined him -
Nor soon shall the tears
Of his country be dried,
Nor long will his love
Stay behind him.

Oh! make her a grave
Where the sunbeams rest,
When they promise a glorious morrow;
They'll shine o'er her sleep
Like a smile from the West,
From her own loved
Island of sorrow.
Related Links
There is a haunting (but very different version) of this tune on Andy Stewart's album The Man in the Moon.
From Our National Songs
See Bibliography for full information.