Thirteen Years / Keelin’s Return

Record Tracklist

  1. Thirteen Years / Keelin’s Return -:-- / 04:06
A great song about the wandering nature of youth and the headstrong, independent wants and ways of teenage boys (until a girl gets involved!)

We learned this tune and song from two fantastic musicians, Dermott Hyde and Tom Hake from the group Pipeline. If ever you get the chance to see them be sure to go as you will never experience two finer musicians.


I awoke one morn in the month of May
To leave I’d made my mind.
I’d dreamt of places far away,
Where I knew they’d like my kind.
My mother wept the sweetest tears,
While thinking back on me.
I was only thirteen years and going so far away.

So I stole away to the hiring fair,
That’s held in Strabane town.
It’s friends and comfort you’ll find there,
They come from miles around.
The journey there was long and hard,
But my heart was light and gay
I was only thirteen years, and going so far away.

And standing on that market place,
Great fear came over me.
A farmer’s wench on me she smiled
My face she liked said she
Her father he’d have work right near
Two shillings six pence a day
I was only thirteen years and going so far away.

Her love for me it being warm,
She bad me slip away.
She took me by the lily white hand,
And ne’er a word did say.
I’d be comforted and have no fears
With a place that I could stay
She being all of eighteen years, and I so far away.

The farmer’s wench right sorrowful,
For I rather would stay poor
To meet a wench and be made a fool
Is a thing I ne’er would do
So I bade farewell and I shed no tears
And I left that very day
For a man of only thirteen years, I’ll go no more away.