She Moved Through the Fair
Artist & Tune
About the Song
"She Moved Through the Fair" is a traditional Irish folk song. It was first collected in Donegal by poet Padraic Colum (1881-1972) and musicologist Herbert Hughes (1882-1937), and published by Boosey & Hawkes in London in Irish Country Songs in 1909. The tune is in mixolydian mode. The lyrics were also published in Colum's book Wild Earth and Other Poems, (Macmillan, 1922, p. 26) though the book doesn't mention their traditional origin.
The Irish tenor John McCormack recorded She Moved Through the Fair in 1941. Margaret Barry learned She Moves Through the Fair ”off a gramophone record by Count John McCormack” as she said in a Karl Dallas interview. She sang it in an Ewan MacColl recording made on 10 March 1955 on her 1956 Riverside album "Songs of an Irish Tinker Lady". Most subsequent versions of this song seem to be derived from Margaret Barry's recording.
Mainly Norfolk article: https://mainlynorfolk.info/anne.briggs/songs/shemovesthroughthefair.html
My young love said to me "My mother won't mind
And my father won't slight you for your lack of kind"
And she stepped away from me & this she did say:
It will not be long, love, till our wedding day"
(in D) C D C D (4x)
As she stepped away from me & she moved thru the fair
And fondly I watched her move here & move there
And then she turned homeward with one star awake
Like the swan in the evening moves over the lake
The people were saying, no two e'er were wed
But one had a sorrow that never was said
And I smiled as she passed with her goods & her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear
Last night she came to me, my dead love came in
So softly she came that her feet made no din
As she laid her hand on me & this she did say
"It will not be long, love, 'til our wedding day"