There were harsh times in Ireland in the middle of the nineteenth century – and harsher still to come, when in 1843 a great fishing disaster befell the communities along the Mourne shore. This popular ballad tells the tale.
THE GLASSDRUMMAN FISHERMAN
January the thirteenth, you may remember well
Eighteen hundred and forty-three, left dismal tales to tell
With melancholy loss of life, it grieves our hearts full sore
The loss of our brave heroes upon the Mourne shore.
The morning issued in so fine, the air was sharp and cold
The eastern sky appeared so red, most charming to behold
Which caused these gallant fishermen, their boats to row away
Not thinking of the dangers that attend upon the sea.
They scarce had reached the fishing ground when to their great surprise
The foaming sea rolled mountains high and dismal grew the skies
They pulled away like hearts of gold, till they could do no more
The blood did freeze within their veins: they perished off that shore.
… more later …