I learned this from the singing of Tommy Maken. Tommy gives no credit for it, so I assume it's traditional. We recorded this years ago for Folk Legacy Records in Sharon, Connecticut, and we're grateful to Sandy and Caroline Paton for letting us use it here. (GB)
'Tis pretty to be in Ballinderry
'Tis pretty to be in Ahalee
'Tis prettier to be in bonny Ram's Island
Sitting forever beneath a tree.
For often I've sailed to bonny Ram's Island
Arm and arm with Phelimy Diamond
And he would whistle and I would sing
And we would make the whole island ring.
"I'm going," he said, "from bonny Ram's Island
Out and across the deep blue sea
And if in your heart you love me, Mary,
Open your arms at last to me."
'Twas pretty to be in Ballinderry
Now it's as sad as sad can be
For the ship that sailed with Phelimy Diamond
Is sunk forever beneath the sea.
(Having no written source for this, the spelling is all our own.)
Balinderry is recorded on the album Language of the Heart