Sunday, 29 November 2009

Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears

I heard this song the other evening sung with much feeling so hence I share the words of this Irish song. It was sung by Tommy Fleming.
On the first day on January,
Eighteen ninety-two,
They opened Ellis Island and they let
The people through.
And the first to cross the threshold
Of that isle of hope and tears,
Was Annie Moore from Ireland
Who was all of fifteen years.
Isle of hope, isle of tears,
Isle of freedom, isle of fears,
But it's not the isle you left behind.
That isle of hunger, isle of pain,
Isle you'll never see again
But the isle of home is always on your mind.
In a little bag she carried
All her past and history,
And her dreams for the future
In the land of liberty.
And courage is the passport
When your old world disappears
But there's no future in the past
When you're fifteen years
When they closed down Ellis Island
In nineteen fourty-three,
Seventeen million people
Had come there for sanctuary.
And in Springtime when I came here
And I stepped onto it's piers,
I thought of how it must have been
When you're fifteen years.


  1. Great lyrics. I have forgotten where Ellis Island is. Like I forget so much these days and it is a worry.

  2. Ellis Island is situated near Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NY. Ellis Island is also not far from Liberty Island...USA.
    I had to look it up on Google :)

  3. It is hard to imagine 17 million immigrants through Ellis Island....truly the greatest melting pot of peoples of the world looking for a fresh new shining start.

    Thank you Magaret for sharing of a little Irish girl's tale who must have been overwhelmed, without much option but to immigrate with the situation in Ireland at the time. Brave

  4. A lot of people, Lizzie. Annie married a German and they had many children...her grave in 2006 was restored..Very interesting true story.

  5. Great song Margaret. You couldn`t imagine kids of today doing this..It would be all to hard...

  6. I do believe you are correct on that one Mandy..