Well Folks ,The mystery of Mary Walsh has intrigued me so much that I have written a song about it entitled ‘THE BELLS OF IRELAND‘.
Download and listen to “The Bells of Ireland(c)” here now!
My sincere thanks go to Fred Rea of Irish Scene Magazine in Perth. Not only has Fred been an amazing supporter in getting my message out far and wide in my quest for information on Mary Walsh, he has become a true friend. In conjunction with Saint Music, the first publication of the lyrics of ‘The Bells of Ireland'(c) were featured in the Jan/Feb edition. Please visit his website for news from both sides of the world. www.irishscene.com.au
WHAT HAPPENED TO MARY WALSH?
Pete needs your Help!!
Let me steal a moment of your time
To heed a little plea for help I need
To find the history of one woman’s life
And hope my song might sow a memory seed!
The fields of Athenry have tales to tell
Of famine times in Ireland of the past
We all have sung of Michael’s transportation
To Botany Bay as felon and outcast.
Now we find his loving wife and child
Abandoned to the Famine’s grisly hell
Were not the only ones who shared that fate
For James and Mary Walsh they did as well !
This Tipperary couple’s story tells
How Mary, just like Michael, was accused
Of stealing and then falsely judged as thief
And all her pleas of innocence refused.
This was no song fiction but the truth
And Mary Walsh a real and living soul
Was banished to Van Diemen’s Land in shame
Her family left behind in waiting role.
With her went her one year child, a girl
Surviving through four months on ship at sea
To Hobart Town to live without a voice
Or word of husband James or family.
After that its silence all the way
As if these people vanished in the night
Just one precious letter now to hand
To make us search and bring lost facts to light
So when you sing ‘The Fields of Athenry’
Please remember Mary Walsh and think
Do I know anyone or thing that might
Just bring to light a crucial Mary link ?
How strange it is one song can stir the soul
And maybe somewhere wake a sleeping tale
That when it’s told enhances who we are
So sing and think of Mary without fail !
Pete St John 19th June 2006
Special Note: The original article on the mystery of Mary Walsh by Lara Bradley can be viewed on Independent Newspapers website.