Galway Bay

Album: Top O' The Morning: His Irish Collection (1947)
Charted: 3
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The first "Galway Bay," known to those living in and around Galway Bay, Ireland as "(My Own Dear) Galway Bay," was written by Frank A. Fahy (1854–1935). It's been a folk favorite ever since, with the most highly regarded recording of it being Dolores Keane's.

    The version best known outside of Galway Bay was written by Arthur Colahan in 1947 and recorded by Bing Crosby on November 27 of that same year. Driven largely by its popularity among Irish immigrants, the song rose to #3 in the States on Billboard's Retailers Pick chart.
  • The original lyrics were more political, including a reference to English occupation with the line, "Speak a language that the English do not know." Crosby changed it to, "Speak a language that the strangers do not know" to be less politically controversial.

    "Galway Bay" is an idyllic song full of pastoral imagery; it's easy to see how it appealed the nostalgia and sentimentality of Irish immigrants.
  • Box and Cox Publications of London, England, hold the copyright to this song. The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem recorded a humorous version of the song. Ruby Miller covered Crosby's version on 1955's When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk: Rock vs. TelevangelistsSong Writing

When televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart took on rockers like Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica, the rockers retaliated. Bono could even be seen mocking the preachers.

CommercialsFact or Fiction

Was "Ring Of Fire" really used to sell hemorrhoid cream?