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Rockaway is a song with adapted lyrics from an original Irish song known as “Galway Bay” by Francis Fahy (1854-1935). On the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, this adapted song is dedicated to this area of Queens that historically was known as the “Irish Riviera”, first performed at the Queens Museum on November 18th, 2012.
‘Tis far away I am today from scenes I roamed a boy,
And long ago the hour I know I first saw your shore;
But time nor tide nor waters wide can wean my heart away,
For ever true it flies to you, my dear old Rockaway.
Oh, grey and bleak, by shore and creek, the rugged rocks abound,
But sweet and green the grass between, as grows on Irish ground,
So friendship fond, all wealth beyond, and love that lives alway,
Bless each poor home beside your foam, my dear old Rockaway.
A prouder man I’d walk the land in health and peace of mind,
If I might toil and strive and moil, nor cast one thought behind,
But what would be the world to me, its wealth and rich array,
If memory I lost of thee, my own dear Rockaway.
Had I youth’s blood and hopeful mood and heart of fire once more,
For all the gold the world might hold I’d never quit your shore,
I’d live content whate’er God sent with neighbours old and gray,
And lay my bones, ‘neath churchyard stones, beside you, Rockaway.
The blessing of a poor old man be with you night and day,
The blessing of a lonely man whose heart will soon be clay;
‘Tis all the Heaven I’ll ask of God upon my dying day,
My soul to soar for evermore above you, Rockaway.