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Izzy’s Song

Written around 1977 after hearing stories from Isabel Bridget Montague, mother of Eileen Montague Brown (my mother’s best friend) and grandmother of Pam Brown Yarbrough. Izzy left for Canada with her sister Anne in 1911, and returned to Ireland to visit but never saw her father again. He was lost at sea. Izzy’s father’s last name was Bridget, but “Montague” (Izzy’s married name) scanned better.

Well, someone should go and tell Montague
That his daughter’s at the agent’s door;
And that means that she’s goin’ to America,
And she’ll never see Ireland no more.

Well, someone has gone to tell Montague,
As he’s loadin’ up boats by the sea;
And he’s wearily put his big box down,
And said, “I wish this her coffin would be.”


And did you think of your family and all the mouths to feed?
“Oh, yes, I’ve been thinkin’ of my family,
But this time, Papa, I’m thinkin’ of me.”

Well, there’s nothin’ for me in this whole county [note: county, not country]
But piecework and the old linen mill;
So me and my sister we’re sailin’ away,
Shed a tear for me for I never will.

So she and her sister sailed to Winnepeg
Got a job in the phone company;
And she was workin’ on the night the Titanic went down,
“That board lit up like a Christmas tree.”


And she married and she traveled on to Ohio,
And then she moved to the West;
And she talks of decisions that you have to make,
And the leaving behind of regrets.


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