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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. Izzy left for Canada with her sister Anne in 1911. She later returned to Ireland to visit, but her father had been lost at sea. She never saw him again.

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 won’t 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

But piecework and the old linen mill;

So me and my sister, well, we’re sailin’ away,                     

Shed a tear for me, for I never will.                                                              

So she and her sister went to Winnepeg, got a job in the phone company;

And she was workin’ on the night the Titanic went down,

She said, “That board lit up like a Christmas tree.”                          


Then she married and she traveled on to O-hi-o, and later moved on out to the West;

Where she talked of decisions that you’ve got to make,

And the leaving behind of regrets.


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