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Nights in Ballygran - Boardwalk Empire - Carrickfergus

Queen Elizabeth II gave her grandson a new title - honoring the people of Northern Ireland - on the day William married Catherine Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) at Westminster Abbey.  Prince William of Wales is now known, among other things, as the Baron of Carrickfergus.  He is the first person to hold that title since 1883.

Where is Carrickfergus - and - what is its historical significance? 

A large castle town in Northern Ireland, it is known locally as Carrick.  Situated in Antrim County, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough, the city is named for a sixth-century king (Fergus Mór mac Eirc).  Its name in Irish (Carraig Fhearghais) means the "rock of Fergus."

Boasting a lovely marina area, the town is one of the oldest settlements in all of Northern Ireland.  It is about 10 miles from Belfast. 

Carrickfergus is the subject of a traditional Irish folk song - of the same name - performed in this video clip by Irish singer and harpist Órla Fallon who (at the time, in 2006) was part of the group "Celtic Woman."     

The first season's fifth episode of the HBO series, "Boardwalk Empire" - "Nights in Ballygran" - takes its name from the second line of the song.  In that episode, Loudon Wainwright III sings a version which plays during the end credits. 

Here are the traditional lyrics of the song, embedded with links which (like those above) take you on a virtual trip to Carrickfergus:

I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Only for nights in Ballygrand
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Only for nights in Ballygrand

But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
And neither have I the wings to fly
If I could find me a handy boatman
To ferry me over my love and I

My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy time there spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on now like the melting snow

So I'll spend my days in this endless roving
Soft is the grass and shore my bed is free
But to be home now in Carrickfergus
On the long road down to the salty sea

And in Kilkenny it is reported
On marble stone there as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I'll sing no more now till I get a drink

For I'm drunk today and I'm seldom sober
The handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I am sick now my days are numbered
Come all me young men and lay me down

This clip is from "Celtic Woman - A New Journey:  Live at Slane Castle, Ireland 2006." 


Media Credits

From "Celtic Woman - A New Journey:  Live at Slane Castle, Ireland 2006."

Click here for information on Celtic Woman and the group's tour schedule.

Click here for information about Órla Fallon.

 

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Nights in Ballygran - Boardwalk Empire - Carrickfergus" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Dec 12, 2017.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Nights-in-Ballygran-Boardwalk-Empire-Carrickfergus/>.
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