So I own this song since June 12th, and I've played it 62 times according to my iTunes...
The song was recommended ironically my a gay male blog reader friend of mine Bruce Potts, and it is written by Janis Ian a pretty famous lesbian, about Mary Black. Truly this is a great study in song writing.. Newcastle gold is a great way to say Coal black hair.... Novice to his fast? now where did that come from but isn't it true.. the first time you decide to fast you might be the most dedicated. The across the ocean is such a metaphor for the distances between people; and to stare across the water for a glimpse of Mary's eyes... Can you imagine the times that you truly want something and just stare out into space thinking about it. Then there is the ocean... distance so vast like 20 years apart, 30 miles, two blocks if someone doesn't see you staring.
Then there is the second verse... wow such contrast in each line. I did a paltry cover of it and posted it below but I really recommend you buying Janis's or Gaelic Storm... yet if I can get it better, I really think this should be sung by a guy and I'll put some studio time to it.
Mary's eyes are startling blue
And her hair's Newcastle gold
And she walks the thin white line between the body and the soul
She's as faithful to her history
As a novice to his fast
For she's standing on the bones of Ireland's past
She's singing of the troubles
And the fire in the land
'Til I can almost feel the famine slipping through my trembling hand
And i wonder as I hear her,
That the spirit still shines through
And she can reach across the ocean deep and break my heart in two...
Mary's wise and she is foolish
She's as constant as the tide
For it's a woman's heart that beats beneath that stubborn Irish pride
We are saints and we are sinners
We are heros we are thieves
We are all of us beginners on the road to Galilee
So let us hiost a pint of silence
To the east where ireland lies
And we will stare across the waters
For a glimpse of Mary's eyes
We are ships without a harbor
We are sailors are on dry land
And the song goes on forever
Even though the record can't