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  1. Anna Livia, Anna Livia
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Anna Livia is the goddess of the river Liffey which flows through Dublin. The Ha’penny Bridge refers to a pedestrian footbridge over the river and the song uses the name and imagery to evoke nostalgia for times past. The river’s movement lends a sensuous element to the song’s waltz-time feel. Several songs are mentioned – Will Ye Go Lassie, Go, Monto and Whiskey In the Jar and At-Swim-Two-Birds is a book. A bitter-sweet reminiscence of times long gone.

Lyrics

Anna Livia

Once upon a time long gone
When it was all before us
In those days with voices raised
In a joyful, midnight chorus
We were singin’ Monto
And Will Ye Go, Lassie Go
And the world of At-Swim-Two-Birds
Was home away from home

Ah but where is the dance after the dancer
And the song when the singer’s away
I’ll give you a chance to tell me the answer
On the Ha’penny bridge today

Oh but even as you kissed my soul
And there was Whiskey in the Jar
You brought me your heart to hold
Mine sought another star
Like a beggar my love was wearing thin
And pulling at my sleeve
And standing at the barroom door
Saying, “I think it’s time to leave”

And where was the dance after the dancer
And the song when the singer took flight
I never went to tell you the answer
On the Ha’penny bridge that night

Anna Livia, Anna Livia see you moving beneath me
Anna Livia, Anna Livia your secrets bequeath me
Anna Livia, Anna Livia my destiny seeks me
So marry me, carry me down to the sea

Oh if we could only change the chart
Of the voyage our life has sailed
Do you believe within your heart
There’d be better choices made
Still there was a time and it’s the truth
When by power of songs and story
The compass rose of our youth
Was guiding us to glory

Ah but where is the dance after the dancer
And the song when the singer’s away
How I’d love the chance to give you the answer
On the Ha’penny bridge some day


Anna Livia, Anna Livia
How could I betray you
Anna Livia, Anna Livia
How could I say you
Anna Livia, Anna Livia
Mean nothing to me
And by forsaking thee
Indifference undo me

© Des Wade 2014