Waterboys, The - The Stolen Child Lyrics




Come away, human child
To the water
Come away, human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries

Come away, human child
To the water
Come away, human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep

Come away, human child
To the water
Come away, human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car
In pools among the rushes
The scarce could bathe a star
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
We give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams

Away with us he's going
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside;
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast
Or see the brown mice bob
Around and around the oatmeal-chest

For he comes, the human child
To the water
He comes, the human child
To the water and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand
Human child
Human child
With a faery, hand in hand
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand...
Than he can understand...
He can understand...





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Waterboys, The The Stolen Child Comments
  1. whssy

    Just realised Loreena McKennitt had set this to music already in 1985 and I'm sure Mike Scott had heard this.

  2. Diana Pohe

    So, tonight the Waterboys are gonna be live in Glasgow and I can't go because nobody wanted to come with me and I wouldn't know how to come back from there in time to be at work tomorrow. I'm so sad about that 😞

  3. John Lawry

    Just beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

    Dezza Fang

    Very true Sir

  4. Kira England-Carroll

    I love this song. Did the Waterboys do any other songs like it? It's so unique

    Jan Slowhand

    Listen to When You Go Away,Peace Of Iona,Before The World Was Made,An Irishman Foresees His Death,The Faery's Last Dance and Piper At The Gates Of Dawn to name a few.

    Stargazer

    @Jan Slowhand I’m Stargazer and glad to know, so I'll answer for Kira. Thank you for the suggestions. Wake up Kira.

  5. mac jam

    Deep deep meaning .hearing this song always brings tears to my eyes.irish and Jamaican people particularly understand this song.so sad.

  6. ebaylistentomusic

    Just came back from finding out I'm not dying and I needed to hear this so badly. LOUD!!!!

  7. 2Swansway

    Perfect xx

  8. Bruce MacDonald

    It is from the Yeats poem. Yeats was in the order of the golden dawn with Aleister Crowley. This song/poem is about the dangers of the occult and, most specifically, child sacrifice.

    newbuz14

    I can see that now @ near 40 years old its deep and subtle message about the dark side for the worlds more full of weeping than we can understand

  9. tonyo2323

    And, great taste in music btw!!

  10. tonyo2323

    Hey Jagger,cool name!

  11. JL YT

    So sad, ode to humanity.

  12. Michael Nicholls

    what a beautiful, beautiful song

  13. Simon Green

    One of there very best love this song

  14. craig henderson

    Reminds me of my dear mum,dad and loving sister ~RIP ~ see ya's soon

    craig henderson

    Your loving brother + son

    craig henderson

    You're l loving brother and son

  15. Don O'Riordan

    That final stanza / verse gets me every time. He had a way with words did WB, as does Master Scott with music

  16. WoodyJim

    So much talent. Stirring 👍

  17. james sedge

    Want this played at my funeral !!

  18. BigSkippy1263

    53 people have never walked with the fairy hand in hand.

  19. Erik Klein

    Oh good Lord...

  20. maureeng24

    perfection

  21. Jimbo Jumbo

    This tune is mint.First heard this from a friend years ago, then I saw the lyrics on a door in the movie 'AI' and I got all excited..and fired youtube up and played it to the misses...

  22. John Lawry

    Christ,
    that is just beyond beautiful

  23. chris holdern

    As soon as I heard those first words.... it spoke to my heart. Over 20years ago. My then girlfriend just laughed at me. I'm listening to it now, and I'm there, a witness to a night scarce seen by mortals. A night of joy, celebration; and then to sleep once more...

  24. GT Fenderman

    Inexplicably 44 people struggle to grasp real beauty. Poor them.

  25. sean higgins

    The Stolen Child
    W. B. Yeats, 1865 - 1939

    Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we’ve hid our faery vats,
    Full of berrys
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Away with us he’s going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He’ll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest.
    For he comes, the human child,
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

  26. Rock Blue

    beautiful x

  27. frank mcalinden

    beautiful music ..take me to Tir Na Nog

    Jimbo Jumbo

    As Juba says in Gladiator.......'not yet....not yet ' :)

  28. TheBlueskyson

    thumbs up for all wb stuff

  29. brianapril10

    w.b.yeats captures everything that is Irish!

    Joe Thornton

    brianapril10 he does. Paddy kavanagh does it better.

    Theresa Mooney

    Beauty in the eye of the beholder , music is a gift , to anyone, this is beautiful.

  30. ab7up

    Absolutely Amazing 🎤🇮🇪☘

  31. Anja Groengras

    Beautiful, I'm very impressed by this waterboys project with Yeats poets.

  32. chris holder

    I fell in love with this song back in the '90's. The words spoke to me in a way I still don't understand. My then girlfriend just laughed at the song and at me. There is something about the words. Touched my soul.

    Nick Bowles

    I hope you let her go, people without poetry or music in their souls make poor partners

  33. Frances Atty

    when I was little (4-7) my dad played this but I never liked it because I thought it needed more of a tune. coming back, being only 13, I'm now weeping due to how beautiful this is

    ChrisC

    You're also old enough now to understand how true it is.

  34. blagdonboy11

    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand

    Frances Atty

    blagdonboy11 I'm weeping right now!

    gerard stafford

    Frances Atty
    Just an great poem and song it makes you think ..
    To the waters and the wild
    Words of wisdom

    bsg2112

    This line haunts me. So true, so profound. So unspeakably sad. Lots of weeping in Vegas. Go straight to hell, gunman whose name I shall not honor by typing. I hate your evil, wicked soul so much. Fuck you!!

  35. james sedge

    I want this played at my funeral, fuck god and Jesus and the so called promised land ?
    I'm off to the water, with a fairy hand in hand ? Xxx

    chris marsh

    You and me both Xx

    gerard stafford

    james sedge
    Yes away in the water and the wild ,,,,
    You have it Cremation for me and over the sea

    Sal Leveller

    Me too James. That's where I want to go too

    Joe Thornton

    Good man James. You'll probably be better off, it's all faeries anyways!

  36. Head Honcho

    Poetry's never sounded this good.

  37. Warren Mathers

    amazingly beautiful song

  38. zaker721

    My God! I could listen to Tomás Mac Eoin recite the phone book (Yeah, I'm THAT old) His recitation of the poem and the lyrical way he uses his voice are beyond beautiful.

    Martin Ward

    for my stolen children

  39. Madelene Magnusson

    amazing music and lyrics

  40. NorfolkBoys

    I loved this song until I learnt what is about, it's still amazing but makes me sad...

    Alan Bodell

    +NorfolkBoys I've loved this for many years and believe it to be Irish mystism so what is so sad i've missed ?, I searched the wiki page just now and cannot see any sadness in this superb song.

    Leigh-Ann

    It's a story about a faerie leading (stealing) a human child to the faerie lands ( tir na nog for example)....more often than not they left a dead "copy" behind or a changeling which would lead to (future) heartache for the parents....

  41. Theodore Winterer

    Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we’ve hid our faery vats,
    Full of berrys
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Away with us he’s going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He’ll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest.
    For he comes, the human child,
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

    Rodes Gardner

    Nope, neither of your corrections are accurate. Its "Far off by furthest Rosses", and "ferns that drop their tears"

    Patsy Taylor

    W B Yeats

  42. Online Radio School

    Wehay! St Patrick's Day! :)

  43. paul franks

    The old guy was drinking a pint of Guinness in between his 'takes'. Happy St Patrick's Day!

  44. NZthou

    The Poem by William Butler Yeats:

    Where dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we've hid our faery vats,
    Full of berries
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand.
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And is anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.


    Away with us he's going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He'll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest
    For he comes, the human child
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand
    From a world more full of weeping than he can understand

  45. Tim Smith

    The Stolen Child
    WHERE dips the rocky highland
    Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
    There lies a leafy island
    Where flapping herons wake
    The drowsy water rats;
    There we've hid our faery vats,
    Full of berrys
    And of reddest stolen cherries.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wave of moonlight glosses
    The dim gray sands with light,
    Far off by furthest Rosses
    We foot it all the night,
    Weaving olden dances
    Mingling hands and mingling glances
    Till the moon has taken flight;
    To and fro we leap
    And chase the frothy bubbles,
    While the world is full of troubles
    And anxious in its sleep.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Where the wandering water gushes
    From the hills above Glen-Car,
    In pools among the rushes
    That scarce could bathe a star,
    We seek for slumbering trout
    And whispering in their ears
    Give them unquiet dreams;
    Leaning softly out
    From ferns that drop their tears
    Over the young streams.
    Come away, O human child!
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

    Away with us he's going,
    The solemn-eyed:
    He'll hear no more the lowing
    Of the calves on the warm hillside
    Or the kettle on the hob
    Sing peace into his breast,
    Or see the brown mice bob
    Round and round the oatmeal chest.
    For he comes, the human child,
    To the waters and the wild
    With a faery, hand in hand,
    For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand.

  46. Ann Grimes

    Beautiful, melancholy song about losing childhood. Mike Scott's book has the story of the making of it... i'm happy he went through the trouble cause it is magical.

    Paolo Sueño

    I can see how the song lends itself to lost childhood but Yeats poem is much more profound. It is about based on Irish folklore of the old days when people would blame the fairies for stealing their child and leaving a sick fairy in its place. From the days when people didn't know about autism and such things. The saying "Away with the fairies" originates from the same beliefs.
    It makes the poem much deeper and much more sad knowing this.

    Ann Grimes

    I didn't know that.... It makes sense though. Amazing what people live through and how we explain what we can't comprehend. I guess we are all bonded in sorrow too. Thanks for sharing this Paul.

  47. alan douglas

    Mike and the boys. Wonderful. XXX

  48. Sophie -Grace

    Some poems prove themselves to be songs, by being better set to music than not set to music. Much Burns is like this. The Stolen Child is another such. I read it without the music, years before I found the Waterboys, and thought "Some good lines, but a bit twee". Then I forgot I'd read it and so encountered it fresh when I first heard Fisherman's Blues. And was completely blown away by it.

    Steve Feild

    Sophie -Grace I agree,and I like music that says something and gives you a picture you might never see if the poem and music hadn't been put together .

    adam jondo

    Spot on Sophie.

    TheTomvaliente

    This is the first time I've heard this as a song. I'm familiar with the poem. This arrangement sounds good though, with the flute and the fiddles.

    darker

    Nah not twee. Twee could hope to approach this and come away as it approached. With nothing. Thank you. For pointing it out of your experience. There is a world of wisdom in the faerie's world. Now you wouldn't catch me chasing it, but here it is. The world conspires toward meaning.

    whssy

    Check out Loreen McKennitt's 1985 version which predates this album by a few years.

  49. Monica Aasland

    what an extremly beautiful song.

  50. heather maxwell

    who tells the tale in this x

    Honda50

    +heather maxwell Tomás Mac Eoin, an Irish sean-nós singer

  51. pierrette581

    it makes me shiver

  52. Fırat Kağıtçı

    Very good song

  53. bgfd1

    Stunning interpretation of this poem into song. So moving and beautiful . Did not like the video interpretations on here at all.

  54. fourfortysixpak1

    Beautiful..

  55. paganuspaul

    Beautifully played, sung and spoken.

  56. James Watson

    A rich and thoroughly marvellous piece,one of my all-time favourites as an Irishman.

    Charles Mginlay

    James Watson just as well was a Scotsman that song it lol

    Marianne Van H

    Charles Mginlay, it was an Irishman that wrote it (W.B. Yeats ...)

    A L H

    It’s a beautiful piece of poetry and beautifully read - love to all of ye

  57. thewaronterror

    Take your children out of school!! Before its too Goddam late!!!!!!!

  58. Steve Joyce

    The best track of the album. Although the local sounds a bit pissed (beautiful accent though). The quality comes through. A bit theatrical I guess. Those words; they punch low and get to you. I'm sure if another attempt was made it would be better x

    Tuigim W

    @Steve Joyce
    Níl Tomás Mac Eoin linn níos mó.
    Jab iontach déanta aige anseo.
    Soiléir. Láidir.

    turbot200

    @Tuigim W ????? are you saying he's no longer with us??

    Dermot Cassidy

    +Steve Joyce No way. This is incandescent.

    Honda50

    +Steve Joyce the local! this wasn't recorded in the snug of a pub with the local drunk. Tomás Mac Eoin is an Irish sean-nós singer, actor, songwriter and poet. His delivery is full of character and integrity - WB got an instant hard on when this was released.

  59. Cindy Pental

    thank you

  60. Georgie Duane

    18 people don't know a good song

    S. G.

    Well, poem.

    Ray Stimphil

    make that 58





    some people can't appreciate the good stuff

    Isaiah Hollis

    @Ray Stimphil make that 61

  61. Andrew Miles

    An all-time favourite since studying Yeats for A level 1970-2

  62. MrPge1970

    Such a wonderful song on so many levels; any student in Ireland will recall Yeats; this is one of his best. This is one of Mike Scott's Circus Animals Desertions!

    Love Yeats; love the Waterboys; remember Connemara 1989!!!!!!!

  63. george formby

    This Song Could Of Been So Good, But They Over Complicated The Instrumentation Used, It Just Sounds Weird :/ Plus A Girl Made Me Listen To This !!!!!

    jon smith

    yeah i agree to much instrument you cn hardly make out what the dudes are singing

    george formby

    I know right !!!!!

    orangecheeto789777

    @george formby i can hear the voice perfectly well. the instrumentation is actually, and literally, simply a reververating note, w/ flute over the chorus....cant get less complicated than that!

    S. G.

    Why Do You Type Like This?

  64. Martin Kitcher

    I often wonder what Yeates wouldve made of it.

    kerbdog111 w

    id say he would have bein horrified ..ha ha... what did yeats know he would have us all wearn aran jumpers and beliven what they told us ..but he he did have away with words..god love him

  65. karen saville

    Beautiful<<<

  66. Heather Phillips

    Love the Waterboys and Yeats. A perfect combination.

  67. Rai Mandela

    Na minha opinião, a melhor musicalização de um poema da história da música pop. Yeats deve ter gostado.

  68. tom tommyy

    simply put ....culture in both words and music oh joy 

  69. Patrick Delaney

    10 years apart. And still miss you every day,

    Patrick Delaney

    Further on up the road and my life is still fucked up

  70. Patrick Delaney

    10 years apart. And still miss you every day,

  71. 1963KJJ

    Heard this beautiful interpretation of W B Yeats poem on 'Something Understood' on Radio 4 earlier this year. Remembering my dear mother who passed away in 2006. She was born in the west of Ireland and loved this poem. Thank you for posting.

    Eb Neigh

    If there aren't faeries, the World may as well not be.

    Neil McCutcheon

    What was the interpretation?

  72. dog hoos

    This is poetry of the highest order.....
    haunting...
    Genius.....
    Sláinte

    Sal Leveller

    It so is.

    JL YT

    And it is so.

  73. jagger creasey

    Get off this page you nasty little whelk.

  74. An Spailpín Fánach

    The man speaking is Tomás Jimmy Mac Eoin, a sean-nós (literally, "old-style") singer from Conamara in the west of Ireland. If you search for his name you'll find out more about him - the comment system won't let me link I'm afraid. Tomás Jimmy is a under-celebrated hero of true Irish culture.

  75. pablo ferreira

    who·s the man speaking?

  76. Chad Leslie

    The whole album is brilliant but I think this is one of the best pieces of poetry set to music ever(or vice versa).It's beautiful and enchanting. Rave on Mr Yeats!

  77. fizzan

    This has to be the most beautiful poetry I have ever heard.

  78. littlemisspoison1

    Thank you so much...Aurelia is always smiling,as I`m sure Avalon and your beautiful twins are, along with the faeries :) Much love to you xx

  79. darker

    And God forbid. Ye fathers hear.

  80. darker

    What is stronger than a mans soul? Poetry.

  81. alleyesonme24

    May she find the beauty of Arcadia that she did not find here. She dances with Them now.

  82. Mike Louw

    May she rest in peace.

  83. Golfgtiguy

    Nice 1 ,Bill.

  84. Harrison Button

    I have heard her rendition of the song and she freaking rocks!

  85. Harrison Button

    Too beautiful, way too beautiful!

  86. switchitoff1

    Lorenna McKennitt does a beautiful version of this Yeats heart play.I hope the words of one of our finest poets brings some comfort to any parent who has lost a child.

  87. Kevin Brownbill

    tho having read further down I see we had a little more in common, my son was also a twin but we never got to share a living moment with either child.......so may I wish that Aurelia Brings you much happiness and love in your tears ahead!!!!!

    Michael Halligan

    Kevin..my heart goes out to you and your family...🌬️

  88. Kevin Brownbill

    I too share this song with my son whos passing hurts more every year......

  89. Billy Leech

    Some band

  90. Maverick Summers

    The lead singer sounds like trey parker

  91. Iomar1975

    I'm not a fan of poetry.

    Fortunately, people like mr. Scott, along the rest of the Waterboys, set these amazing words to music to give me the opportunity to marvel both the beauty of the verses and of their musical genius.

    Furthermore, somehow this reminds me of Pink Floyd's Grandchester meadows, another one of those inscribed in memory for all existence.

  92. Bellflower Bill

    Golfgtiguy, I also bought the cassette in 1988 at Ft. Ord (Monterey, CA) while on a Marine reserve 2 week summer training. I actually listened to the cassette in my tuck today (6 Dec 2012)! Pretty good sound after 24 years! :)

  93. Golfgtiguy

    I bought this " LP " back in 88 .
    I was 20 then . Still like this track , begara. ;-)

  94. Roberto Falcioni

    Escalofrìos cuando escucho esta canciòn...uno de los mejores grupos Ingleses que ha esistido...forever The Waterboys

  95. Harrison Button

    good job, poster, thank you!

  96. Harrison Button

    I wager Mike Scott can also do Longfellow!

  97. laurana99

    What an amazing song . Reminds me of "other days ".

  98. littlemisspoison1

    Thank you so much.I can tell that your reply came from your heart...the sun shines every day because of people like you,a complete stranger,who can feel my emotion and respond with such heartfelt compassion.x love x

  99. littlemisspoison1

    Thank you :) Avalon was a twin and her sister Aurelia was born alive at 24 weeks....she is a happy and healthy 10 month old now....I am so blessed because I can see Avalon through Aurelia...I always loved Yeats,just didn`t realise how much comfort it would provide in the years to come. x Health and happiness to you x