She Moved Through the Fair

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She MOved Through the Town


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'She Moved Through the Fair' is an old traditional folk song that is in the sean nós style. It has many different versions, including the longer 'Our Wedding Day'. It was first recorded in written form by Pádraic Colum and published in the work 'Irish Country Songs' in 1909. It remains popular with contemporary audiences and has been recorded by many musicians, including Van Morrison with The Chieftains, Charlotte Church and Loreena McKennitt. Sinéad O'Connor also recorded the song in 1996 for the film 'Michael Collins'. In her version, she changed the pronouns from female to male so the lyrics became 'He Moved Through the Fair'.

The haunting song is centred on a wedding theme, recounting the story of a young man's love for the woman he wishes to marry, although the air is one of melancholy. We learn that the wedding will not take place as according to some versions, including this version on Ask about Ireland, the woman is dead. In other versions of the song, it is more ambiguous whether the woman is dead. It is also possible that some verses of the song containing the full story have been lost as it was learned by successive generations of poets and singers.

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