The area which inspired it is believed to have been around Ballea bridge, where a stream from Ballinreeshig glen comes rushing down to 'swell the angry Owenabwee'. Nearby is Ballea Castle, which once belonged to the MacCarthys, many of whom fought on far foreign fields after losing their estates in the 17th century.
Denny Lane was the only child of Maurice
Lane, proprietor of Glyntown Distillery, Riverstown, Co. Cork. He graduated
from Trinity College Dublin and was later called to the bar. He joined
the Young Ireland Party and contributed to the 'Nation' under the pen
name 'Donal na Glanna'.
On Carrigdoun the heath is
The clouds are dark o'er Ardnalee;
And many a stream comes rushing down
To swell the angry Owenabwee.
The moaning blast is sweeping past
Through many a leafless tree;
And I'm alone for he is gone,
My hawk has flown, ochon mo chroi'.
The heath was green on Carrigdoun,
Bright shone the sun o'er Ardnalee,
The dark green trees bent trembling down
To kiss the slumb'ring Owenabwee.
That happy day, 'twas but last May,
'Tis like a dream to me,
When Donal swore, aye o'er and o'er,
We'd part no more, a stor mo chroi'.
Soft April showers and bright May flowers
Will bring the summer back again;
But will they bring me back the hours
I spent with my brave Donal then?
'Tis but a chance for he's gone to France
To wear the Fleur-de-lis;
But I'll follow you, my Donal dhu,
For I'm still true to you, mo chroi.