Go Where Glory Waits Thee was written by Irish writer Thomas Moore.
The song focuses on the wishes of a woman left behind while a man she loves ventures out into the world seeking fame and fortune. The relationship between the two is not made it clear so the woman could be a mother or a sister, but it’s almost certain that Moore had a lover in mind.
The opening lines make it clear that the man is seeking fame and glory. Moore could be referring to himself as he too set out to build a reputation as a writer.
The woman left behind doesn’t try to prevent him going; she just asks that he should remember her.
She’s quite specific in her wishes. She particularly wants him to remember her at key moments of high emotional intensity – moments such as when the praise he receives from the world is at its sweetest or when his dearest friends are with him.
She also refers to when he sees the star that guides him homeward, the flowers he most loves and the music he most enjoys. At all of these moments, when he is at his happiest, she wants him to think of her.
The strategy seems to be to make him associate her with the times when he is at his happiest. That way he may look upon her even more fondly.
Moore’s poem was later set to the traditional Irish melody, The Maid of the Valley.
DGo where glory waits thee,GBut while fameA7elatesthee,DOh! still reF#mmemberGme,ADWhen the praise thouD7meetestGTo thine ear isA7sweetest,DOh! then reF#mmemberGme.ABmOtherF#marms may press thee,DearerAfriendscaBm7ressthee,AAll theDjoys that bless thee,GSweeter far mayBmbe.DBut whenAfriends areD7nearest,GAnd when joys are dearest,BmOh! then then rememberGme!D~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When at eve, thou rovestBy the star thou lovest,Oh! then remember me,Think, when home returning,Bright we’ve seen it burning,Oh! thus remember me.Oft as summer closes,When thine eye reposesOn its lingering roses,Once so loved by thee,Think of her who wove them,Her who made thee love them,Oh! then remember me.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When, around thee dying,Autumn leaves are lying,Oh! then remember me.And, at night, when gazingOn the gay hearth blazing,Oh! still remember me.Then, should music, stealingAll the soul of feeling,To thy heart appealing,Draw one tear from thee -Then let memory bring theeStrains I used to sing thee,Oh! then remember me.