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The Meeting of the Waters

The Meeting of the Waters is a wonderful song that conjures up a sense of warmth and friendship and links them to a beautiful location.

Love and Friendship
Lyrics and chords

It was written by Thomas Moore, one of the greatest Irish poets and songwriters of all time.

Moore wrote numerous songs which have become Irish classics such as The Minstrel Boy, The Last Rose of Summer, and Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms.

Thomas Moore Irish songwriter (National Portrait Gallery) wrote many Irish folk songs and ballads

Thomas Moore

Moore wrote the lyrics to The Meeting of the Waters in 1807 and it was later set to an old Irish melody with the rather curious title, The Old Head of Dennis.

Beauty spot in the Vale of Avoca

The Meeting of the Waters is the name of a well known beauty spot in the Vale of Avoca in Co Wicklow in Ireland.

As the name suggests, it’s the place where two rivers – the Avonmore and the Avonbeg – meet and flow into each other and form the River Avoca.

Avoca, Ireland, 1882 from The-scenery and antiquities of Ireland

Meeting of the Waters at The Vale of Avoca, 1882

There are actually two spots in Avoca where the two rivers meet. One is at Woodenbridge and one is at Castle Howard.

This led to some debate when the song was first published as to which spot was the subject of the song.

Thomas Moore bust at The Meeting of the Waters in Avoca, County Wicklow, Ireland

Thomas Moore bust at Avoca

Moore cleared up the confusion in a letter to his friend Lord John Russell saying: “I believe the scene under Castle Howard was the one which suggested the song to me.”

It’s not hard to see why Moore was enchanted by the scene and felt inspired to write his song. It was, and still remains, beautiful and idyllic.

However, it’s not just the natural beauty of the scene that gives the song its power and its appeal; it’s the evocation of love and friendship.

Meeting of the Waters
Love and Friendship
Lyrics and chords