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OED’s citation from 1841: "boreen, bohreen, bohereen, bohir- (Anglo-Irish): A lane, a narrow road; also used to denote an opening in a crowd."

"Star of the County Down" is an Irish ballad set near Banbridge in County Down, Ireland. The words are by Cathal MacGarvey (1866–1927) from Ramelton, County Donegal. MacGarvey's song was first collected in Herbert Hughes Irish Country Songs. The tune is traditional, and may be known as "Dives and Lazarus" or (as a hymn tune) "Kingsfold". -wikipedia

The attribution cites "O'Lochlainn, Colm (1967). Songwriters of Ireland in the English Tongue". Dublin: Three Candles Press.

    Star of the County Down

    by Cathal MacGarvey
    Near [Em] Banbridge town in the [G] County [D] Down
    one [Em] morning in Ju- [D] ly
    Down a [Em] boreen green came [G] sweet col- [D] leen
    and she [Em] smiled as she passed me by.
    She [G] looked so sweet from her [D] two bare feet
    to the [Em] sheen of her nut brown [D] hair.
    Such a [Em] coaxing elf that I [G] shook my- [D] self
    to make [Em] sure she was really there.

    From [G] Bantry Bay up to [D] Derry Quay
    and from [Em] Galway to Dublin [D] town
    no [Em] maid I’ve seen like the [G] sweet col- [D] leen
    that I [Em] met in the County Down )

    As she onward sped I shook my head
    and I gazed with a feeling quare,
    ‘And I said’ says I to a passer by
    ‘Who’s the maid with the nut-brown hair?’
    He smiled at me and with pride says he
    ‘That’s the gem of Ireland’s crown.
    She’s young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann,
    She’s the Star of the County Down’.


    She’d a soft brown eye and a look so sly
    And a smile like the rose in June
    And you hung on each note from her lily-white throat
    as she lilted an Irish tune.
    At the pattern dance you were held in a trance
    as she tripped through a jig or a reel
    and when her eyes she’d roll, she would lift your soul,
    and your heart she would quickly steal.