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Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears.

Annie Moore From Ireland

Ms Annie Moore (1874–1924), named in the song hereunder, was an Irish immigrant, and the first person in the United States to pass through federal immigrant inspection at the Ellis Island Station, in New York Harbour.
As the first person to pass inspection at this then newly opened facility, she was presented with an American $10 gold piece, by an American immigration official.

Annie had set sail from Co. Cork, Ireland, aboard the Guion Line steamship ‘Nevada’ in the year 1892. Her brothers, Anthony and Philip, who journeyed with her, were aged just 15 years and 12 years respectively.

Her parents, Matthew and Julia, had arrived in the United States 4 years earlier, in 1888, and were both residing at No. 32 Monroe Street, Manhattan, New York, USA.

Annie would go on to marry the son of a German Catholic immigrant, named as Joseph Augustus Schayer (1876–1960), latter a salesman at Manhattan’s Fulton Fish Market, with whom she had possibly some eleven children.

She sadly died of heart failure on December 6th, in 1924, at just aged 50 years. She was buried in Calvary Cemetery, at Maspeth and Woodside, Queens, New York City, New York, USA.

Lyrics: Irish songwriter and novelist Brendan Graham.

Vocals: The distinctive Irish (Galway) singing voice of Sean Keane accompanied by the six time Grammy award winning traditional Irish folk band ‘The Chieftains’.

Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears

On the first day of January, eighteen ninety-two,
They opened Ellis Island and they let the people through.
And the first to cross the threshold of that Isle of hope and tears,
Was Annie Moore from Ireland, who was only fifteen years.

Chorus
Isle of Hope, Isle of tears, Isle of freedom, Isle of fears,
But it’s not the Isle you left behind,
That Isle of hunger, Isle of pain I will never see again,
But the Isle of home is always on your mind.

Repeat Chorus
In a little bag she carried all her past and history,
And her dreams for the future in the Land of Liberty,
And courage is the passport, when your old world disappears,
But there’s no future in the past, when you’re fifteen years.

Repeat Chorus
When they closed down Ellis Island in Nineteen Forty-Three,
Seventeen million people, had come there for sanctuary,
And in springtime when I came here and I stepped onto it’s piers,
I thought of how it must have been, when you’re fifteen years.

Repeat Chorus

END

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