"Sally [or Salley] Gardens" is a very literary song as the lyrics are from the pen of the legendary W.B. Yeats, who happened to my mother's favourite poet, and who wrote it in 1889. I didn't learn this song from her, however, but found it in good old Soodlum's 100 Irish Ballads Volume 1
. It's a sad little song of a lovers' dispute whereby the damsel wants to "take life easy" but the lad disagrees. Only later, when it is too late, does he concede to being young and foolish and deeply regrets his foolishness.