Return to the Irish page

Irish songs and traditional music
[ Page created 991016, updated 090831, 148580 visits ]             = songs on this page     midi files

Search: (input a single word to search for) 

    Amhrán na bhFiann - national anthem (1)   A Soldier's Song - national anthem (2)    A Bucket of the Mountain Dew    A Bunch of Thyme   Admiral William Brown   A Fenian Song    A Little Bit of Heaven    All Around My Hat   A Man You Don't Meet Every Day    A Mothers Love Is A Blessing   A Muirsheen Durkin    A Nation Once Again    And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda    A Night To Remember    An Irishman's Dream    The Armagh Sniper   Arthur McBride    A Stór Mo Chroi     B      Back Home In Derry    Ballyroan   The Bard of Armagh    Barry's Column    Belfast Brigade   Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms    The Birmingham Six   The Black And Tan Gun    Black And Tans    Black Is the Colour    Black Velvet Band    The Bold Black And Tan    The Bold Fenian Men    The Bold O'Donohue    Bold Robert Emmet    Bold Tenant Farmer   Bonnie Kellswater    Boolavogue (1)    Boolavogue (2)   Botany Bay    The Boys From the County Armagh   The Boys From the County Cork   The Boys From the County Mayo   Boys of Fairhill   The Boys of Kilkenny    The Boys of Killybegs   Boys of Kilmichael    Boys of the Old Brigade    Bread And Fishes   Brennan On the Moor    Bridgit O'Malley    Bring Them Home   Broad Black Brimmer    Buachaill Ón Éirne      C      Carrickfergus (1)    Carrickfergus (2)    The Cliffs of Doneen    Cockles And Mussels (Molly Malone)    Comical Genius   Courtin' In the Kitchen    The Crack Was Ninety In the Isle of Man    The Creggan White Hare   The Croppy Boy    The Curragh of Kildare      D      Danny Boy    The Dawning of the Day    Dear Boss (The Sick Note)    The Dear Little Shamrock   Death Of Schomberg   The Decommissioning Song   Derry's Deathless Story   De Valera   The Devil And Bailiff McGlynn   Dicey Reilly    Did Your Mother Come From Ireland   Dingle Bay   Dirty Old Town    Down By the Glenside    Down By the Salley Gardens    Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down    Dublin Jack of All Trades      E      Easy And Slow    Eileen Aroon    Erin Go Bragh      F      The Fair At Turloughmore    Fairytale of New York    Fare Thee Well Enniskillen (1)    Fare Thee Well Enniskillen (2)   Farewell To Dublin In My Tears   The Fenian Record Player   The Fenians' Escape    Fiddlers Green    The Fields of Athenry    Finnegan's Wake    Flight of Earls    Flower of Sweet Strabane    The Foggy Dew    Follow Me Up To Carlow    Forty Shades of Green    For What Died the Sons of Róisin   Four Green Fields    Freedom Sons   Free The People   From Clare to Here (1)   From Clare to Here (2)     G      Gallipoli   Galway Bay    Galway Farmer    The Galway Races (1)    The Galway Races (2)   The Galway Races (3)   Gardai 'N Rí   The Garden Where the Praties Grow   Garryowen    Give Me Your Hand   God Bless England    God Save Ireland    Goodbye Mick   The Green Fields of France      H      Hills of Connemara    How Are Things In Glocca Morra      I      If I Was A Blackbird    If You're Irish...    I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen    I'll Tell Me Ma    I.R.E.L.A.N.D.    The Irish Emigrant    The Irish Free State   The Irish Mail Robber   The Irish Rover (1)    The Irish Rover (2)    Irish Soldier Boy    Irish Soldier Laddie    Irish Ways And Irish Laws   Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears   Isle of Inishfree   It Was Pretty To Be In Ballinderry      J      James Connolly    Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier (Shule Agra)    Johnny Be Fair    Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye    Johnson's Motor Car    The Jolly Beggarman    Jug of Punch    Just Give Me Your Hand      K      Kathleen Mavourneen    Kelly of Killane    The Kerry Dance    The Kerry Recruit    Kevin Barry      L      Lakes of Coolfin   Lakes of Pontchartrain    The Langer    Lanigan's Ball    The Lark In the Clear Air    Lark In the Morning    The Lass of Aughrim   The Leaving of Liverpool (1)    The Leaving of Liverpool (2)    The Legion of the Rearguard    Limerick You're A Lady   Little Grey Home In the West   Lord Nelson    Lord of the Dance      M      MacNamara's Band    Macushla   The Maid Who Sold Her Barley    Maids When You're Young    The Man From the Daily Mail    Many Young Men of Twenty   Mc Alpine's Fusiliers    The Meeting of the Waters    The Men Behind the Wire    The Men of the West    The Merry Ploughboy    Michael Collins    The Minstrel Boy    Mo Ghile Mear    Molly Malone (Cockles And Mussels)    The Mountain Tay    Mountains of Mourne    My Uncle Is In the Dáil      N      Nell Flaherty's Drake    Nelson's Farewell    No Irish Need Apply      O      O'Donnell Abu    Old Fenian Gun   The Old Man   Only Our Rivers Run Free    On Midsummer Day    On the One Road    The Ould Woman From Wexford   Our Lads In Crumlin Jail     P      Paddy McGinty's Goat    Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore (1)    Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore (2)   Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore (3)   Paddy's Lamentation   Padraig Pearse   The Parting Glass    Patrick Street   The Patriot Game    Peggy Gordon    Peggy Lettermore (1)   Peggy Lettermore (2)   The Peoples Own M.P.   Pick Up Your Rifle   Poor Paddy On the Railway    Preab San Ol   Pretty Little Girl From Omagh     Q      Queen of Connemara     R      Raglan Road    The Rare Oul' Times    Red Is the Rose    Reilly's Daughter (1)    Reilly's Daughter (2)    The Reluctant Patriot    The Rifles of the I.R.A.    The Rising of the Moon (1)    The Rising of the Moon (2)    Roads of Kildare   Rocky Road To Dublin    Roddy McCorley    Róisin Dubh   The Rose of Mooncoin    The Rose of Tralee    Rosin the Beau      S      The Sea Around Us    Sean South of Garryowen    Seven Drunken Nights (1)    Seven Drunken Nights (2)   The Shores of Amerikay    Shule Agra (Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier)    The Sick Note (Dear Boss)    Skibbereen (1)    Skibbereen (2)    Slane (Be Thou My Vision)    Slievenamon   The Snowy Breasted Pearl    Spancil Hill    The Spanish Lady    The Spinning Wheel    Star of the County Down (1)    Star of the County Down (2)    Step It Out Mary    The Stone Outside Dan Murphy's Door   The Streets of New York   Sullivan's John    Summer In Dublin     T      Take Her Up To Monto (1)   Take Her Up To Monto (2)   Tara's Harp    They Never Came Home (Stardust Song)    The Thirty-Two Counties    This Land Is Your Land (1)   This Land Is Your Land (2)   This Land Is Your Land (3)   Three Leaf Shamrock   The Tinker   The Town I Loved So Well    Tri-Coloured Ribbon   'T Was Pretty To Be In Ballinderry      V      The Valley of Knockanure      W      Waxies Dargle    The Wearing of the Green    Weila Waila    The West's Awake    The Wexford Carol   When Irish Eyes Are Smiling    When You Were Sweet Sixteen   Where the River Shannon Flows   Where the Three Counties Meet   Whiskey In the Jar (1)    Whiskey In the Jar (2)    Whiskey You're the Devil    Whistling Gypsy    The Wild Colonial Boy    The Wild Rover    Will You Come To the Bower    The Winds Are Singing Freedom    The Wind That Shakes the Barley      Z      Zoological Gardens   

Top of page

[This song was written by Frederic Edward Weatherly
(1848-1929), an english lawyer. He was also a radio entertainer
and a songwriter. In 1910 he wrote words and music for a song he
called "Danny boy", bot the song did not get much
attention. Two years later, 1912, Weatherly's sister-in-law sent
him a tune called "Londonderry air". He immediately
noticed that the melody was perfect to his text. In 1913 Weatherly
published a revised version of his lyrics to Londonderry air.]

Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the leaves are falling
'Tis ye, 'tis ye must go, and I must bide

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Til I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Danny boy, Oh Danny boy, I love you so

And when ye come and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me

And I shall hear, 'though soft ye tread around me
And all my grave shall linger sweeter be
Then ye will bend and tell me that ye love me
And I shall sleep in peace until ye come to me

Top of page


One morning early I walked forth
By the margin of Lough Leane
The sunshine dressed the trees in green
And summer bloomed again
I left the town and wandered on
Through fields all green and gay
And whom should I meet but a colleen sweet
At the dawning of the day

No cap or cloak this maiden wore
Her neck and feet were bare
Down to the grass in ringlets fell
Her glossy golden hair
A milking pail was in her hand
She was lovely, young and gay
She wore the palm from Venus bright
By the dawning of the day

On a mossy bank I sat me down
With the maiden by my side
With gentle words I courted her
And asked her to be my bride
She said, "Young man don't bring me blame"
And swiftly turned away
And the morning light was shining bright
At the dawning of the day

Top of page

(also known as THE SICK NOTE)

Dear Boss, I write this note to tell you of my plight
And at the time of writing I am not a pretty sight
My body is all black and blue, my face a deathly gray
And I hope you understand why Paddy's not at work today

While working on the fourteenth floor, some bricks I had to clear
And to throw them down from off the top seemed quite a good idea
But the foreman wasn't very pleased, he was an awful sod
He said I had to cart them down the ladder in me hod

Well clearing all those bricks by hand, it seemed so very slow
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured the rope below
But in my haste to do the job, I was too blind to see
That a barrel full of building bricks is heavier than me

So when I had untied the rope, the barrel fell like lead
And clinging tightly to the rope I started up instead
I took off like a rocket and to my dismay I found
That half way up I met the bloody barrel coming down

Well the barrel broke my shoulder as to the ground it sped
And when I reached the top I banged the pulley with me head
I held on tight, though numb with shock from this almighty blow
And the barrel spilled out half its load fourteen floors below

Now when those building bricks fell from the barrel to the floor
I then outweighed the barrel so I started down once more
I held on tightly to the rope as I flew to the ground
And I landed on those building bricks that were all scattered 'round

Now as I lay there on the deck I thought I'd passed the worst
But when the barrel reached the top, that's when the bottom burst
A shower of bricks came down on me, and I didn't have a hope
And as I was losing conciousness, I let go the bloody rope

The barrel being heavier, it started down once more
And landed right on top of me as I lay there on the floor
It broke three ribs and my left arm, and I can only say
That I hope you'll understand why Paddy's not at work today

Top of page


There's a dear little plant that grows in our isle
'Twas St Patrick himself sure that set it
And the sun on his labour with pleasure did smile
And with dew from his eye often wet it
It shines thro' the bog, the brake and the mire-land
And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland

The dear little shamrock, the sweet little shamrock
The dear little, sweet shamrock of Ireland

That dear little plant still grows in our land
Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin
Whose smiles can bewitch and whose eyes can command
In each climate they ever appear in
For they shine through the bog, through the brake, through the mire-land
Just like their own dear little shamrock

That dear little shamrock that srings from our soil
When its three little leaves are extended
Denotes from the stalk we together should toil
And ourselves by ourselves be befriended
And still through the bog, through the brake, through the mire-land
From one shoot should branch, like the shamrock of Ireland

Top of page


'Twas on the day when kings did fight
Beside the Boyne's dark water
And thunder Roared from every height
And earth was read with slaughter;
That morn an aged chieftain stood
Apart from mustering bands
And, from a height that crowned the flood
Surveyed broad Erin's land

His hand upon his sword hilt leant
His war-horse stood beside
And anxiously his eyes were bent
Across the rolling tide;
He thought of what a changeful fate
Had born him from the land
Where frowned his father's castle gate
High o'er the Renish strand

And placed before his opening view
A realm where strangers bled
Where he, a leader, s carcely knew
The tongue of those he led;
He looked upon his chequered life
From boyhood's earliest time
Through scenes of tumult and of strife
Endured in every clime

To where the snows of eighty years
Usurped the raven's strand
And still the din was in his ears
The broad-sword in his hand;
He turned him to futurity
Beyond the battle plain
But then a shadow from on high
Hung o'er the heaps of slain

And through the darkness of the cloud
The chief's prophetic glance
Beheld, with winding-sheet and shroud
His fatal hour advance;
He quailed not as he felt him near
The inevitable stroke
But dashing off one rising tear
'Twas thus the old man spoke:

"God of my fathers! Death is nigh
My soul is not deceived
My hour is come, and I would die
The conqueror I have lived!
Four Thee, for Freedom, have I stood
For both I fall to -day:
Give me but victory for my blood
The price I gladly pay!

"Forbid the future to restore
A Stuart's despot gloom
Or that, by freemen dreaded more
The tyranny of Rome!
From either curse let Erin freed
As prosperous ages run
Acknowledge what a glorious deed
Upon that day was done!"

He said--fate granted half his prayer
His steed he straight bestrode
And fell as on the routed rear
Of Jame's host he rode;
He sleeps in a cathedral's gloom
Amongst the mighty dead;
And frequent o'er his hallowed tomb
Redeedful pilgrims tread:

The other half, though fate deny
We'll arrive for one and all
And William's Schomberg's spirits nigh
We'll gain or fighting fall!

Top of page


We remember back in time in the year of '69
You unleashed your dogs of war onto our streets
We could not stand idly by and let our families die
We fought you back and joined the IRA

So stuff your f-ing crown we Irish won't lie down and give away our guns to foreign lands
No semtex not our guns will you ever get from us
You can stick your decommissioning up your ass

Well you murdered free young men and you'll do the same again
Decommissioning you will never ever see
As long as we have men like those famous fighting men
Yes those famous fighting men from Crossmaglen


In memory of the ten they were Ireland's bravest men
We will not forget the ones who fought and died
Decommissioning you can see will never ever be
'Cause the IRA will always be around


You can tell the RUC those black bastards from Drumcree
You'll never march down Garvaghy road
If you want to make a fight we will stand up for our rights
You can take your fucking march and give us peace


Now Trimble you're an ass if you think that it will last
Six counties are under tyranny
You can tell wee Tony Blair and Mo Mowlam if you dare
They can stick their decommissioning up their ass


Top of page


Behold the crimson banner float
O'er yonder turret hoary;
It tells of days of mighty note
And Derry's deathless story
When her brave sons undaunted stood
Embattled to defend her
Indignant stemmed oppressions flood
And sung out - "done Surrender!"

Old Derry's walls were firm and strong
Well fenced in every quarter
Each frowning bastion grim along
With culverin and mortar:
But Derry had a surer guard
Than all that art could lend her:
Her 'Prentice hearts the gates who barr'd
And sung out - "No Surrender!"

On came the foe, in bigot ire
And fierce the assault was given
By shot and shell, 'mid streams of fire
Her fated roof was riven;
But baffled was the tyrant's wrath
And vain his hopes to bend her
For still, 'mid famine, fire and death
And sung out - "No Surrender!"

Again when treason madden'd round
And rebel hordes were swarming
Were Derry's sons the foremost found
For King and country Ireland
And forth they rush'd at honor's call
From age to boyhood tender
Again to man their virgin wall
And sing out - "No Surrender!"

Long may the crimson banner wave
A meteor streaming airy
Portentious of the free and brave
Who guard the walls of Derry;
And Derry's sons alike defy
Pope, traitor or pretender
And peal to Heaven the 'Prentice cry
Their patriot - "No Surrender!"

Top of page


I remember the day De Valera he died
My father he just broke down and he cried
He wept like a baby for Dev was his pride
But I shed no tears it held me no fear
For a man of our time

Now dev was a hero at Easter '16
He held Boland's mill for the orange and green
He was sentenced to die with Pearse and McBride
But his birth far away let him fight another day
Lucky man of our times

He was loved he was hated he was cherished despised
There were rivers of tears when the chieftain he died
But love him or hate him I cannot decide
What to make of old Dev this man of our times

When I was in school Christian brothers were cruel
To live off the land to be scarce was the rule
And we fled in our droves to the emigrant boats
We weren't free yet and we questioned respect
For a man of our time

My parents were poor and the cupboard was bare
You can't feed a child on a dream or a prayer
But the boys in Dail Eirean got rich as we pined
They were led by the chief and we had no relief
from a man of our times

Now Spain had it's Franco and France it's De Gaulle
We had our Dev and god rest his soul
But history will judge on the man form Bruree
De Valera's lost dream a nation unfree
It's the shame of our time

Top of page

[This ballad was collected in Northern Ireland by
Sean O'Boyle and Peter Kennedy in 1952. The tune is a traditional
jig. (banbh = pig)]

One fine sunny evening last summer
I was straying along by the sea
When a pair of quare playboys a-roving
before me I happened to see
Now to learn what these boy-os were up to
A trifle I hastened me walk
For I thought I could learn their profession
When I got within range of their talk

Now, one of these boys was the devil
And the other was Bailiff McGlynn
And the one was as black as the other
And both were as ugly as sin
Says the old boy, says he, "I'm the devil
And you are a bailiff, I see"
"Ah! 'tis the devil himself," cries the bailiff
"Now that beats the devil," says he

A gossoon ran out from a cottage
and took him up over the fields
"May the devil take you," said his mother
As she rattled a stone at his heels
"Ah now, why don't you take the young rascal
your highness?" the bailiff he cried
"It was not from her heart that she said it"
the devil he smiling replied

Close by a small patch of potatoes
A banbh was striving to dig
When the owner come out and she cried
"May the devil take you for a pig!"
Said the bailiff, "Now that's a fine offer
Why not take the banbh?" says he
"It was but with her lips that she said it
And that's not sufficient for me"

As they jogged on, the gossoon espyed them
and into his mother he sped
Crying, "Mother!" says he, "There's a bailiff!"
She clasped her two hands and she said
"May the devil take that ugly bailiff!"
Said the old boy, "Bedad! That'll do
It was straight from her heart that she said it
So Bailiff McGlynn, I'll take you"

Top of page


Oh poor old Dicey Reilly, she has taken to the sup
And poor old Dicey Reilly, she will never give it up
It's off each morning to the pop that she goes in
for another little drop
But the heart of the rowl is Dicey Reilly

She will walk along Fitzgibbon Street with an independent air
And then it's down by Summerhill, and as the people stare
She'll say, "It's nearly half past one"
Time I went in for another little one
But the heart of the rowl is Dicey Reilly

Now at two, pubs close and out she goes as happy as a lark
She'll find a bench to sleep it off at St. Patrick's Park
She'll wake at five  feeling in the pink
And say, "Tis time for another drink"
But the heart of the rowl is Dicey Reilly

Now she'll travel far to a dockside bar to have another round
And after one or two or three she doesn't feel quite so sound
After four she's a bit unstable
After five underneath the table
But the heart of the rowl is Dicey Reilly

Oh, they carry her home at twelve o'clock as they do every night
Bring her inside, put her on the bed and then turn out the light
Next morning she'll get out of bed
And look for a cure for her head
But the heart of the rowl is Dicey Reilly

Top of page


Oh I've never seen old Ireland o'er the ocean
Tho' I've wished for the chance to greet it
In my mind I've always had a crazy notion
That I'd know a bit of Irish when I meet it

Did your mother come from Ireland?
'Cos there's something in you Irish
Will you tell me where you get those Irish eyes
And before she left Killarney
Did your mother kiss the Blarney?
'Cos your little touch of brogue you can't disguise

Oh I wouldn't be romancin'
I can almost see you dancin'
While the Kerry pipers play
Shure! And maybe we'll be sharin
in the shamrock you'll be wearing
On the next Saint Patrick's Day

Did your mother come from Ireland?
'Cos there's something in you Irish
And that bit of Irish steals my heart away

Top of page


The sun was sinking oer the westward
The fleet is leaving Dingle shore
I watch the men row in their curraghs
As they mark the fishing grounds near Scellig Mor
All through the night men toil until the daybreak
while at home their wives and sweethearts kneel and pray
That God might guard them and protect them
and bring them safely back to Dingle Bay

I see the green Isle of Valencia
I mind the days around Lough Lein
The gannets swinging with abandon
As they watch the silver store that comes their way
I also see a ship on the horizon
She is sailing to a country far away
on board are exiles feeling lonely
As they wave a fond farewell to Dingle Bay

Now years have passed as I came homeward
And time has left me old and grey
I sit and muse about my childhood
And the happy times I spent near Dingle Bay
I see again the green isle of Valencia
And the Isle of Inishmore seems far away
And I'm always dreaming of my childhood
And the happy days I spent near Dingle Bay

Top of page

(Ewan McColl)

I found my love 'neath the gasworks falls
Dreamed a dream by the old canal
Kissed my girl by the factory wall
Dirty old town, dirty old town

Clouds are drifting across the moon
Cats are prowling on their beat
Springs a girl in the streets at night
Dirty old town, dirty old town

Heard a siren from the dock
Saw a train set the night on fire
Smelled the spring on the smoky wind
Dirty old town, dirty old town

I'm going to take a good sharp ax
Shining steel tempered in the fire
We´ll chop you down like an old dead tree
Dirty old town, dirty old town

Top of page


'Twas down by the glenside, I met an old woman
She was picking young nettles and she scarce saw me coming
I listened a while to the song she was humming
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

'Tis fifty long years since I saw the moon beaming
On strong manly forms and their eyes with hope gleaming
I see them again, sure, in all my daydreaming
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men.

Some died on the glenside, some died near a stranger
And wise men have told us that their cause was a failure
They fought for old Ireland and they never feared danger
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

I passed on my way, God be praised that I met her
Be life long or short, sure I'll never forget her
We may have brave men, but we'll never have better
Glory O, Glory O, to the bold Fenian men

Top of page

DOWN BY THE SALLEY GARDENS (or ...Sally Gardens)
[By W. B. Yeats]

Down by the Salley Gardens my love and I did meet
She passed the Salley Gardens with little snow white feet
She bid me to take love easy, as the leaves grow on the trees
But I, being young and foolish, with her did not agree

In a field by the river, my love and I did stand
And on my leaning shoulder she placed her snow white hand
She bid me to take life easy, as the grass grows on the weir
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears

Top of page


I've a nice little cot and a small bit of land
In a place by the side of the sea
And I care about no one because I believe
There's no body cares about me

My peace is destroyed and I'm fairly annoyed
By a lassie who works in the town
She sighs every day as she passes the way:
"Do you want your old lobby washed down?"

"Do you want your old lobby washed down, conshine
Do you want your old lobby washed down?"
She sighs every day as she passes the way:
"Do you want your old lobby washed down?"

The other day the old landlord came by for his rent
I told him no money I had
Beside t'wasn't fair for to ask me to pay
The times were so awfully bad

He felt discontent at no getting his rent
And he shook his be head in a frown
Says he: "I'll take half", and says I with a laugh:
"Do you want your old lobby washed down?"

Do you want your old lobby washed down, conshine
Do you want your old lobby washed down?
Says he: "I'll take half", and says I with a laugh:
"Do you want your old lobby washed down?"

Now the boys look so bashful when they go out courtin'
They seem to look so very shy
As to kiss a young maid, sure they seem half afraid
But they would if they could on the sly

But me, I do things in a different way
I don't give a nod or a frown
When I goes to court, I says: "Here goes for sport
Do you want your old lobby washed down?"

"Do you want your old lobby washed down, conshine
Do you want your old lobby washed down?"
When I goes to court, I says: "Here goes for sport
Do you want your old lobby washed down, conshine?"

Top of page


Oh I am a roving sporting blade, they call me Jack of all Trades
I always place my chief delight in courting pretty fair maids
So when in Dublin I arrived to try for a situation
I always heard them say it was the pride of all the Nations

I'm a roving jack of all trades
Of every trade of all trades
And if you wish to know my name
They call me Jack of all trades

On George's Quay I first began and there became a porter
Me and my master soon fell out which cut my acquaintance shorter
In Sackville Street, a pastry cook; In James' Street, a baker
In Cook Street I did coffins make; In Eustace Street, a preacher

In Baggot street I drove a cab and there was well requited
In Francis Street had lodging beds, to entertain all strangers
For Dublin is of high reknown, or I am much mistaken
In Kevin Street, I do declare, sold butter, eggs and bacon

In Golden Lane I sold old shoes:  In Meath Street was a grinder
In Barrack Street I lost my wife. I'm glad I ne'er could find her
In Mary's Lane, I've dyed old clothes, of which I've often boasted
In that noted place Exchequer Street, sold mutton ready roasted

In Temple Bar, I dressed old hats;  In Thomas Street, a sawyer
In Pill Lane, I sold the plate, in Green Street, an honest lawyer
In Plunkett Street I sold cast clothes; in Bride's Alley, a broker
In Charles Street I had a shop, sold shovel, tongs and poker

In College Green a banker was, and in Smithfield, a drover
In Britain Street, a waiter and in George's Street, a glover
On Ormond Quay I sold old books; in King Street, a nailer
In Townsend Street, a carpenter; and in Ringsend, a sailor

In Cole's Lane, a jobbing butcher;  in Dane Street, a tailor
In Moore Street a chandler and on the Coombe, a weaver
In Church Street, I sold old ropes-  on Redmond's Hill a draper
In Mary Street, sold 'bacco pipes- in Bishop street a quaker

In Peter Street, I was a quack:  In Greek street, a grainer
On the Harbour, I did carry sacks;  In Werburgh Street, a glazier
In Mud Island, was a dairy boy, where I  became a scooper
In Capel Street, a barber's clerk;  In Abbey Street, a cooper

In Liffey street had furniture with fleas and bugs I sold it
And at the Bank a big placard I often stood to hold it
In New Street I sold hay and straw, and in Spitalfields made bacon
In Fishamble Street was at the grand old trade of basketmaking

In Summerhill a coachmaker; in Denzille Street a gilder
In Cork Street was a tanner, in Brunswick Street, a builder
In High Street, I sold hosiery; In Patrick Street sold all blades
So if you wish to know my name, they call me Jack of all Trades

Top of page


'Twas down by Christchurch that I first met with Annie
A neat little girl and not a bit shy
She told me her father, who came from Dungannon
Would take her back home in the sweet by and by

And what's it to any man whether or no
Whether I'm easy or whether I'm true
As I lifted her petticoat easy and slow
And I tied up my sleeves for to buckle her shoe

We wandered by Thomas Street down to the Liffey
The sunshine was gone and the evening grew dark
Along by Kingsbridge and begot in a jiffy
Me arms were around her beyond in the park


From city or county a girl is a jewel
And well made for gripping the most of them are
But any young man he is really a fool
If he tries at the first time to go a bit far


Now if you should go to the town of Dungannon
You can search till your eyes are weary or blind
Be you lying or walking or sitting or running
A girl like Annie, you never will find


Top of page


When, like the dawning day
Eileen Aroon
Love sends his early ray
Eileen Aroon
What makes his dawning glow
Changeless through joy and woe
Only the constant know
Eileen Aroon

Were she no longer true
Eileen Aroon
What would her lover do
Eileen Aroon
Fly with a broken chain
Far o'er the bounding main
Never to love again
Eileen Aroon

Youth must in time decay
Eileen Aroon
Beauty must fade away
Eileen Aroon
Castles are sacked in war
Chieftains are scattered far
Truth is a fixed star
Eileen Aroon

Top of page


I'll tell you a story of a row in the town
When the green flag went up and the Crown rag came down
'Twas the neatest and sweetest thing ever you saw
And they played the best games played in Erin Go Bragh

One of our comrades was down at Ring's End
For the honor of Ireland to hold and defend
He had no veteran soldiers but volunteers raw
Playing sweet Mauser music for Erin Go Bragh

Now here's to Pat Pearse and our comrades who died
Tom Clarke, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBryde [?]
And here's to James Connolly who gave one hurrah
And faced the machine guns for Erin Go Bragh

One brave English captain was ranting that day
Saying, "Give me one hour and I'll blow you away,"
But a big Mauser bullet got stuck in his craw
And he died of lead poisoning in Erin Go Bragh

Old Ceannt and his comrades like lions at bay
From the South Dublin Union poured death and dismay
And what was their horror when the Englishmen saw
All the dead khaki soldiers in Erin Go Bragh

Now here's to old Dublin, and here's her renown
In the long generation her fame will go down
And our children will tell how their forefathers saw
The red blaze of freedom in Erin Go Bragh

Top of page

[from Irish Songs of Resistance]

Come tell me, dearest mother, what makes my father stay
Or what can be the reason that he's been so long away?
Oh hold your tongue, my darling son, your tears do grieve me sore
I fear he has been murdered at the fair of Turloughmore

Come all you tender Christians I hope you will draw near
It's of this dreadful murder I mean to let you hear
Concerning those poor people whose loss we do deplore
The Lord have mercy on their souls, they died at Turloughmore

'Twas on the first of August the truth I will declare
Those people they assembled that day all at the fair
But little was their notion what evil was in store
All by the bloody Peelers at the fair of Turloughmore

Were you to see that dreadful sight 'twould grieve your heart I know
To see those lovely women and the men all lying low
God help their tender parents, they will never see them more
For cruel was their murder at the fair of Turloughmore

It's for that base bloodthirsty crew remark the word I say
The Lord he will reward them against the Judgement Day
The blood they've taken innocent for it they'll suffer sore
And the treatment that they gave to us that day at Turloughmore

The morning of their trial as they stood in the dock
The words they spoke were feeling, the people round them flock
"I tell you judge and jury, the truth I will declare
It was Brew that ordered us to fire, that evening at the fair"

Now to conclude and finish this sad and doleful lay
I hope their souls are happy against the Judgement Day
It was little time they got, we know, when they fell like new-mown hay
May the Lord have mercy on their souls against the Judgment Day

Top of page

(By Kirsty McColl)

It was Christmas Eve babe
In the drunk tank
An old man said to me, won't see another one
And then he sang a song
The Rare Old Mountain Dew
And I turned my face away
And dreamed about you

Got on a lucky one
Came in eighteen to one
I've got a feeling
This year's for me and you
So happy Christmas
I love you baby
I can see a better time
When all our dreams come true

They've got cars
Big as bars
They've got rivers of gold
But the wind goes right through you
It's no place for the old
When you first took my hand
On a cold Christmas Eve
You promised me
Broadway was waiting for me

You were handsome
You were pretty
Queen of New York City
When the band finished playing
They howled out for more
Sinatra was swinging
All the drunks they were singing
We kissed on the corner
Then danced through the night

The boys of the NYPD choir
Were singing 'Galway Bay'
And the bells were ringing
Out for Christmas day

You're a bum
You're a punk
You're an old slut on junk
Living there almost dead on a drip
In that bed

You scum bag
You maggot
You cheap lousy faggot
Happy Christmas your arse
I pray God
It's our last

I could have been someone
So could anyone
You took my dreams
From me when I first found you
I kept them with me babe
I put them with my own
Can't make it all alone
I've built my dreams around you

Top of page


Our troop was made ready at the dawn of the day
From lovely Enniskillen they were marching us away
They put us then on board a ship to cross the raging main
To fight in bloody battle in the sunny land of Spain

Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
And all around the borders of Erin's green isle
And when the war is over we'll return in full bloom
And you'll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Oh Spain it is a gallant land where wine and ale flow free
There's lots of lovely women there to dandle on your knee
And often in a tavern there we'd make the rafters ring
When every soldier in the house would raise his glass and sing


Well we fought for Ireland's glory there and many a man did fall
From musket and from bayonet and from thundering cannon ball
And many a foeman we laid low, amid the battle throng
And as we prepared for action you would often hear this song


Well now the fighting's over and for home we have set sail
Our flag above this lofty ship is fluttering in the gale
They've given us a pension boys of fourpence each a day
And when we reach Enniskillen never more we'll have to say


Top of page


Fare thee well Enniskillen, fare thee well for a while
To all your fair waters and every green isle
Oh your green isle will flourish your fair waters flow
While I from old Ireland an exile must go

Her hair is as brown as the young raven's wing
Her eyes are as clear as the blue-bell of spring Father Once Said To Me

In 1916, in the year of our Lord
fighting came to Ireland, like it never had before
For freedom comes to those who fight for its day
so I picked up my rifle and joined the IRA

My great grandfather once said to his son:
the brits will leave before this year is done
This war will soon be in the past and Ireland
will be free at last Cause it won't be long until we've won
that`s what my great grandfather said to his son

A free and united Ireland was our only desire
nd the best of the British Army couldn't put out that fire
But a deal with the devil was soon put forth
Freedom for the South and nothing for the North

Well, this didn't seem really right with me
For Ireland is one from sea to sea
And the IRA said our job's not done
So off to the North I went with my gun

We fought in the fields, we fought in the streets
And the English knew we couldn't be beat
We fought with rifles, we fought with rocks
And sent many a soldier home in a box

The fight has been long and many have fell
And we weep for the rebels who starved alone in a cell
For the price of our freedom is paid with blood
of those IRA men who have died in the mud

Is life so sweet or is peace so dear?
That the weight of chains are easy to bear
For freedom comes to those who fight for its day
So pick up your rifle and join the IRA

Now I am a father and I have a son
The brits are still here, they haven't gone
And Ireland bleeds every year
For in the North there is death and fear
Until it's free, I'll keep my gun
That's what I'm going to tell my son

Top of page


Fare thee well until we meet again down by the Liffey water
I'll bid larewell to Dublin and her streets of cobblestones
I'm going away to leave you, my friends and all the girls too
Till I return to see you farewell old Dublin town

To the City of our fathers where friend and foe have gathered
Where the Norman, Dane and Saxon have mingled with he Gael
Administered the kingdom and soon the Pale was reeling
To cradle Ireland's freedom in dear old Dublin town

Down by the river Poddle there was whiskey stout and coddle
it was there with all the gentle folk, we laughed and danced and sang
And courted with your daughters and swam around your waters
And seen our buildings slaughtered in dear Old Dublin Town

I remember in my childhood her mountains and her wild woods
I've read of all her heroes in a classroom as a boy
Of Thomas Street where Emmet died, in Sackville Street they
fought with pride Of when brave Wolfe Tone did ride through dear old Dublin town

Her poets they were many and her writers they were plenty
There was Swift with all his little men and Joyce's Molly Bloom
Our heroes they're an unsung gang there's Forty Coats and ould
Bang Bang And Zozimus who always sang of dear old.Dublin town

And now I'm standing on the Quay, my destiny's uncertain
Where fortunes have been lost and won with he dealing of a hand
The past it is a purple haze, the future is an untold maze
The present is another gaze at dear old Dublin Town

Top of page

[Recorded by John Faulkner (with Dolores Keane) on "Farewell To Eirin"
and by Planxty (Christy Moore) on "After The Break" (1979), who notes:
"Christy heard versions of this song sung by John Lyons, Tom Lenihan
an unknown singer on Donnacha O'Dulaing's "Highways And Byways". He received
written versions from Mike Flynn and Seamus Mac Mathuna and there's another
in Zimmerman's Songs of Irish Rebellion"
This seems like a sort of crash course in Irish geography. The lyrics are
those of Faulkner, Moore sings a couple of additional lines and lists even
more place names!]

I am a bold undaunted fox that never was before on tramp
My rent, rate and taxes I was willing for to pay
I made my name in fine good land
Between Tipperary and Ochlong
Where my forefathers lived and died
A thousand years or so

But then of late I was betrayed
By one who was a fool I know,
He told me I should leave the place
And show me face no more
And soon as he evicted me
I thought it time that I should flee
So late one night I took his life and left him laying low

But by telegraph they did insert a great reward for my arrest
My figure, size and form, my name without mistake
They broke their brogues, one thousand pairs
This great reward for to obtain
But still their search was all in vain
For Farmer Michael Hayes

They searched Tipperary o'er and o'er
The corn fields near Baltimore
They went across to Wexford then
But they'd not long delay
By Ballyhill and Stridmore Strand
They searched the woods as they came on
Till they were hungry, wet and cold
At the approach of day

Then round the coast they made a steer
From Pulbeg lighthouse to Cape Clear
Killarney town and the sweet Tralee
They then crossed into Clare
And when they landed on the shore
They searched Kilrush from tip to toe
They searched the baths near sweet Lisdoon
Likewise Miltown Malbay

And Galway being a place of fame
They thought 'twas there I might remain
But still their search was all in vain
For I gave them all legbail
They searched the train at Oranmore
As she was starting for Drumore
And every carriage, car and coach
They met upon the road

And Connemara being remote
They thought that there I might resort
When they were getting weary, they resolved to try Mayo
In Swinford town as I sat down
I heard a dreadful cry of hounds
So I lay there in an manger, till the approach of day

Then to Dublin town I made my way
And then to Cobh and Amerikay
And left the hounds to search away
For Farmer Michael Hayes
And as the moon began to shine
I thought I'd make a foreign clime
Now I'm in the land of liberty, and fig for all my foes

Top of page


Wee Willie John McFadden was a loyal Ulster Prod
Who thought that Ian Paisley was one step down from God
He scorned the little children, in the backstreets of Ardoyne
And he thought that history started with the Battle of the Boyne
And he thought that history started with the Battle of the Boyne

One day he took the brick in his hands and dandered up the Falls
He was singing 'Up the Rangers' and hummin' Derry's Walls
He broke the big shop window to annoy the Pope of Rome
He took the record player and then he started home
He took the record player and then he started home

Next night they had a hooley at the local Orange Hall
Wee Willie took his player to make music for the boys
He chose a stack of records of a very loyal kind
But when the music started he nearly lost his mind
But when the music started he nearly lost his mind

This Fenian record player was a rebel to the core
It played out songs the Orange Hall had never heard before
For Golly's Brae and Derry's Walls it didn't give a fig
It speeded up God Save the Queen till it sounded like a jig
It speeded up God Save the Queen till it sounded like a jig

Well the boys were plain demented, to the ground Wee Will was thrown
They kicked his ribs in one by one to the tune of Garryowen
They threw him out the window to the song of Old Sinn Fein
They kicked him all down Sandy Row to a Nation Once Again
They kicked him all down Sandy Row to a Nation Once Again

There's a moral to this story, what it is I cannot say
Oh maybe its the ancient curse, crime it will not pay
If you ask Wee Willie McFadden, he'll say you're kind, you know
If you want to pinch a record player, do it up the Shankill Road
If you want to pinch a record player, do it up the Shankill Road

Top of page


Now boys, if you will listen, a story I'll relate
I'll tell you of the noble men who from their foe escaped
Though bound with Saxon fetters in the dark Australian jail
They struck a blow for freedom and for Yankeeland set sail

On the seventeenth of April last the Stars and Stripes did fly
On board the bark Catalpa, waving proudly to the sky
She showed the green above the red as she did calmly lay
Prepared to take the Fenian boys in safety o'er the sea

When Breslin and brave Desmond brought the prisoners to the shore
They gave one shout for freedom; soon to bless them evermore
And manned by gallant Irish hearts, pulled towards the Yankee shore
For well they knew, from its proud folds, no tyrant could them drag

They had nearly reached in safety the Catalpa taut and trim
When fast approaching them they saw a vision dark and dim
It was the gunboat Georgette, and on her deck there stood
One hundred hired assassins, to shed each patriot's blood

The gunboat reached the bounding bark and fired across her bow
Then in loud voice commanded that the vessel should heave to
But noble Captain Anthony in thunder tones did cry
"You dare not fire a shot at that bright flag that floats on high"

"My ship is sailing peacefully beneath that flag of stars
It's manned by Irish hearts of oak and manly Yankee tars
And that dear emblem near the fore, so plain to be seen
Is is the banner I'll protect, old Ireland's flag of green"

The Britisher he sailed away, from the Stars and Stripes he ran
He knew his chance was slim to fight the boys of Uncle Sam
So Hogan, Wilson, Harrington, with Darragh off did go
With Hassett and bold Cranston, soon to whip the Saxon foe

Here's luck to Captain Anthony who well these men did free
He dared the English man-o'-war to fight him on the sea
And here's to that dear emblem which in triumph shall be seen
The flag for which our heroes fought, old Ireland's flag of green

Top of page

(By John Connolly/Bill Meek, 1960s)

As I went a walking one evening so rare
To view the still waters and taste the salt air
I heard an old fisherman singing this song
Sayin', "Take me away boys, my time is not long"

"Wrap me up in me oil skins and blankets
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I'm takin' a trip mates
And I'll see you someday on fiddler's green"

Now fiddler's green is a place I've heard tell
Where fishermen go if they don't go to hell
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of Greenland is far far away

Where the weather is fair and there's never a gale
Where the fish jump on board with a swish of their tail
You lie at your leisure there's no work to do
While the skipper's below makin' tae for the crew

I don't need a harp nor a halo not me
Just give me a breeze and a good rollin' sea
I'll play me old squeeze box as we sail along
And the wind in the riggin' will sing me this song..

Top of page


By a lonely prison wall I heard a young girl callin'
"Michael they have taken you away
For you stole Trevelyn's corn
So the young might see the morn
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay"

Low lie the fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly
Our love was on the wing, we had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry

By a lonely prison wall I heard a young man calling
"Nothing matters, Mary, when you're free
Against the famine and the Crown I rebelled, they cut me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity"

By a lonely harbour wall she watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
For she'll live in hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the fields of Athenry

Top of page


Tim Finnegan lived in Watling street
A gentleman Irishman -- mighty odd
He'd a beautiul brogue, so rich and sweet
And to rise in the world, he carried the hod
But, you see he'd sort of a tipping way
With a love for the liquor poor Tim was born
And so to help him through with his work each day
He'd drop of the craythin' every morn

Whack; fol-de-dooh-dah, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, yer truthers shake
Isn't it the truth I've told ye?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake

One morning Tim was rather full
His head felt heavy, which made him shake
He fell from the ladder and broke his skull
So they carried him home a corpse to wake
They rolled him up in a nice clean sheet
And laid him out upon the bed
With fourteen candles round his feet
and a gallon of porter at his head

Whack; fol-de-dooh-dah, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, yer truthers shake
Isn't it the truth I've told ye?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake

His friends assembled at his wake
Missus Finnegan called for the lunch
First they laid in tea and cake
Then pipes and tobacky and whiskey-punch
Miss Biddy O'Brien began to cry
'Such a dacent corpse did you ever see?
Arrah! Tim avourmeen, an why did ye die?'
'Ooh, none of your gab,' sez Billy Magee

Whack; fol-de-dooh-dah, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, yer truthers shake
Isn't it the truth I've told ye?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake

Then Peggy O'Connor took up the job
'Aargh! Biddy, says she, 'Ye'r wrong, I'm sure'
But Biddy then gave her a belt on the gob
And left her sprawling on the floor
Each side in war did soon engage
'Twas woman to woman and man to man
Shullelah law was all the rage
And a row and a rucus soon began

Whack; fol-de-dooh-dah, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, yer truthers shake
Isn't it the truth I've told ye?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake

Mikey Mulvaney raised his head
When a gallon of whiskey flew at him
It missed him -- and hopping on the bed
The liquor scattered all over Tim!
Bedad he revives! See how he rises!
An' Timothy, jumping from the bed
Cried, while he lathered round like blazes
'In the name of the devil, d'ye think I'm dead'

Whack; fol-de-dooh-dah, dance to your partner
Welt the floor, yer truthers shake
Isn't it the truth I've told ye?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake

Top of page

(The Wolfe Tones)

I can hear the bells of Dublin
in this lonely waiting room
and the paper boys are singing in the rain
Not too long before they take us
to the airport and the noise
to get onboard a transatlantic plane

We've got nothing left to stay for
we have no more left to say
and there isn't any work for us to do
So farewell you boys and girls
another bloody Flight of Earls
our best asset is our best export, too..

It's not for fear of famine
that makes us leave this time
we're not going to join McAlpine's Fusiliers
We've got brains and we've got visions
we've got education too
but we just can't throw away these precious years

So we walk the streets of London
and the streets of Baltimore
and we meet the night in several Boston bars
We're the leaders of the future
but we're far away from home
and we dream of you beneath the Irish stars

As we look on Ellis Island
and the Lady in the bay
and Manhattan turns to face another Sunday
We just wonder what you're doing
for to bring us all back home
as we look forward to another Monday

Because it's not the work that scares us
we don't mind an honest job
and we know things will get better once again
So a thousand times adieu
we've got Bono and U2
and all we're missing is the Guinness and the rain

So switch off your new computers
'cause the writing's on the wall
we're leaving as our fathers did before
Take a look at Dublin Airport
and the boat that leaves North Wall
there'll be no youth unemployment any more

Because they're over here in Queensland
and in parts of New South Wales
we're on the seas and airways and the trains
And if we see better days
don't big airplanes go both ways
and we're all be coming home to you again

Top of page


If I were King of Ireland's Isle
And had all things at my will
I'd roam for recreation
And I'd seek for comfort still
The comfort I would ask for
So that you may understand
Is to win the heart of Martha
The Flower of Sweet Strabane

Her cheeks they are a ruby red
Her hair a lovely brown
And o'er her milk white shoulders
It carelessly hangs down
She is the fairest creature
And the pride of all her clan
And my heart is captivated
By the flower of Sweet Strabane

Well I've been in the Phoenix Park
And in Killarney fair
The lovely glens of Antrim
And the winding banks of Clare
In all my earthly travels
I never yet met one
That could compare, I do declare
With the Flower of Sweet Strabane

But since I cannot gain her love
No joy there is for me
And I must seek forgetfulness
In lands across the sea
Unless she cares to follow me
I swear by my right hand
McKenna's face you'll ne'er more see
My Flower of Sweet Strabane

So it's farewell to sweet Derry Quay
New Mills and Waterside
I'll sail out o'er the ocean
Whatever may betide
I'll sail away from Derry Quay
Out by the Isle of Man
And I'll bid farewell to Martha
The Flower of Sweet Strabane

Top of page


'Twas down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I
When Ireland's line of marching men
In squadrons passed me by
No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound it dread tattoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey's swell
Rang out in the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin town
They hung out a flag of war
'Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through
While Brittania's huns with their long-range guns
Sailed in from the foggy dew

'Twas England bade our wild geese go
That small nations might be free
Their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves
On the fringe of the grey North Sea
But had they died by Pearse's side
Or fought with Cathal Bruga
Their graves we'd keep where the Fenians sleep
'Neath the hills of the foggy dew

The bravest fell, and the solemn bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springing of the year
And the world did gaze in deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight that freedom's light
Might shine through the foggy dew

Top of page

(Patrick Joseph McCall ca. 1890, Melody dates from pre-1500's)
[In 1580, at the pass of Glen Malure, near
Glendalough, County Wicklow, Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne
overthrew the forces of the English Crown under Lord Grey de Wilton.
The victory is commemorated in this great song. Thomas FitzWilliam
was born around 1519 and died 1592, fought against the natives
outside "The pale" led by Shane O'Neill in 1560 and 1566, and
finally defeated the O'Tooles and O'Byrnes in 1601.]

Lift Mac Cahir Óg your face, brooding o'er the old disgrace
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place, and drove you to the fern
Grey said victory was sure, soon the firebrand he'd secure
Until he met at Glenmalure:  Feach Mac Hugh O'Byrne!

Curse and swear, Lord Kildare!
Feach will do what Feach will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care!
Fallen is your star, low!
Up with halbert, out with sword!
On we'll go, for, by the Lord,
Feach Mac Hugh has given the word:
"Follow me up to Carlow!"

See the swords of Glen Imayle, flashing o'er the English Pale!
See all the children of the Gael beneath O'Byrne's banners!
Rooster of a fighting stock, would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock? Fly up and teach him manners!

From Tassagart to Clonmore, there flows a stream of Saxon gore
Och, great is Rory Óg O'More at sending loons to Hades!
White is sick and Grey is fled, now for black FitzWilliam's head!
We'll send it over, dripping red, to queen Liza and her ladies!

Top of page


I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea
From the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Donaghadea
I miss the River Shannon, the folks at Skibbereen
The moorlands and the meadows and the forty shades of green
But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town
And most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown
Again I want to see and do the things we've done and seen
Where the breeze is sweet as Shalamar
And there's forty shades of green

I wish I could spend an hour at Dublin churning stuff
I'd love to watch the farmer drain the bog and spade the turf
To see again the thatching of straw the women clean
I'd walk from Cork to Larne to see the forty shades of green
But most of all I miss a girl in Tipperary town
and most of all I miss her lips as soft as eiderdown
Again I want to see and do the things we've done and seen
Where the breeze is sweet as Shalamar
And there's forty shades of green

Top of page


For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it fame?
For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it fame?
For what flowed Irelands blood in rivers
That began when Brian chased the Dane
And did not cease nor has not ceased
With the brave sons of '16
For what died the sons of Róisín, was it fame?

For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it greed?
For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it greed?
Was it greed that drove Wolfe Tone to a paupers death in a cell of cold wet stone?
Will German, French or Dutch inscribe the epitaph of Emmet?
When we have sold enough of Ireland to be but strangers in it
For What Died the Sons of Róisín, was it greed?

To whom do we owe our allegiance today?
To whom do we owe our allegiance today?
To those brave men who fought and died that Róisín live again with pride?
Her sons at home to work and sing
Her youth to dance and make her valleys ring
Or the faceless men who for Mark and Dollar
Betray her to the highest bidder
To whom do we owe our allegiance today?

For what suffer our patriots today?
For what suffer our patriots today?
They have a language problem, so they say
How to write "No Trespass" must grieve their heart full sore
We got rid of one strange language now we are faced with many, many more
For what suffer our patriots today?

Top of page

(Tommy Makem)

What did I have, said the fine old woman 
What did I have, this proud old woman did say 
I had four green fields, each one was a jewel 
But strangers came and tried to take them from me 
I had fine strong sons, who fought to save my jewels 
They fought and they died, and that was my grief said she 

Long time ago, said the fine old woman 
Long time ago, this proud old woman did say 
There was war and death, plundering and pillage 
My children starved, by mountain, valley and sea 
And their wailing cries, they shook the very heavens 
My four green fields ran red with their blood, said she 

What have I now, said the fine old woman 
What have I now, this proud old woman did say 
I have four green fields, one of them's in bondage 
In stranger's hands, that tried to take it from me 
But my sons had sons, as brave as were their fathers 
My fourth green field will bloom once again said she 

Top of page


They were the men with the vision the men with the cause
The men who defied their oppressors laws
The men who traded their chains for guns
Born into slavery they were freedoms sons

At Easter time 1916
When flowers bloomed and leaves were green
There dawned a day when freedoms cry
Called on brave men come fight or die

In Dublin town they fought and died
With Pearse McDermott and McBride
Ourselves alone their battle cry
And freedom rang through that Easter sky

A poets dream had sparked that flame
A raging fire it soon became
And from that fire of destiny
Arose a nation proud and free

Six counties are in bondage still
They died brave men was this their will
Until we're free and oppression ceased
Only then brave men shall sleep in peace

Top of page


Laws were made for people and the law can never scorn
The right of a man to be free

Free the people, let them have their say
Free the people, let them see the light of day

Addys Madden was breaking when they took her man away
Not knowing what was his crime
Just what he was guilty of not one of them could say
But they think of something in time
He says "Goodbye and remember, we shall overcome"

Comforting her children softly crying in the night
She tries very hard to explain
"You know your daddy never did a thing that wasn't right
So soon he's bound to be home again
He is a good man and he shall overcome"

But does is profit him, the right to be born
If he suffers the loss of liberty
Laws were made for people and the law can never scorn
The right of a man to be free
We are the people and we shall overcome
We are the people and we shall overcome

Top of page


Well there's four of us who share the room, we work hard for the brass
And getting up late on Sunday, I never go to mass

It's a long long way from Clare to here
It's a long long way from Clare to here
Oh, it's a long long way, it gets further day by day
It's a long long way from Clare to here

When Friday night comes around and Eddy's only in the fighting
My ma would like a letter home but I'm too tired for writing

Well it almost breaks my heart when I think of Josephine
I promised I'd be coming back with pockets full of green

I dream I hear a piper play maybe it's emotion
I dream I see white horses dance on that other ocean

Top of page


There's four who share the room and we work hard for the craic
Getting up late on a Sunday, i never get to Mass

It's a long long way from Clare to here
It's a long long way from Clare to here
It's a long long way, it gets further every day
It's a long long way from Clare to here

When Friday night comes round, you'll always find me fighting
My ma would like a letter home, but I'm too tired for writing


The only time I feel all right, is when I'm out drinking
it eases off the pain a bit and levels out my thinking


It almost breaks my heart when I think of Josephine
I told her I'd be coming home, my pockets full of green


I dreamt I heard a piper play - or was it just a notion
I dreamt I saw white horses dance upon that other ocean

Top of page