Return to the Irish page

Irish songs and traditional music
[ Page created 991016, updated 090831, 115443 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

THE SEA AROUND US

They say that the lakes of Killarney are fair
That no stream like the Liffey can ever compare
If it's water you want, you'll find nothing more rare
Than the stuff they make down by the ocean

Chorus:
The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide
Long may it stay between England and me
It's a sure guarantee that some hour we'll be free
Oh, thank God we're surrounded by water

Tom Moore made his "Waters" meet fame and reknown
A great lover of anything dressed in a crown
In brandy the bandy old Saxon he'd drown
But throw ne'er a one in the ocean

The Scots have their Whisky, the Welch have their speech
And their poets are paid about tenpence a week
Provided no hard words on England they speak
Oh Lord, what a price for devotion

The Danes came to Ireland with nothing to do
But dream of the plundered old Irish they slew
"Yeh will in yer vikings" said Brian Boru
And threw them back into the ocean

Two foreign old monarchs in battle did join
Each wanting his head on the back of a coin;
If the Irish had sense they'd drowned both in the Boyne
And partition thrown into the ocean



Top of page

SEAN SOUTH OF GARRYOWEN

Sad are the homes 'round Garryowen
Since lost their giant pride.
And the banshee cry links every vale
Around the Shannon side
That city of the ancient walls
The broken Treaty Stone, undying fame
Surrounds your name - Sean South of Garryowen

'Twas on a dreary New Year's Eve
As the shades of night came down
A lorry load of volunteers approached a border town
There were men from Dublin and from Cork
Fermanagh and Tyrone
But the leader was a Limerick man -
Sean South from Garryowen

And as they moved along the street
Up to the barracks door
They scorned the danger they might meet
Their fate that lay in store
They were fighting for old Ireland's cause
To claim their very own
And the foremost of that gallant band
Was South of Garryowen

But the sergeant spoiled their daring plan
He spied them through the door
The Sten guns and the rifles
A hail of death did pour
And when that awful night was passed
Two men lay cold as stone
There was one from near the border
And one from Garryowen

No more he will hear the seagull's cry
O'er the murmuring Shannon tide
For he fell beneath a northern sky
Brave Hanlon by his side
They have gone to join that gallant band
Of Plunkett, Pearse, and Tone
A martyr for old Ireland
Sean South from Garryowen



Top of page

SEVEN DRUNKEN NIGHTS (1)

As I went home on Monday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be
Well I called me wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that horse outside the door
Where my old horse should be

Oh you're drunk youre drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's a lovely sow that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I've travelled
A hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Tuesday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a coat behind the door
Where my old coat should be
Well I called me wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that coat behind the door
Where my old coat should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
Thats a wollen blanket that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I've travelled
A hundred miles or more
But buttons on a blanket sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Wednesday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a pipe upon the chair
Where my old pipe should be
Well I called me wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that pipe upon the chair
Where my old pipe should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's a lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I've travelled
A hundred miles or more
But tobacco in a tin whistle sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Thursday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw two boots beneath the bed
Where my old boots should be
Well I called me wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns them boots beneath the bed
Where my old boots should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
They're two lovely geranium pots me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I've travelled
A hundred miles or more
But laces in geranium pots I never saw before

And as I went home on Friday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a head upon the bed
Where my old head should be
Well I called me wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that head upon the bed
Where me old head should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's a baby boy that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I've travelled
A hundred miles or more
But a baby boy with whiskers on sure I never saw before

As I went home on Saturday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw two hands upon her breasts
Where me two hands should be
Well I called my wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that hands upon your breasts
Were me two hands should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's a lovely night gown that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I travelled
A hundred miles and more
But fingers in a night gown sure I never saw before

As I went home on Sunday night
As drunk as drunk could be
I saw a thing in her thing
Where me old thing should be
Well I called my wife and I said to her
Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that thing in your thing
Where me old thing should be

Oh you're drunk you're drunk you silly old fool
Still you cannot see
That's that lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me
Well it's many a day I travelled
A hundred miles and more
But hair on a tin whistle sure I never saw before



Top of page

SEVEN DRUNKEN NIGHTS (2)

As I went home on Monday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door, where my old horse should be
I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
who owns that horse outside the door, where my old horse should be?
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
That's a lovely sow that my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
but a saddle on a sow, sure, I never saw before

As I went home on Tuesday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a coat behind the door, where my old coat should be
I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
who owns that coat behind the door, where my old coat should be?
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
That's a woolen blanket that my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
but buttons on a blanket, sure, I never saw before

As I went home on Wednesday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a pipe upon the chair, where my old pipe should be
I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
who owns that pipe upon the chair where my old pipe should be
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
That's a lovely tin-whistle, that my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
but tobacco in a tin-whistle, sure, I never saw before

As I came home on Thursday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I saw two boots beside the bed, where my old boots should be
I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
who owns them boots beside the bed where my old boots should be
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
They're two lovely flower pots my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
but laces in flower pots I never saw before

As I came home on Friday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a head upon the bed, where my old head should be
I called my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
who owns that head upon the bed, where my old head should be
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
That's a baby boy, that my mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
but a baby boy with his whiskers on, sure, I never saw before

As I came home on a Saturday night, as drunk as drunk could be
I spied two hands upon her breasts, where my old hands should be
I called to my wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who's hands are these upon your breasts, where my old hands should be?
Oh, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
'Tis nothing but a Living Bra Jane Russell gave to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled a hundred miles or more
but fingernails on a Living Bra, I never saw before

Now when I came home on Sunday night, a little after three
I saw a man running out the door with his pants about his knee
So I called to my wife and I said to her: would you kindly tell to me
who was that man running out the door with his pants about his knee?
Oh you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly old fool, and still you cannot see
Twas nothing but the tax collector the Queen sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've travelled, a hundred miles or more
But an Englishman that could last 'till three I never saw before



Top of page

THE SHORES OF AMERIKAY

I'm bidding farewell to the land of my youth
and the home I love so well
And the mountains so grand round my own native land
I'm bidding them all farewell
With an aching heart I'll bid them adieu
for tomorrow I'll sail far away
O'er the raging foam for to seek a home
on the shores of Amerikay

It's not for the want of employment I'm going
It's not for the love of fame
That fortune bright, may shine over me
and give me a glorious name
It's not for the want of employment I'm going
o'er the weary and stormy sea
But to seek a home for my own true love
on the shores of Amerikay

And when I am bidding my last farewell
the tears like rain will blind
To think of my friends in my own native land
and the home I'm leaving behind
But if I'm to die in a foreign land
and be buried so far far away
No fond mother's tears will be shed o'er my grave
on the shores of Amerikay



Top of page

SHULE AGRA
(also called JOHNNY HAS GONE FOR A SOLDIER)

With fife and drum he marched away
He would not heed what I did say
He'll not come back for many a day
Johnny has gone for a soldier

Chorus:
  Shule shule shule shule agra
  Sure a sure and he loves me
  When he comes back he'll marry me
  Johnny has gone for a soldier

I'll go up on Portland hill
And there I'll sit and cry my fill
And every tear should turn a mill
Johnny has gone for a soldier

I'll sell my rock, I'll sell my reel
I'll sell my flax and spinning wheel
To buy my love a sword of steel
Johnny has gone for a soldier

I'll dye my petticoats crimson red
Through the world I'll beg my bread
I'll find my love alive or dead
Johnny has gone for a soldier



Top of page

SKIBBEREEN (1)

O, Father dear, I ofttimes heard you talk of Erin's Isle
Her valleys green, her lofty scene, her mountains rude and wild
You said it was a pleasant place wherein a prince might dwell
Why have you then forsaken her, the reason to me tell?

My son, I loved our native land with energy and pride
Until a blight fell on the land and sheep and cattle died
The rents and taxes were to pay, I could not them redeem
And that's the cruel reason why I left Old Skibbereen

It's well I do remember on a bleak November's day
The landlord and his agent came to drive us all away
He set my house on fire with his demon yellow spleen
And that's another reason why I left Old Skibbereen

Your mother, too, God rest her soul, lay on the snowy ground
She fainted in her anguish of the desolation round
She never rose, but went her way from life to death's long dream
And found a quiet grave, my boy, in lovely Skibbereen

It's well I do remember the year of forty-eight
When we arose with Erin's boys to fight against our fate
I was hunted through the mountains as a traitor to the Queen
And that's another reason that I left Old Skibbereen

Oh father dear, the day will come when vengeance loud will call
And we'll arise with Erin's boys and rally one and all
I'll be tbe man to lead the van, beneath our flag of green
And loud and high we'll raise the cry, "Revenge for Skibbereen!"



Top of page

SKIBBEREEN (2)

Oh father dear, I oft-times hear you speak of Erin's isle
Her lofty hills, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say she is a lovely land wherein a saint might dwell
So why did you abandon her, the reason to me tell

Oh son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
Till a blight came o'er the praties; my sheep, my cattle died
My rent and taxes went unpaid, I could not them redeem
And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen

Oh well do I remember that bleak December day
The landlord and the sheriff came to take us all away
They set my roof on fire with their cursed English spleen
I heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the stony ground
She fainted in her anguish seeing desolation 'round
She never rose but passed away from life to immortal dream
She found a quiet grave, me boy, in dear old Skibbereen

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame
I could not leave you with my friends for you bore your father's name
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen

Oh father dear, the day will come when in answer to the call
All Irish men of freedom stern will rally one and all
I'll be the man to lead the band beneath the flag of green
And loud and clear we'll raise the cheer, Revenge for Skibbereen!



Top of page

SLANE (BE THOU MY VISION)

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping thy presence my light

Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word
I ever with thee, thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I thy true Son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one

Be thou my battleshield, sword for the fight
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight
Thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower
Raise thou me heavenward, O power of my power

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart
High King of heavem, my treasure thou art

High King of heaven, after victory won
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heaven's sun
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all



Top of page

SLIEVENAMON

Alone, all alone, by the wave-washed strand
All alone in the crowded hall
The hall it is gay, and the waves they are grand
But my heart is not here at all
It flies far away, by night and by day
To the times and the joys that are gone
But I never will forget the sweet maiden I met
In the valley of Slievenamon

It was not the grace of her queenly aire
Nor her cheek of the rose's glow
Nor her soft black eyes, not her flowing hair
Nor was it her lily white brow
Twas the soul of truth, and of melting ruth
And the smile like a summer dawn
That sold my heart away on a soft summer day
In the valley of Slievenamon


In the festival hall, by the star-washed shore
Ever my restless spirit cries
"My love, oh, my love, shall I ne'er see you more
And my land, will you never uprise?"
By night and by day, I ever, ever pray
While lonely my life flows on
To see our flag unfurled and my true love to enfold
In the valley of Slievenamon



Top of page

THE SNOWY BREASTED PEARL

There's a colleen fair as May
For a year and for a day
I have sought by every way
Her heart to gain
There's no art of tongue or eye
Fond youths with maidens try
But I've tried with ceaseless sigh
Yet tried in vain

If to France or far off Spain
She crossed the wat'ry main
To see her face again the seas I'd brave
And if it's heaven's decree
That mine she'll never be
May the Son of Mary me in mercy save

But a kiss with welcome bland
And the touch of thy fair hand
Are all that I demand
Would'st thou not spurn
For if not mine, dear girl
My snowy breasted pearl
May I never from the fair
With life return



Top of page

SPANCIL HILL

Last night as I lay dreamin'
Of pleasant days gone by
Me mind bein' bent on travelin'
To Ireland I did fly
I stepped aboard a vision
and followed with my will
'Til next I came to anchor
At the cross near Spancil Hill

Delighted by the novelty
Enchanted with the scene
Where in my early boyhood
Where often I had been
I thought I heard a murmur
And think I hear it still
It's the little stream of water
That flows down Spancil Hill

It being the 23rd of June
The day before the fair
Where Ireland's sons and daughters
In crowds assembled there
The young, the old, the brave and the bold
They came for sport and kill
There were jovial conversations
At the cross near Spancil Hill

I went to see my neighbours
To hear what they might say
The old ones were all dead and gone
The others turning grey
I met with tailor Quigley
He's as bold as ever still
Sure he used to make my britches
When I lived in Spancil Hill

I paid a flying visit
To my first and only love
She's white as any lily
And gentle as a dove
She threw her arms around me
Saying Johnny I love you still
She's Meg the farmers daughter
And the pride of Spancil Hill

I dreamt I stooped and kissed her
As in the day of 'ore
She said Johnny you're only joking
As many the times before
The cock crew in the morn'
He crew both loud and shrill
And I woke in California
Many miles from Spancil Hill



Top of page

THE SPANISH LADY

As I went out through Dublin City at the hour of twelve at night,
Who would I see but the Spanish Lady
Washing her feet by candle light
First she washed them then she dried them
O'er a fire of amber coals
In all my life I ne'er did see a maid so sweet about the soul

Chorus:
Whack fol de turalura ladie
Whack fol de turalureley
Whack fol de turalura ladie
Whack fol de turalureley

As I came back through Dublin City at the time of half past eight
Who would I see but the Spanish Lady
Brushing her hair so trim and neat
First she teased it then she brushed it
On her lap was a silver comb
In all my life I ne'er did see so fair a maid since I did roam

Chorus

As I went round old Dublin City when the sun began to set
Who would I spy but the Spanish Lady
Catching a moth in a golden net
When she saw me quick she fled me
Lifting her petticoats over her knee
In all my life I ne'er did see a maid so shy as the Spanish Lady

I stopped to look but the watchman passed says he "young fella now the night is late
Along with you now or I will wrestle you
Straight way throught the Bride-well Gate"
I blew a kiss to the Spanish LAdy
Hot as a fire of my angry coals
In all my life I ne'er did see a maid so sweet about the soul

As I went out through Dublin City as the hour of dawn was over
Who shoul I see but the Spanish Lady
I was lonely and footsore
First she coaxed me then she chid me
Then she laughed at my sad plight
In all my life I ne'er did see a maid so sweet as on that night

I've wandered north and I've wandered south through Stoneybatter and Patrick's Close
Up and around by the Gloucester Diamond
Round by Napper Tandy's house
Old age had laid her hand on me
Cold as fire of ashey coals
But were is the lovely Spanish Lady, neat and sweet about the soul.



Top of page

THE SPINNING WHEEL

Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning
Bent o'er the fire her blind grandmother sitting
Crooning and moaning and drowsily knitting

Merrily cheerily noiselessly whirring
Spins the wheel, rings the wheel while the foot's stirring
Sprightly and lightly and merrily ringing
Sounds the sweet voice of the young maiden singing

Eileen, a chara, I hear someone tapping
'Tis the ivy dear mother against the glass flapping
Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing
'Tis the sound mother dear of the autumn winds dying

What's the noise I hear at the window I wonder?
'Tis the little birds chirping, the holly-bush under
What makes you shoving and moving your stool on
And singing all wrong the old song of the "Coolin"?

There's a form at the casement, the form of her true love
And he whispers with face bent, I'm waiting for you love
Get up from the stool, through the lattice step lightly
And we'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining brightly

The maid shakes her head, on her lips lays her fingers
Steps up from the stool, longs to go and yet lingers
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother
Puts her foot on the stool spins the wheel with the other

Lazily, easily, now swings the wheel round
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's sound
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps, then leaps to the arms of her lover

Slower and slower... and slower the wheel swings
Lower... and lower... and lower the reel rings
Ere the reel and the wheel stop their ringing and moving
Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving



Top of page

STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN (1)
(Lyrics: Cathal McGarvey, a poet of the second half of the 19th century)

Near to Banbridge town, in the County Down
one morning in July
Down a boreen green came a sweet colleen
and she smiled as she passed me by
Oh she looked so neat from her two white feet
to the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Sure the coaxing elf, I'd to shake myself
to make sure I was standing there

Chorus:
Oh from Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
and from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
that I met in the County Down

As she onward sped I shook my head
and I gazed with a feeling queer
And I said, says I, to a passer-by
"Who's the maid with the nut-brown hair?"
Oh, 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 trance
as she tripped through a reel or a jig
And when her eyes she'd roll
she'd coax upon my soul a spud from a hungry pig

I've travelled a bit but never was hit
since my roving career began
But fair and square I surrendered thee
to the charm of young Rosie McCann
With a heart to let and no tenant yet
did I meet within shawl or gown
But in she went and I asked no rent
from the Star of the County Down

At the crossroads fair I'll be surely there
and I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
And I'll try sheep's eyes and deludering lies
on the heart of the nut-brown Rose
No pipe I'll smoke, no horse I'll yoke
though my plough with rust turns brown
Till a smiling bride by my own fireside
sits the Star of the County Down



Top of page

STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN (2)
(better lyrics)

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One morning in July
Down the boreen came a sweet colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by
Oh, she looked so neat from her two bare feet
To the crown of her nut-brown hair
Such a winsome elf, that I pinched myself
To be sure I was really there

Chorus:
From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I've seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down

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

Chorus

At the harvest fair she'll be surely there
And I'll dress in my Sunday clothes
With my shoes shined bright and my hat just right
Win the heart of the nut-brown Rose
No pipe I'll smoke, no horse I'll yoke
And my plow will rust and brown
'Til a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the Star of the County Down



Top of page

STEP IT OUT MARY

In the village of Kildoran lived a maiden young and fair
Her eyes, they shone like diamonds, she had long and golden hair
the countryman came riding up to her daddy's gate
mounted on a milk-white stallion, he came at the stroke of eight

Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, step it out Mary if you can
Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, show your legs to the countryman

I have come to court your daughter. Mary of the golden hair
I have gold and I have silver, I have lands beyond compare
I will buy her silks and satins and a gold ring for her hand
I will buy her a mansion, she'll have servants to command

Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, step it out Mary if you can
Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, show your legs to the countryman

Oh kind Sir I have a soldier and I've pledged to him my hand
I don't want your gold nor silver, I don't want your horse nor land
Mary's father spoke up sharply, you will do as you are told
you'll mary him on sunday and you'll wear the ring of gold

Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, step it out Mary if you can
Step it out Mary, my fine daughter, show your legs to the countryman

In the village of Kildoran there's a deep stream running by
They found Mary there on sunday, she had drowned with soldier boy
In the cottage there is music, you can hear her daddy say
Step it out Mary my fine daughter, sunday is your wedding day



Top of page

THE STONE OUTSIDE DAN MURPHY'S DOOR

There's a sweet garden spot in our memory
It's the place we were born and reared
It's long years ago since we left it
But return there we will if we're spared
Our friends and companions of childhood
Would assemble each night near a store
'Round Dan Murphey's shop
And how often we sat
On the stone outside Dan Murphy's door

Chorus:
Those days in our hearts we will cherish
Contented although we were poor
And the songs that were sung
In the days we where young
On the stone outside Dan Murphy's door

When our days work was over we'll meet there
In the winter or spring just the same
Then the boys and the girls all together
Would join in some innocent game
Dan Murphy would take down his fiddle
While his daughter looked after the store
The music did ring and sweet song we would sing
On the stone outside Dan Murphy's door

Back again will our thoughts often wander
To the scene that were childhoods home
The friends and companions we left there
It was poverty caused us to roam
Since then in this life we have prospered
But still in our hearts we feel sore
For memory will fly to the days long gone by
And the stone outside Dan Murphy's door



Top of page

THE STREETS OF NEW YORK

I was eighteen years old, when I went down to Dublin
with a fistful of money and a cartload of dreams
"Take your time", said me father "stop rushing like hell
And remember all is not what it seems to be
For there's fellows would cut you for the coat on your back
Or the watch that you got from your mother
So take care me young buck-o and mind yourself well
And will you give this wee note to me brother"

At the time Uncle Benjy was a policeman in Brooklyn
And me father the youngest looked after the farm
When a phone call from America said 'Send the lad over'
And the ould fella said sure it wouldn't do any harm
For I spoent my life working this dirty old ground
For a few pints of porter and the smell of a pound
And sure maybe there's something you'll learn or you'll see
And you can bring it back home, make it easy on me

So I landed at Kennedy and a big yellow taxi
Carried me and my bags through the streets and the rain
Well my poor heart was pumping around with excitement
And I hardly even heard what the driver was saying
We came in the short parkway to the flatlands in Brooklyn
To my uncle's apartment on East 53rd
I was feeling so happy I was humming a song
And I sang you're as "Free as a bird"

Well to shorten the story what I found out that day
Was that Benjy got shot in a downtown foray
And while I was flyng my way to New York
Poor Benjy was lying in a cold city morgue
Well I phoned up the ould fella, told him the news
I could tell he could hardly stand up in his shoes
And he wept as he told me, go ahead with the plan
And not to forget to be a proud Irishman

So I went up to Nelly's beside Fordham Road
And I started to learn about lifting the load
But the healthiest thing that I carried that year
Was the bitter sweet thoughts of my home town so dear
I went home that December 'cause the old fella died
Had to borrow the money from Phil on the side
And all the bright flowers and grass couldn't hide
The poor wasted face of my father

I sold up the old farmyard for what it was worth
And into my bag stuck a handful of earth
Then I boarded a train and I caught me a plane
And I found myself back in the U.S. again
It's been twenty-two years since I set foot in Dublin
The kids know to use the correct knife and fork
But I'll never forget the green grass and the rivers
As I keep law and order in the streets of New York



Top of page

SULLIVAN'S JOHN

Sullivan's John to the road you've gone, far away from your native home
You've gone with the tinker's daughter far along the road to roam
Sullivan's John sure you won't stick it long when your belly will soon get slack
When you're roaming the road with a mighty load and a toodle box on your back

I met Katey Coffey with her neat baby behind on her back strapped on
She'd an old ash plant all in her hand for to drive her donkey on
Enquiring at every farmer's house that along the road she passed
Where would she find an old pot to mend and where would she swap an ass

There's a hairy ass fair in the County Claire in a place they call Spancil Hill
Where my brother James got a rap on the head and poor Paddy they tried to kill
They loaded him up in an ass and cart while Kate and Mary stood by
Bad luck to the day that I went away to join with the tinkers band



Top of page

SUMMER IN DUBLIN

Take me away from the city
And lead me to where I can be on my own
I wanted to see you but now that I have
I just want to be left alone
I'll always remember your kind words
And I'll still remember your name
But I've seen you changing and turning
And I know that things won't be the same

Chorus:
I remember that summer in Dublin
And the Liffey it stank like hell
And the young people walking on Grafton Street
And everyone looking so well
I was singing a song I heard somewhere
Called Rock and Roll Never Forgets
When my hum it was smothered by a 46A
And the scream of a low-flying Jet
So I jumped on a bus to Dun Laoghaire
Stopping off to pick up my guitar
And a drunk on the bus told me how to get rich
I was glad we weren't going too far

So I'm leaving on Wednesday morning
Tryin' to find a place where I can hear
Where the wind and the birds and the sea and the rocks
And where open roads always are near
And if sometimes I tire of the quiet and I want to walk back up that hill
I'll just get on the road and I'll stick out my thumb
I know that you'll be there still

Chorus



Top of page

TAKE HER UP TO MONTO (1)

Well if you've got a wing-o, take her up to Ring-o
Where the waxies sing-o, all the day
When you've had your fill of porter and you can't go any further
Giveyour man the order: Back to the Quay!

But first go up to Monto, Monto, Monto
First go up to Monto, langeroo, to you!

You've heard about Duke of Gloucester, the dirty old imposter
Took a mot and lost her up in the Furry Glen
He first put on his bowler and then he zipped up his trousers
He whistled for his growler and says 'My man'

Take me up to Monto, Monto, Monto
Take me up to Monto, langeroo, to you!

And when the Czar of Russia and the King of Prussia
Landed in the Phoenix in a big balloon
They asked the Beggarmen to play 'The Wearing of the Green'
But the buggers in the lower they didn't know the tune

So we took them up to Monto, Monto, Monto
We took them up to Monto, langeroo, to you!



Top of page

TAKE HER UP TO MONTO (2)

Well if you've got a wingo take her up to Ringo
Where the waxies sing-o all the day
If you've had your fill of porter and you can't go on any further
Just give your men the order back to the quay

And take her up to Monto, Monto, Monto
Take her up to Monto Langeroo to you

You've heard of Butcher Foster, the dirty old imposter
He took a mot and lost her up the Furry Glen
He first put on his bowler, then he buttoned up his trousers
nd he whistled for a growler and he said 'My men

Take her up to Monto, Monto, Monto...
Take her up to Monto Langeroo to you

The fairy told him, 'Skin the goat,' O'Donnell put him on the boat
He wished he'd never been afloat, the dirty skite
It wasn't very sensible to tell on the Invincibles
They took aboard the principals, day and night

Be goin' up to Monto, Monto, Monto......
Take her up to Monto Langeroo to you

You've seen the Dublin Fusiliers, the dirty old bamboozaliers
They went and got the childer, one, two, three
Marchin' from the Linen Hall, there's one for every cannon ball
And Vicky's goin' to send youse all o'er the sea

But first go up to Monto, Monto, Monto....
Take her up to Monto Langeroo to you

When the Czar of Rooshia, and the King of Prooshia
Landed in the Phoenix in a big balloon
They asked the Garda band to play "The Wearin' o' the Green"

So they both went up to Monto, Monto, Monto.....
Take her up to Monto Langeroo to you

The Queen she came to call on us, she wanted to see all of us
I'm glad she didn't fall on us, she's eighteen stone
'Mr. Neill, Lord Mayor,' says she, 'Is this all you've got to show to me?'
'Why no, ma'am, there's some more to see - pog mo thoin

And he took her up to Monto, Monto, Monto
Took her up to Monto, langeroo. Liathroidi to you



Top of page

TARA'S HARP
[by Thomas Moore 1779-1852]

The harp that once through Tara's Hall the soul of music shed
Now hangs as mute on Tara's wall as if that soul were fled
So sleeps the pride of former days so glory's thrill is o'er
And hearts that once beat high for praise now feel that pulse no more

No more to chiefs and ladies bright, the harp of Tara swells
The chord alone, that breaks at night, its tale of ruin tells
This freedom now so seldom wakes, the only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks, to show that still she lives



Top of page

THEY NEVER CAME HOME (STARDUST SONG)

St. Valentine's day comes around once a year
All our thought turn to love as the day it draws near
When sweethearts and darlings, husbands and wives
Pledge love and devotion for the rest of their lives
As day turns to evening soon nighttime does fall
Young people preparing for the Valentine's Ball
As the night rings with laughter some people still mourn
The 48 children who never came home

Chorus:
Have we forgotten the suffering and pain
the survivors and victims of the fire in Artane
the mothers and fathers forever to mourn
the 48 children who never came home

Down to the Stardust they all made their way
The bouncers stood back as they lined up to pay
The records are spinning there's dancing as well
Just how the fire started sure no one can tell
In a matter of seconds confusion did reign
The room was in darkness fire exits were chained
The firefighters wept for they could not hide
Their anger and sorrow for those left inside

All around the city the bad news it spread
There's a fire in the Stardust there's 48 dead
Hundreds of children are injured and maimed
And all just because the fire exits were chained
Our leaders were shocked, grim statements were made
They shed tears in the graveyard as the bodies were laid
The victims have waited in vain for 4 years
It seems like our leaders shed crocodile tears

Half a million was spent on solicitor's fees
A fortune to the owner and his family
It's hard to believe not one penny came
To the working class people who suffered the pain
Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to years
Our laws favour the rich or so it appears
A woman still waits for her lads to come home
Injustice breeds anger and that's what's been done



Top of page

THE THIRTY-TWO COUNTIES

Here's to Donegal and her people brave and tall
Here's to Antrim, to Leitrim and to Derry
Here's to Cavan and to Louth, here's to Carlow in the South
Here's to Longford, to Waterford, and Kerry

Chorus:
Then clink your glasses, clink
'Tis a toast for all to drink
And let every voice join in the chorus
For Ireland is our home
And wherever we may roam
We'll be true to the dear land that bore us

Here's to Tyrone, where O'Neill long held his own
Here's to Monaghan, Fermanagh and Kildare, boys!
Here's to her whose stroke broke the hated Penal yoke
And you know that's the brave County Clare, boys

Chorus

Here's to Sligo and to Down, and Armagh of old renown
Here's to Kilkenny famed in story
Here's to Wexford by the sea, that near set old Ireland free
And here's to Royal Meath in all her glory

Chorus

Here's to Galway and Mayo, that never feared a foe
Here's to Wicklow, its peaks and its passes
Here's to Limerick famed to all for its well-defended wall
And still more for the beauty of its lasses

Chorus

Here's to gallant Cork, the next county to New York
Here's to Roscommon bright and airy
Here's to Westmeath, where a tyrant scarce can breathe
And here's to unconquered Tipperary

Chorus

Queens County too we'll toast, and Kings for both can boast
They are spots the invaders got some trouble in!
And now to finish up, fill a bright and brimming cup
And we'll drink, boys, to jolly little Dublin!



Top of page

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (1, USA)

Chorus:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York Island
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless highway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled and followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me, a voice is sounding:
This land was made for you and me

When the sun came shining and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting, a voice was chanting
This land was made for you and me

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can make me turn back
This land was made for you and me



Top of page

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (2, IRELAND)

Chorus:
This land is your land, this land is my land
From the northern highlands, to the western islands
From the hills of Kerry, to the streets of free Derry
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking by the Shannon waters
Hand in hand with my little daughter
The church bells ringing, the children singing
This land was made for you and me

I climbed a mountian, saw a crystal fountain
And I watched the waves roar by the rocky sea-shore
Her eyes were gleaming, she cried oh oh daddy
This land was made for you and me



Top of page

THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND (3, SCOTLAND)

Chorus:
This land is your land, this land my land
From the English border, to the North Sea water
From the Western Islands, to the Northern Highlands
This land was made for you and me

One summer's morning as the day was dawning
I viewed the Islands on the misty skyline
The rainbow fountain of the Coolin Mountains
This land was made for you and me

Old winter crept on as Scotland slept on
No factory roaring, no oil rig oaring
Just weeded byways and deserted highways
Relics of the life it used to be

Then I awakened to a spring day breakin'
On the sons and daughters of Alba's waters
And the flag they're flyin' is the rampant lion
This land was made for you and me



Top of page

THREE LEAF SHAMROCK

In the dark, a ship was anchored
On a bright St Patrick's Day
On the quay a lass was sighing
For her lover going away
In her hand she held an emblem
And its small green leaves were three
And her parting words were "darling
Look at this and think of me"

Chorus:
Three leaf shamrock I adore thee
You three leaves I long to see
When there's brighter days in Ireland
I'll come home and marry thee

Just before the ship had started
As she'd laid her land on mine
Just before that we had parted
She looked with loving eyes so kind
But tonight I am an exile
Far from home, and far from thee
When there's brighter days in Ireland
I'll go home and marry thee



Top of page

THE TINKER

I am the bravest tinker that lives beneath the sun
If you have any work to do, you shall have it well done
Yes indeed you shall, don't you know you shall
To my right falooral laddie, yes, indeed you shall

The lady came to the door and asked me could I stop
And could I mend a rusty pan that never held a drop
Yes indeed I can, don't you know I can
To my right falooral laddie, yes, indeed I can

She took me up the stairs for to show me what to do
She fell on the featherbed and I fell on it too
Yes indeed I did, don't you know I did
To my right falooral laddie, yes, indeed I did

I put my hammer in her hand that with it she might knock
To make her husband to believe that I was at my work
Yes indeed I was, don't you know I was
To my right falooral laddie, yes, indeed I was

She put her hand into her purse and pulled out twenty pound
Take this me jolly tinker and we'll have another round
Yes indeed we will, don't you know we will
To my right falooral laddie, yes, indeed we will

Oh, I plugged her in the kitchen, I plugged her in the hall
And the servants cried, The Devil, are you going to plug us all
Oh indeed I'm not, don't you know I'm not
To my right falooral laddie, no, indeed I'm not

Well, I've been a jolly tinker these thirty years and more
But such a rusty pan as that I never plugged before
No indeed I didn't, don't you know I didn't
To my right falooral laddie, no, indeed I didn't



Top of page

THE TOWN I LOVED SO WELL

In my memory I will always see
The town that I have loved so well
Where our school played ball by the gasyard wall
And we laughed through the smoke and smell
Going home in the rain running up the dark lane
Past the jail and down beside the fountain
Those were happy days in so many many ways
In the town I loved so well

In the early morn the shirt factory horn
Called women from Creggan, the Moor and the Bog
While the men on the dole played a mothers role
Fed the children and then walked the dog
And when times got rough, there was just about enough
But they saw it through without complaining
For deep inside was a burning pride
for the town I loved so well

There was music there in the Derry air
Like a language that we could all understand
I remember the day when I earned my first pay
as I played in a small pickup band
There I spent my youth and to tell you the truth
I was sad to leave it all behind me
For I'd learned about life and I'd found a wife
In the town I loved so well

But when I returned how my eyes were burned
To see how a town could be brought to it's knees
By the armoured cars and the bombed out bars
And the gas that hangs on to every breeze
Now the army's installed by that old gasyard wall
And the damned barbed wire gets higher and higher
With their tanks and guns
Oh my God, what have they done
To the town I loved so well

Now the music's gone but they carry on
For their spirit's been bruised, never broken
Oh, they'll not forget still their hearts are set
On tomorrow and peace once again
Now what's done is done and what's won is won
And what's lost is lost and gone forever
I can only pray for a bright brand new day
In the town I loved so well



Top of page

TRI-COLOURED RIBBON

I had a true love if ever a girl had one
I had a true love a brave lad was he
One fine Easter Monday with his gallant comrades
He started away for to make Ireland free

Chorus:
For all around my hat I wear a tri-coloured ribbon, oh
All around my hat until death comes to me
And if anybody's asking me why do I wear it
It's all for my own true love I never more will see

He whispered "Goodbye love, old Ireland is calling
High over Dublin our Tri-colour flies
In the streets of the city the foe man is falling
And wee birds are whistling "Old Ireland arise"

His bandloier around him, his bright bayonet shining
His short service rifle, a beauty to see
There was joy in his eyes, though he left me repining
And started away for to make Ireland free

In praying and watching the dark hours passed over
The roar of the guns brought no message to me
I prayed for Old Ireland, I prayed for my lover
That he might be safe and Old Ireland be free

The struggle was ended, they brought me the story
The last whispered message he sent unto me
"I was true to my land, love, I fought for her glory
And gave up my life for to make Ireland free"



--------------------------------------------------------------
Top of page