Back to the Song Index
The Irish Rover
Traditional Irish. Recorded by Darby O'Gill on "Waitin' for a Ride", et
al.
Notes: The Irish Rover was one of the key songs of the band, The Irish
Rovers. The chorus, depicted here, may be merely a local phenomena.
This is a quick, high energy song much favored by the young pub
audiences.
The Irish Rover
Traditional

        C                                                      F
In the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and six
         C                                  G   (7)
We set sail from the coal quay of Cork
            C                                      F
We were sailin’ away with a cargo of bricks
          C            G              C
For the grand city hall in New York
                                          G                    G7
We’d an elegant craft; she was rigged fore and aft
     C                                 G       G7
And oh, how the trade winds drove her
          C                                                          F
She had twenty-three masts and she stood several blasts
          C                         G   C
And we called her the Irish Rover

                         F              C                     G (7)
Fare-thee-well my pretty little girl; I must sail away
C                         F             C              G     C
Fare-thee-well my pretty little girl; I must sail away

There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Johnny McGurk who was scared stiff o’ work
And a chap from West Meath named Malone
There was Slugger O’Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracey from Dover
And your man, Mic McCaan from the banks of the Bhan
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
And the ship lost its way in the fog
And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two
Meself and the captain’s old dog
Then the ship struck a rock, and oh, what a shock
We nearly tumbled over
We turned nine times around, and the poor old dog was drowned
I’m the last of the Irish Rover
Driven to Drink
Download this song at CD Baby