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Rocky Road to Dublin

In the merry month of June, when first from home I started,
And left the girls alone, sad and broken hearted,
Shook hands with father dear, kissed my darling mother,
Drank a pint of beer, my tears and grief to smother;
Then off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born.
I cut a stout black-thorn to banish ghost or goblin ;
With a pair of brand new brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs –
Sure I frightened all the dogs on the rocky road to Dublin


For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

The steam coach was at hand, the driver said he’d cheap ones,
But sure the luggage van was too much for my ha’pence,
For England I was bound, it would never do to balk it,
For every step of the road, bedad! says I, I’ll walk it.
I did not sigh or moan until I saw Athlone.
A pain in my shin bone, it set my heart a-bubbling ;
And fearing the big cannon, looking o’er the Shannon,
I very quickly ran on the rocky road to Dublin

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

In Mullingar, that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, with spirits light and airy ;
Took a drop of the pure, to keep my spirits from sinking,
That’s always an Irishman’s cure, whenever he’s troubled with thinking.
To see the lassies smile, laughing all the while
At my comical style, my heart set a-bubbling,
They axed if I was hired, the wages I required,
Until I was almost tired of the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it was a pity
To be so soon derived of a view of that fine city;
‘Twas then I took a stroll, all among the quality,
My bundle then was a stole in a neat locality,
Something crossed my mind, thinks I, “I’ll look behind”
No bundle could I find upon my stick a-wobbling.
Inquiring for the rogue, they said my Connaught brogue,
It wasn’t much in vogue on the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

A coachman raised his hand as if myself was wanting,
I went up to a stand, full of cars for jaunting ;
“Step up my boy!” says he ; “Ah, ah! that I will with pleasure,”
“and to the strawberry beds, I’ll drive you at your leisure.”
“A strawberry bed?” says I, “faith, that would be too high! On one of straw I’ll lie, and the berries won’t be troubling;”
He drove me out as far, upon an outside car,
Faith! Such jolting never wor on the rocky road to Dublin

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

I soon got out of that, my spirits never failing,
I landed on the quay, just as the ship was sailing,
The captain at me roared, swore that no room had he,
But when I leaped on board, they a cabin found for Paddy.
Down among the pigs I played such rummy rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, with water round me bubbling,
But when off Holyhead, I wished that I was dead,
Or safely put in bed, on the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

The boys in Liverpool, when on the dock I landed,
Called myself a fool, I could no longer stand it ;
My blood began to boil, my temper I was losing,
And poor old Erin’s Isle, they all began abusing.
“Hurrah! My boys,” says I, my shillelagh I let fly,
Some Galway boys were by, they saw I was a hobble in ;
Then with a loud hurrah! They joined me in the fray.
Faugh-a-ballagh! Clear the way for the rocky road to Dublin.

Amhráin na bhFiann by Peadar Kearney

Seo dhaoíbh, a cháirde duan Óglaigh,
Caithréimeach, bríomhar, ceolmhar,
Ár dtintne cnámh go buacach táid,
‘S an spéir go mín réaltógach;
Is fonnmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo,
‘S go tiúnmhar glé roimh thíocht don lá
Faoi chiúnas caomh na hoíche ar seal
Seo libh canaig’ Amhrán na bhFiann.


Sinne Fianna Fáil
Atá fé gheall ag Éirinn,
buion dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Fé mhóid bheith saor.
Sean tír ár sinsir feasta
Ní fhagfar fé’n tiorán ná fén tráil
Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
Le guna screach fé lámhach na bpiléar
Seo libh canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann.

Cois bánta réidhe, ar árdaibh sléibhe,
Ba bhuachach ár sinsir romhainn,
Ag lámhach go tréan fé’n sár-bhrat séin
Tá thuas sa ghaoith go seolta
Ba dhúchas riamh d’ár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil siar ó imirt áir,
‘S ag siúl mar iad i gcoinne námhad
Seo libh, canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil
Atá fé gheall ag Éirinn,
buion dár slua
Thar toinn do ráinig chugainn,
Fé mhóid bheith saor.
Sean tír ár sinsir feasta
Ní fhagfar fé’n tiorán ná fén tráil
Anocht a théam sa bhearna bhaoil,
Le gean ar Ghaeil chun báis nó saoil
Le guna screach fé lámhach na bpiléar
Seo libh canaídh Amhrán na bhFiann.

A Solider’s Song by Peadar Kearney

We’ll sing a song, a soldier’s song,
With cheering, rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o’er us;
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning’s light,
Here in the silence of the night
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.


Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the ‘bhearna bhaoil’,
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal;
‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles’ peal
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered ‘neath that same old flag
That’s proudly floating o’er us.
We’re children of a fighting race
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march, the foe to face,
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the ‘bhearna bhaoil’,
In Erin’s cause, come woe or weal;
‘Mid cannons’ roar and rifles’ peal
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.

The Galtee Mountain Boy by Christy Moore

I joined the Flying Column in 1916
In Cork with Seán Moylan, Tipperary with Dan Breen
Arrested by Free Staters and sentenced for to die
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy
We crossed pleasant valleys and over the hilltops green
Where we met with Dinny Lacey, Seán Hogan and Dan Breen
Seán Moylan and his gallant band they kept the flag flying high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy


We crossed the Dublin mountains we were rebels on the run
Though hunted night and morning we were outlawed but free men
We tracked the Wicklow mountains as the sun was shining high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy

I’m bidding farewell to old Clonmel that I never more will see
And to the Galtee mountains that oft times sheltered me
To the men who fought for liberty and died without a sigh
May the cause be ne’er forgotten said the Galtee Mountain Boy

Written by Christy Moore.

The Enniskillen Dragoons (Version I) by Tommy Makem

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 we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons


A beautiful damsel of fame and renown
A gentleman’s daughter from Monaghan town
As she drove by the barracks this beautiful maid
Stood up in her coach to see Dragoons on parade

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 we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

They were all dressed out like gentlemen’s sons
Their fine shining sabres and their carbine guns
Their silver mounted pistols, she observed them full soon
Because she loved an Enniskillen Dragoon

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 we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Flora dear Flora your pardon I crave
It’s now and forever that I’ll be your slave
Your parents have insulted both morn, night and noon
Because you would wed an Enniskillen Dragoon

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 we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Willie dearest Willie don’t heed what they say
For children their parents are bound to obey
But when the war is over they’ll all change their tune
And you’ll roll me in your arms by the light of the moon

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 we’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen Dragoons

Note: There are at least three versions of this song, the first listed below(Enniskillen Dragoons 1) is that which has been recorded, the second (Enniskillen Dragoons 2) is most likely the original from which the popular version has come and the third (Enniskillen Dragoons 3), a version written and recorded by Tommy Makem.

The Enniskillen Dragoons (Version II) by Tommy Makem

A beautiful damsel of fame and renown
A gentleman’s daughter of fame and renown –
As she rode by the barracks, this beautiful maid,
She stood in her coach to see the dragoons’ parade.


They were all dressed out like gentlemen’s sons,
With their bright shining swords and carbine guns,
With their silver-mounted pistols – she observed them full soon,
For to serve as a royal Enniskillen dragoon!

Your bright son of Mars, who stands on the right
Whose armour doth shine like the bright stars of night,
Saying: “Willie, dearest Willie, you’ve listed full soon.”
Saying: “The Lord be with you, Enniskillen dragoon.”

“Oh, Flora! Dearest Flora! Your pardon I crave,
it’s now and forever I must be a slave –
your parents they insulted me both morning and noon,
for fear that you’d wed an Enniskillen dragoon.”

“Oh, mind, dearest Willie! Oh, mind what you say,
for children are bound their parents to obey;
for when we’re leaving Ireland, they will all change their tune,
Saying :’The Lord be with you, Enniskillen dragoon.’”

Fare you well, Enniskillen! Fare you 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 they’ll all welcome home the Enniskillen dragoon.

There are at least three versions of this song, the first listed below(Enniskillen Dragoons 1) is that which has been recorded, the second (Enniskillen Dragoons 2) is most likely the original from which the popular version has come and the third (Enniskillen Dragoons 3), a version written and recorded by Tommy Makem.

God Save Ireland

High upon the gallows tree, swung the noble-hearted three,
By the vengeful tyrant, stricken in their bloom.
But they met him face to face with the courage of their race,
And they went with souls undaunted to their doom.


“God save Ireland,” said the heroes.
“God save Ireland,” said them all.
“Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!”

Grit around with cruel foes, sure their courage proudly rose,
For they thought of hearts that loved them far and near.
Of the millions true and brave, o’er the ocean’s swelling wave,
And the friends in Holy Ireland ever dear!

“God save Ireland,” said the heroes.
“God save Ireland,” said them all.
“Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!”

Climbed they up the rugged stair, rang their voices out in prayer,
Then with England’s fatal cord about them cast.
Close beside the gallows tree, kissed like brothers lovingly,
True to home and faith, and freedom to the last!

“God save Ireland,” said the heroes.
“God save Ireland,” said them all.
“Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!”

Never ’til the latest day shall the memory pass away,
Of those gallant lives thus given for our land.
And on the cause must go, amidst joy and weal and woe,
‘Til me make our isle a nation, free and grand!

“God save Ireland,” said the heroes.
“God save Ireland,” said them all.
“Whether on the scaffold high, or the battlefield we die,
No matter when, for Ireland dear we fall!”

The Galway Races

As I roved out through Galway town to seek for recreation
On the seventeenth of August, me mind being elevated
There were multitudes assembled with their tickets at the station
My eyes began to dazzle and they going to see the race
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a


There were passengers from Limerick and passengers from Nina
Passengers from Dublin and sportsmen for Tipperary
There were passengers from Kerry and all quarters of the nation
And I remember Mr. Haughey for to join the Galway Blazers
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

There were multitudes Erin and members from New Keeshore
The boys of Connemara and the Clare unmarried maidens
People from Cork City who where loyal true and faithful
They brought home the Feinian prisoners from dying and foreign nations
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

And it’s there you’ll see confectioners with sugar sticks and dainties
Lozenges and oranges and lemonade and raisins
Gingerbread and spices to accommodate the ladies
And big crubeen three pence to be sucking while you’re able
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

It’s there you’ll see the gamblers, the thimbles and the garters
The sporting wheel of fortune with four and twenty quarters
And others without scruples pelting wattles at poor Maggie
And her daddy well contented to be gazing at his daughter
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

It’s there you’ll see the pipers and the fiddlers competing
The nimble-footed dancers, a-tripping on the daisies
There were others shouting cigars and likes and bills for all the races
With colors of the jockeys and the price and horses ages
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

It’s there you’ll see the jockey, and they’re mounted out so stately
The pink, the blue, the orange, the emblem of our nation
When the bell was rung for starting, all the horses seemed impatient
I thought they never stood on ground, their speed was so amazing
To me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

There was half a million people there, from all denominations
The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew and Presbyterian
There was yet no animosity, no matter what persuasion
But sportsman hospitality inducing Mr. Paisley
With me whack-fa-the-do-fa the diddle-iddle-a

Galway Bay

If you ever go across the sea to Ireland,
Then maybe at the closing of your day
You will sit and watch the moon rise over Claddagh,
And watch the sun go down on Galway Bay.


Just to hear again the ripple of the trout stream,
The women in the meadows making hay,
And to sit beside a turf- fire in the cabin
And I to watch the barefoot Gossoons at their play

For the breezes blowing o’ er the seas from Ireland
Are perfumed by the heather as they blow
And the women in the uplands diggin’ praties,
Speak a language that the strangers do not know.

For the strangers came and tried to teach us their way
They scorn’d us just for being what we are
But they might as well go chasing after moonbeams
Or light a penny candle from a star

And if there is going to be life hereafter,
And somehow I am sure there’s going to be
I will ask God to let me make my heaven
In that dear land across the Irish sea

Spancil Hill

Last night as I lay dreaming, of the pleasant days gone by,
My mind being bent on rambling and to Erin’s Isle I did fly.
I stepped on board a vision and sailed out with a will,
‘Till I gladly came to anchor at the Cross of Spancil Hill.


Enchanted by the novelty, delighted with the scenes,
Where in my early childhood, I often times have been.
I thought I heard a murmur, I think I hear it still,
‘Tis that little stream of water at the Cross of Spancil Hill.

And to amuse my fancy, I lay upon the ground,
Where all my school companions, in crowds assembled ’round.
Some have grown to manhood, while more their graves did fill,
Oh I thought we were all young again, at the Cross of Spancil Hill.

It being on a Sabbath morning, I thought I heard a bell,
O’er hills and vallies sounded, in notes that seemed to tell,
That Father Dan was coming, his duty to fulfill,
At the parish church of Clooney, just one mile from Spancil Hill.

And when our duty did commence, we all knelt down in prayer,
In hopes for to be ready, to climb the Golden Stair.
And when back home returning, we danced with right good will,
To Martin Moilens music, at the Cross of Spancil Hill.

It being on the twenty third of June, the day before the fair,
Sure Erin’s sons and daughters, they all assembled there.
The young, the old, the stout and the bold, they came to sport and kill,
What a curious combination, at the Fair of Spancil Hill.

I went into my old home, as every stone can tell,
The old boreen was just the same, and the apple tree over the well,
I miss my sister Ellen, my brothers Pat and Bill,
Sure I only met my strange faces at my home in Spancil Hill.

I called to see my neighbours, to hear what they might say,
The old were getting feeble, and the young ones turning grey.
I met with tailor Quigley, he’s as brave as ever still,
Sure he always made my breeches when I lived in Spancil Hill.

I paid a flying visit, to my first and only love,
She’s as pure as any lilly, and as gentle as a dove.
She threw her arms around me, saying Mike I love you still,
She is Mack the Rangers daughter, the Pride of Spancil Hill.

I thought I stooped to kiss her, as I did in days of yore,
Says she Mike you’re only joking, as you often were before,
The cock crew on the roost again, he crew both loud and shrill,
And I awoke in California, far far from Spancil Hill.

But when my vision faded, the tears came in my eyes,
In hope to see that dear old spot, some day before I die.
May the Joyous King of Angels, His Choicest Blessings spill,
On that Glorious spot of Nature, the Cross of Spancil Hill.