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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.

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.

Four Green Fields by 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

The Fields of Athenry or Bad News by Pete St. John

By the lonely prison wall.
I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are taking you away,
For you stole Trevelyan’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 the 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 ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

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 harbour wall
She watched the last star falling
And that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she’ll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It’s so lonely round the fields of Athenry.

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.

Fiddler’s Green by John Connolly

As I roved by the dockside one evening so fair
To view the salt waters and take in the salt air
I heard an old fisherman singing a song
Oh, take me away boys me time is not long


Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip mates
And I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

Now Fiddler’s Green is a place I’ve heard tell
Where the 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

Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip mates
And I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

Now when you’re in dock and the long trip is through
There’s pubs and there’s clubs and there’s lassies there too
And the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free
And there’s bottles of rum growing on every tree.

Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip mates
And I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

Where the skies are all clear and there’s never a gail
And the fish jump on board with one swish on their tail
Where you lie at your leisure, there’s no work to do
And the skipper’s below making tea for the crew

Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip mates
And I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

Now I don’t want a harp nor a halo, not me
Just give me a breeze and a good rolling sea
I’ll play me old squeeze-box as we sail along
With the wind in the riggin to sing me a song

Wrap me up in me oilskin and blankets
No more on the docks I’ll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates, I’m taking a trip mates
And I’ll see you someday on Fiddlers Green

The Ferryman

All the little boats are gone
From the breast of Anna Liffey
And the ferrymen are stranded on the quay
The Dublin docks are dying
And a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me


Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

‘Twas the only job I knew
It was hard but never lonely
The Liffey Ferry made a man of me
Now it’s gone without a whisper
Forgotten even now
Sure it’s over Molly over can’t you see

Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

Well now I spin my yarns
And spend my days in talking
I hear them whisper Charley’s on the dole
But Molly we’re still living
And Darling we’re still young
And the river never ruled my heart or soul

Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

Erin Go Bragh or a Row in the Town

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 Ringsend,
For the honour 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 Clark, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBride,
And here’s to James Connolly who gave one hurrah,
And placed 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.

Bould 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 to 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.