Mulligan's Songbook

Following are words to selected Irish pub songs, seafaring tunes, and songs of rebellion.  Also included are tunes of various other origins, such as those of Scottish, Welsh, English, Australian and American folk culture.  Select the tune below to see the words.  Then, come out to The Travelers' next performance to hear even more tunes!


All For Me Grog

62 songs

The Band Played "Waltzing Matilda"
Barnacle Bill the Sailor
Beer, Beer, Beer
Big Strong Man
Black Velvet Band
Bog Down in the Valley
Bonnie Charlie
Broad Black Brimmer
Charlie on the M.T.A.
Come Out Ye Black and Tans
Courtin' in the Kitchen
Danny Boy
The Devil and the Farmer’s Wife
The Dirty Song
Fare Thee Well Enniskillen
Farewell to Carlingford
Finnegan’s Wake
Father's Grave
Father's Whiskers
Goodbye, Muirsheen Durkin
Galway Bay
Galway Bay (parody)
The Hills of Connemara
The Holy Ground
Home Boys Home
I’ll Tell My Ma
Irish Eyes
Irish Rover
I’ve Been to Ireland, Man
Johnny is a Roving Blade
Johnson’s Motor Car
Join the British Army
Jolly Tinker
The Jug of Punch
The Life of the Rover
Liverpool Lou
Macnamara’s Band
The Mermaid
Molly Malone
The Moonshiner
Mountain Dew
A Nation Once Again
The Orange and the Green
Paddy on the Railway
The Rising of the Moon
Scotsman’s Kilt
Seven Nights Drunk
South Australia
Spancil Hill
Take Me Up to Monto
The Unicorn Song
Wearing of the Green
Weila Weila Waile
What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?
Whiskey in the Jar
Whiskey, You’re the Divil
The Wild Colonial Boy
The Wild Rover
The Work of the Weavers
The Valley of Knockanure

You’re Not Irish

All For Me Grog                More Songs
Traditional (English)

Grog was originally made by English admiral Edward Vernon (d. 1757), who was known as "Old Grog."  He diluted the sailors' rum with water, but the term did not come into common usage until 1770.  Grog today is usually heated, and made with lemon juice, sugar and spices.

And it’s all for me grog, me jolly, jolly grog,
All for me beer and tobacco.
For I spent all me tin, with the lassies drinkin’ Gin,
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander.

Oh, where are me boots, me noggin’, noggin’ boots?
All bound for beer and tobacco.
For the uppers are worn out, and the soles are kicked about,
And the heels are lookin’ out for better weather.

Where is me shirt, me noggin’, noggin’ shirt?
All bound for beer and tobacco.
For the color is all worn, and the front it is all torn,
And the tail is lookin’ out for better weather.

Oh, I’m sick in the head, and I haven’t been to bed,
Since I came to shore with me plunder.
I’ve seen centipedes and snakes, and I’m full of pains and aches,
And I think I’ll make a path for way out yonder.

The Band Played "Waltzing Matilda"                More Songs
Music & Lyrics:  Eric Bogle (1944-        ), Scotland-born Australian folksinger and songwriter

This song, written in 1972, refers to the first time Australian troops were led by Australian officers - at Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915.  However, the incompetence of British politicians (including a young Winston Churchill), led to the slaughter of 50,000 Australian soldiers, which is commemorated every April 25 in Australia on ANZAC Day.  The song was not coincidentally written during the Vietnam war.

Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
It’s time you stop ramblin’, there’s work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.

And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin’, he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell
And in five minutes flat, he’d blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.

And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead;
Never knew there was worse things than dying.

For I’ll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.

So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

And so now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glory,
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
They’re tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask meself the same question.

But the band plays "Waltzing Matilda,"
And the old men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
Who’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
Who’ll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

Barnacle Bill the Sailor                More Songs
Music:  Traditional, derived from "Abel Brown the Sailor"
Lyrics:  Carson J. Robinson (1890-1957) & Frank Luther (1905-1980)

The version below, written in 1929, is a milder jazz version of the earlier bawdy Bollochy Bill, and even earlier Abel Brown.  The song originates sometime in the mid to late 1800s.  The song was even featured in a rather suggestive Betty Boop cartoon.  The Robinson-Luther duo was not always necessarily politically correct!

Who's that knocking at my door?
Who's that knocking at my door?
Who's that knocking at my door?
Said the fair young maiden!

Well, it's only me from over the sea,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor,
I'm all lit up like a Christmas tree,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
I'll sail the sea until I croak,
Drink my whiskey, swear, and smoke,
But I can't swim a bloody stroke,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

I'll come down and let you in,
I'll come down and let you in,
I'll come down and let you in,
Cried the fair young maiden!

Well, hurry before I bust in the door,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor,
I'll rear and tear and rant and roar,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
I'll spin you yarns and tell you lies,
I'll drink your wine and eat your pies,
I'll kiss your cheeks and black your eyes,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

Tell me when we soon shall wed,
Tell me when we soon shall wed,
Tell me when we soon shall wed,
Said the fair young maiden.

I got me a wife in every port,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
The handsome gals is what I court,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.
With my false heart and flattering tongue
I courts 'em all both old and young,
I courts 'em all, but marries none,
Said Barnacle Bill the Sailor.

So good-bye,
So long, toots,
I'll see you again!

Beer, Beer, Beer                More Songs
Traditional (English)

This song does not really need an explanation.

Beer, beer, beer, tiddley beer, beer, beer, tiddley beer, beer, beer …

A long time ago, way back in history,
When all there was to drink was nothin’ but cups of tea,
Along came a man by the name of Charlie Mopps,
And he invented the wonderful drink, and he made it out of hops.

He must have been an Admiral, a Sultan or a King
And to his praises, we shall always sing.
And look at what he’s done for us, he’s filled us up with cheer.
Our Lord, bless Charlie Mopps, the man who invented…

Beer, beer, beer, Tiddley beer, beer, beer, Tiddley beer, beer, beer …

The purest bar, the country’s pub, the hole-in-the-wall as well,
Of one thing you can be sure of, it’s Charlie’s beer they sell.
So come along me lucky lads, at eleven o’clock ye stop,
For five short seconds, remember Charlie Mopps!

A bushel of malt, a barrel of hops, and stir it around with a stick,
The type of lubrication to make your engine tick.
And forty pints of wallop a day will keep away the quacks,
It’s only eight pence halpenny a pint, and one and six in tax.

Big Strong Man                More Songs
Traditional (Irish)

A tall tale of a song that made it's way around the world with Irish troops in the British army.

Have you heard about the big strong man?
He lived in a caravan.
Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnson fight?
Oh, Lord, what a helluva fight.
Well, you can take all the heavy-weights you got, (what you got?)
You got a lad to invade the whole lot,
He used to work up in the belfry; now he’s going to fight Jack Demsey.

That’s my brother, Sylvester, (what’s he got?)
He got a row of forty medals on his chest, (big chest)
He killed fifty barmen in the west.
He knows no rest.
( Bigger the man. Hell’s fire. Don’t push. Don’t shove. )
( Plenty room for you and me. )
He got an arm like a leg, (lady’s leg)
And a punch that would sink a battleship. (big ship)
Takes all of the army and the navy
To take the balls off George Best.

And he thought he’d take a trip to Italy,
And he thought that he’d go by sea.
He jumped off the harbor in New York,
And he swam like a man from Cork.
He saw the Luthitania in distress; (what’d he do?)
He shoved the Luthitania up his dress. (big dress)
And he drank all the water in the sea,
And he walked all the way to Italy.

And he thought he'd take a trip to ol' Japan,
They brought out the whole brass band.
He played every instrument they got,
Like a lad you know he played the whole lot;
The old church bells will ring, (Hell's bells),
And the ol' church choir will sing. (Hell's fire)
Then he took his head and rang the bells,
And they all came out to say farewell.

Black Velvet Band                More Songs
Traditional (originally Scottish, then Irish)

Van Dieman's Land, the original name for Tasmania, was discovered by Abel Tasman in 1642.  Lieutenant John Bown founded a penal colony in 1803 as part of the British empire, partly due to the inability to use the American colonies since 1775.  It became a semi-autonomous colony in 1825.  Convicts were transported there until 1853, and three years later it became Tasmania, with its own elected government.

Her eyes, they shone like the diamonds,
You’d think she was queen of the land,
And her hair hung over her shoulders,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

In a neat little town they call Belfast, an apprentice trade I was learnin’
And many’s an hour of sweet happiness I spent in that neat little town.
Until sad misfortune came over me, and it caused me to stray from the land,
Far away from me friends and relations, to follow the black velvet band.

Now as I went a-strollin’ one evening, never meaning to go very far,
I met with a frolicsome damsel, she was selling her trade at the bar,
When, a watch she stole from a customer, and she slipped it right into my hand,
And the law came and threw me in prison; bad luck to her black velvet band.

Well next morning before judge and jury, at a trial I had to appear.
And the judge, he said, "Me young fellow, now the case against you is quite clear.
And seven long years is your sentence, for you’re going to Van Dieman’s land,
Far away from your friends and relations, to follow the black velvet band."

Now come all of you jolly young fellows, come over and take warning from me:
If ever you’re out getting liquored me boys, beware of the pretty colleens,
For they’ll fill you with whiskey and porter, until you’re unable to stand,
And the very next thing you’ll know, boys, you’ll end up in Van Dieman’s Land.

Bog Down in the Valley                More Songs
Traditional (origin unknown)

Oh, row, the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o,
Oh, row, the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o.

Well in that bog there was a tree, a rare tree, a rattlin’ tree,
Well, a tree in the bog, and the bog down in the valley-o.


Add another word for each verse until...

On that feather there was a flea, a rare flea, a rattlin’ flea,
Well a flea on the feather,
    the feather on the bird,
        the bird on the egg,
            the egg in the nest,
                the nest on the twig,
                    the twig on the branch,
                        the branch on the limb,
                            the limb on the tree,
                                the tree in the bog,
                                    and the bog down in the valley-o.

Bonny Charlie                More Songs
Traditional (Scottish)

This song is in reference to Charles Edward Stuart’s (James III’s son) defeat by the British in 1746

Bonnie Charlie’s now awa’
Safely o’er the friendly main
Many’s the heart will break in twa
Should he no come back again.

Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better loved ye canna be.
Will ye no come back again?

Whene’re I hear the blackbird sing
Unto the evening sinking down,
Or thrush that makes the woods to ring
To me there is no other sound.

Many a gallant soldier fought,
Many a gallant chief did fall.
Death itself was dearly bought
All for Scotland’s King and Lord.

Low the blackbird’s note and long
Lilting wildly up the glen,
And these were the words of his sweet song:
Will ye no come back again?

Broad Black Brimmer                More Songs

This song is often wrongly attributed to Noel Nagle (tin whistle, Uillean pipes) who wrote a version for the Wolfe Tones.  The original author is unknown; the song is reflective of the Black and Tan War of 1919-1921.

There’s a uniform that’s hanging in what’s known as Father’s room,
A uniform so simple in its style.
It has no braid of silk or gold, no hat with feathered plume
Yet me mother has preserved it all the while.
One day she made me try it on, a wish of mine for years;
"Just in mem’ry of your father, Sean," she said.
And as I put the Sam Browne on, she was smiling through her tears.
And she placed the wide black brimmer on me head.

It’s just a broad black brimmer, its ribbon frayed and torn
From the carelessness of many’s a mountain breeze.
An old trench coat that’s all battle-stained and worn,
And britches almost thread-bare at the knees.
A Sam Browne belt with a buckle big and strong,
And a holster that’s been empty many’s a day.
But when men claim Ireland’s freedom
The ones they’ll choose to lead them
Will wear the broad black brimmer of the I. R. A.

’Twas the uniform was worn by my father years ago
When he reached me mother’s homestead on the run.
’Twas the uniform he wore in that little church below,
When oul’ Father Mac, he blessed the pair as one.
And after truce and treaty and the parting of the ways
He wore it when he marched out with the rest.
And when they bore his body down that rugged heather braes,
They placed the wide black brimmer on his breast.

Charlie on the M.T.A.                More Songs
Music:  Henry Clay Work  (1832-1884)
Lyrics:  Jacqueline Steiner (?-        ) & Bess Lomax Hawes (1921-        )

The melody for this song was originally from "The Ship that Never Returned," written in 1865.  The lyrics below were written as one of seven Boston mayoral campaign songs for Walter A. O'Brien (d. 1998) of the Progressive Party in 1948.  The song has been recorded many times since, most notably by The Kingston Trio.  O'Brien was wrongly accused of being a communist, and retired from political life to spend the rest of his years in Maine as a school librarian and bookstore owner.  Bess Lomax Hawes sang in the Almanac Singers with Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.  Interestingly, the melody is also used for the American folk tune "Wreck of the Ol' Ninety-Seven."

Let me tell you the story
Of a man named Charlie
On a tragic and fateful day;
He put ten cents in his pocket,
Kissed his wife and family,
Went to ride on the MTA.

Charlie handed in his dime
At the Kendall Square Station,
And he changed for Jamaica Plain.
When he got there the conductor
Told him, "One more nickel."
Charlie could not get off that train.

Did he ever return?
No he never returned,
And his fate is still unlearn’d.
He may ride forever
’Neath the streets of Boston;
He’s the man who never returned.

Now all night long
Charlie rides through the tunnels
Saying, "What will become of me?
How can I afford to see
My sister in Chelsea
Or my cousin in Roxbury?"

Charlie’s wife goes down
To the Scollay Square station
Every day at quarter past two;
And through the open window
She hands Charlie a sandwich
As the train comes rumblin’ through.

As his train rolled on
Underneath Greater Boston
Charlie looked around and sighed,
"Well, I’m sore and disgusted ,
And I’m absolutely busted;
I guess this is my last long ride."

Now you citizens of Boston,
Don’t you think it’s a scandal
That the people have to pay and pay?
Vote for Walter A. O’Brien,
And fight the fare increase:
Get poor Charlie off the MTA.

Or else he’ll never return,
No he’ll never return
And his fate will be unlearn’d
He may ride forever
’Neath the streets of Boston;
He’s the man (Who’s the man?)
He’s the man (Oh, the man!)
He’s the man who never returned.

Come Out Ye Black and Tans                More Songs
Music:  Traditional
Lyrics:  Dominic Behan (1929-1989), Irish folksinger and songwriter

The song is in reference to the khaki-uniformed, black beret-wearing British who helped the Irish constabulary pummel the rebels and innocent civilians from 1919 to 1921.  It was supposedly written about Dominic's father taunting loyalist neighbours after a night of drinking.

I was born in the Dublin Street where the Royal drums did beat
And those loving English feet, they walked all over us,
And each and every night when me Da would come home tight,
He'd invite the neighbours outside with this chorus,

Oh, come out ye Black and Tans, come out and fight me like a man,
Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders,
Tell her how the IRA made you run like hell away
From the green and lovely lanes of Killeshandra.

Oh, come tell her how you slew them ol’ Arabs two by two
Like the Zulus they had spears and bows and arrows,
How you bravely faced each one with your sixteen-pounder gun,
And you frightened them damned natives to the marrow.

Oh, come let us hear you tell how you slandered great Parnell
Whom you fought and well and truly persecuted.
Where are your sneers and jeers that you’d only let us hear
When our leaders of sixteen were executed.

The day is coming fast and the time is here at last
When each yeoman will be cast aside before us;
And if there be a need, sure me kids will sing "Godspeed!"
With a verse or two of Steven Behan’s chorus.

Courtin' in the Kitchen                More Songs

Come single belle and beau, unto me pay attention.
Don’t ever fall in love, it’s the divil’s own invention.
Once I fell in love with a maiden so bewitchin’
Miss Henrietta Bell out of Captain Kelly’s kitchen.

With my toora-loora-lie, and my toora-loora-laddie;
With my toora-loora-lie, and my toora-loora-laddie.

At the age of seventeen, I was ’prenticed to a grocer
Not far from Stephen’s Green, where Miss Henry used to go, sir
He manners were so fine and she set my heart a-twitchin’
And she invited me to a hoolie in the kitchen.

Next Sunday being the day that we were to have the "flare up,"
I dressed myself quite gay, and I frizzed and oiled my hair up
The captain had no wife, and he’d left and gone a-fishin’
And we kicked up the high life, below the stairs in the kitchen.

Just as the clock struck six we sat down to the table,
She brought out tea and cakes; I ate what I was able.
I had cakes with punch and tay ’till me side had got a stitch in
And the time passed quick away with our courtin’ in the kitchen.

With her arms around my waist, she slyly hinted marriage,
When to the door in haste, came Captain Kelly’s carriage
Her eyes soon filled with hate and poison she was spittin’
She told me, "Go to hell, or somewhere from the kitchen."

She flew up off my knee, full five feet up or higher,
And over head and heels threw me straight into the fire.
My new Repealer’s coat that I bought from Mr. Mitchel
With a thirty shilling note went to blazes in the kitchen.

I grieved to see me duds all besmeared with smoke and ashes,
When a tub of dirty suds right in me face she splashes.
As I lay upon the floor the water she kept a-pitchin’,
’Till a footman broke the door and came chargin’ in the kitchen.

When the captain came downstairs though he saw my situation,
In spite of all my prayers, I was marched off to the station
For me they’d take no bail, but to get home I was itchin’
And I had to tell the tale of how I came into the kitchen.

I said she did invite me, but she gave a flat denial
For assault she did indict me, and I was sent for trial
She swore I robbed the house, in spite of all her screechin’
And I got six months hard for my courtin’ in the kitchen.

Danny Boy                More Songs
Music:  Londonderry Air, descended from "Young Man's Dream" written in 1600s by Rory Dall O'Cahan in Scotland
Lyrics:  Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), an English lawyer and songwriter

Contrary to popular belief, this is not a "traditional" song, but the lyrics were written in 1910, added to the melody in 1912, and copyrighted in 1913.  The Real Story of the Origin of This Song.

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 flowers are dying,
’Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come you back when Summer’s in the meadow,
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow,
’Tis I’ll be there in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come when all the flowers are dying,
And I am dead, as dead I well may be,
You’ll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me,
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be,
If you will not fail to tell me that you love me,
Then I simply sleep in peace, until you come to me.

The Devil and the Farmer's Wife                More Songs
Traditional (1600s)

The Devil come up to the farmer one day,
Tee-roo, tee-roo, to the farmer one day,
Says, "One of your fam’ly I’m taking away,
Tee-roo, tee-roo, I’m taking away.

"Oh, please don’t take my eldest son…
There’s work on the farm that’s got to be done…"

"Take my wife, take my wife, with the joy of my heart…
And I hope, by golly, that you never will part…"

The Devil put the old lady into a sack…
And down the road he goes clickety-clack…

When the Devil got her to the fork in the road…
He say, "Old woman, you’re a hell of a load…"

When the Devil got her to the gates of hell…
He says, "Stoke up the fires, we’ll bake her well…"

Up came a li’l devil with a ball and chain…
She upped with her foot and she kicked out his brains…

Then nine little devils went climbing the wall…
Screaming, "Take her back, daddy, she’ll murder us all…"

The old man was peeping out of a crack…
When he saw the old Devil come bringing her back…

He says, "Here’s your wife, both sound and well…
If I kept her there longer she’d have torn up hell…"

He says, "I’ve been a devil most all of my life…
But I’ve never been in hell till I met with your wife."

So this goes to show what a woman can do…
She can whup out the Devil and her husband, too…

This proves that the women are better than men…
They can all go to hell and come back again…

Fare Thee Well Enniskillen                More Songs
Music: traditional
Lyrics:  Tommy Makem (1932-        ), traditional balladeer and songwriter from County Armagh

The original lyrics dealt with the separation of a woman and a soldier, but the song does not specify for which war he departed.  Tommy Makem's new lyrics to this song were written in 1963 and refer to the Irish soldiers' experiences in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

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:

Farewell to Carlingford                More Songs
Music:  Traditional
Lyrics:  Tommy Makem (1932-        ), traditional balladeer and songwriter from County Armagh

I seem to remember seeing original lyrics to this traditional song somewhere along the way.  Tommy Makem wrote the new lyrics in 1968.

When I was young and in my prime,
And could wander wild and free,
There was always a longing in my mind
To follow the call of the sea.

So I sing farewell to Carlingford,
And farewell to Greenore,
And I’ll think of you both day and night,
Until I return once more,
Until I return once more.

On all of the stormy Seven Seas,
I have sailed before the mast;
And on ev’ry voyage I ever made,
I swore it would be my last. But…

Now I had a girl called Mary Doyle,
And she lived in Greenore.
And the foremost thought was in her mind
Was to keep me safe on shore. But…

Now the Landsman’s life is all his own;
He can go where he can stay.
But when the sea gets in your blood,
When she calls you must obey. So…

Father's Grave                More Songs
Traditional (English)

This could (and is) just as easily sung about an Irish workman.

They're moving Father's grave to build a sewer;
They're shifting it regardless of expense.
They've dug up his remains to lay down nine-inch drains,
To satisfy some posh bloke's residence.

Now, what's the use of having a religion?
For when you die your troubles never cease.
When some high society crank needs a pipeline for his tank,
They won't let poor old Father rest in peace.

In his lifetime father never was a quitter,
And I'm sure that he won't be a quitter now.
And when the job's complete he'll haunt that privy seat,
And he'll only let them go when he'll allow.

Oh, won't there be some pains of constipation,
And won't those poor old bastards rant and rave?
But they'll get what they deserve, for they had the bloody nerve
To bugger up a British workman's grave.

Father's Whiskers                More Songs
Traditional (origin unknown)

I have found many versions of this song.  Of course we had to throw Guinness into the last verse.

I have a dear old daddy, for whom I nightly pray.
He has a set of whiskers that are always in the way.

They're always in the way, the cow eats them for hay,
They hide the dirt on daddy's shirt, they're always in the way.

Around the supper table, we make a happy group,
Until dear father's whiskers get tangled in the soup.

Father had a strong back, now it's all caved in,
He stepped upon his whiskers and walked up to his chin.

We have a dear old mother, with him at night she sleeps,
She wakes up in the morning eating shredded wheat.

We have a dear old brother, he has a Ford machine,
He uses father's whiskers to strain the gasoline.

Father has a daughter, her name is Ella Mae;
She climbs up father’s whiskers, and braids them all the way.

Father fought in Flanders, he wasn't killed, you see.
He hid behind his whiskers, and fooled the enemy.

When Father goes in swimming, no bathing suit for him.
He ties his whiskers 'round his waist, and gaily plunges in.

Father in a tavern, he likes his Guinness beer,
He pins a pretzel on his nose to keep his whiskers clear.

Finnegan's Wake                More Songs
Traditional (Irish)

The music is a traditional Irish tune, but the lyrics originated some time in the 19th Century for the Victorian-era music halls.  James Joyce used the song title to title his famous book about Dublin life.

Tim Finnegan lived in Watling Street, a gentleman Irish mighty odd,
He had a brogue so rich and sweet, for to rise in the world he carried a hod.
But Tim had a touch of the tipplin’ way with the love of the liquor he was born
And to send him on his way each day, he’d a drop of the crathur ev’ry morn’.

Whack fo di do; dance to your partner, welt the floor with your trotter’s shake.
Isn’t it the truth I’m telling ya? Lots of fun at Finnegan’s wake.

One morning Tim was rather full; his head felt heavy which made him shake.
He fell from a ladder and broke his skull, so they carried him home, his corpse to wake.
They wrapped him up in a linen sheet, and layed him out on top of the bed
With a bucket of whiskey at his feet, and a barrel of porter at his head.


His friends assembled at the wake and Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch,
First they brought in tay and cakes, then pipes, tobacco, and whiskey punch.
Biddy O’Brien began to cry, "Such a lovely corpse did yeh ever see?"
"Oh, Tim a dradh, why did yeh die?" – "Ah, hould yer gob!" said Paddy McGhee.


Then Maggie O’Connor took up the job, "Oh, Biddy," said she, "yer wrong, I’m sure."
Biddy fetched her a belt in the gob, and left her sprawling on the floor.
Civil war did then engage, ‘twas woman to woman, and man to man;
Shilelagh law was all the rage, and a row and a ruction soon began.


Then Mickey Maloney ducked his head when a noggin of whiskey flew at him,
It missed and falling on the bed, the liquor scattered all over Tim.
Tim revives, see how he rises, Finnegan rising in the bed,
Saying, "Whirl yer whiskey around like blazes!"
"Thunderin’ jazez, did yis think me dead?"


Galway Bay                More Songs
Dr. Arthur Colahan (1890s-1952)

The lyrics to this song were originally written in 1927 about Dr. Colahan's childhood home, and the song was kept mostly among family and friends.  Twenty years later they were finally copyrighted and published, and made famous by Bing Crosby.  There is a rather popular parody of this song as well.  There is an older song called "My Own Dear Galway Bay," which is completely different.  The lyrics were written by Francis Fahy (1854-1935) in the late 1800s to the tune of "My Irish Molly, Oh."

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 see 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 watch the barefoot gossoons at their play.

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

For the strangers tried top come and teach us their way
They scorned 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 a life hereafter,
And somehow I am sure there's going to be,
I shall ask my God to let me make my heaven
In that dear land across the Irish Sea.

Galway Bay (Parody)                More Songs
based on the original by Dr. Arthur Colahan (1890s-1952)

The earliest references to this parody are in the 1950s, so the parody originated not too long after the original was copyrighted in 1947.

Maybe some day I'll go back again to Ireland,
If my dear old wife would only pass away.
She nearly has my heart broke with all her naggin',
She's got a mouth as big as Galway Bay.

See her drinking sixteen pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon,
And then she can walk home without a sway.
If the sea were beer instead of salty water,
She'd live and die in Galway Bay.

See her drinking sixteen pints at Paddy Murphy's;
The barman says, "I think it's time to go."
Well she doesn't try to speak to him in Gaelic,
In a language that the clergy do not know.

On her back she has tattooed a map of Ireland,
And when she takes her bath on Saturday,
She rubs the Sunlight Soap around by Claddagh,
Just to watch the suds flow down by Galway Bay.

Goodbye Muisheen Durkin                More Songs
Traditional (Irish American)

This song originated in the late 19th Century, with obvious references to the gold rush in California.  The mid-1800s were a popular time for emigration to America.

Good-bye Muirsheen Durkin, oh I’m sick and tired of workin’,
No more I’ll dig the praties, no longer I’ll be poor;
But as sure as my name is Barney, I’ll be off to Californee,
And instead of diggin’ praties, I’ll be diggin’ lumps of gold.

In the days I went a-courtin’, I was never tired resortin’
To the alehouse and the playhouse, and the other house beside,
But I told my brother Séamus, "I’ll be off now and grow famous,"
"And before I come home again I’ll roam the whole world wide."

Oh, I courted girls in Blarney, in Kanturk and Killarney,
In Dublin and in Kerry, even the Cobh of Cork.
But I’m tired of all this pleasure, so now I’ll take my leisure
And the next time that you hear from me be a letter from New York.

Good-bye to all the boys at home, I’m sailing far across the foam,
To try and make my fortune in far Amerikay;
For there’s gold and money plenty, for the poor and for the gentry,
And when I’m back again, I never more will stray.

When I landed in Amerikay, I met a man named Burke,
He told me if I stayed a while he’d surely find me work;
But work he didn’t find me, so there’s nothin’ here to bind me,
I’m bound for San Francisco, in Californ-i-ay.

Well I’m now in San Francisco and me fortune it is made,
Me pockets loaded down with gold, I’ve thrown away me spade;
I’ll go back to tell me parents, with me fortune, never carin’,
I’ll marry Queen Victorie, Muirsheen Durkin for to spite.

The Hills of Connemara                More Songs

This song probably originated in the late 19th Century, although it may be early 20th.  Beware the excise man if you're brewing up moonshine!

Gather up the pots and the old tin cans,
The mash and the corn, the barley and the bran.
Run like the divil from the excise man;
Keep the smoke from rising, Barney!

Keep your eyes well peeled today,
The big, tall men are on their way.
They’re searching for the mountain tay
In the hills of Connemara.

A gallon for the butcher and a quart for Tom,
A bottle for the poor old Father John,
To help the poor old dear along
In the hills of Connemara.

Mountain breezes as they blow,
Hear the magpie in the glen below,
See the colleens on the go,
In the hills of Connemara.

Oh, swing to the left, now swing to the right!
The excise man can dance all night!
He’s drinking up the tay ’til the broad daylight
In the hills of Connemara.

Stand your ground, now don’t you fall;
The excise men are at the wall;
Pog ma thoin! They’re drinking it all!
In the hills of Connemara.

The Holy Ground                More Songs
Music:  from "Old Swansea Town Once More"
Lyrics:  unknown

This song has been around a very long time, the melody being derived from an old sea shanty popularly sung aboard vessels as a working tune.  The Holy Ground is a section  in the Cobh of Cork, and this version of the lyrics undoubtedly originated there.  Similar sea shanties were sung in other areas of Ireland, and a similar melody was also popular in Wales.

Adieu my fair young maidens, a thousand times adieu,
We must bid goodbye to the Holy Ground, the place that we love true;
We will sail the salt seas over, and return again for sure.
To seek the girls that wait for us in the Holy Ground once more. "Fine girl you are!"

You’re the girl I do adore,
And still I live in hope to see,
The Holy Ground once more. "Fine girl you are!"

We’re on the Salt Sea sailing and you are safe behind
Fond letters I will write to you, the secrets of my mind,
Fond letters I will write to you, the girl I do adore,
And still I live in hope to see the Holy Ground once more.

I see a storm arising, I can see it coming soon
For the night is dark and dreary, you can scarcely see the moon
And the good old ship she is tossing about, and her riggings are all tore
But still I live in hope to see the Holy Ground once more.

And now the storm is over and we are safe on shore
And a health we’ll drink to the Holy Ground and the girls we do adore,
We will drink strong ale and porter, and make the taprooms roar
And when our money is all spent we will go to sea for more.

Home Boys Home                More Songs

Another good old sailing tune.

Well, I used to be a sailor lad, a-sailing on the main,
A-courtin' all the women, 'twas there I gained me fame.
I came ashore one evening from the sea,
And that was the beginning of my own true love and me.

And it’s home, boys, home!
Home I’d like to be, home for a while in the old count-ry,
Where the oak and the ash and the bonnie rowan tree
Are all a-growin’ greener in the north country.

Well I asked her for a candle to light me way to bed,
Likewise for a handkerchief to tie around me head.
She tended to me needs just like a young maid ought to do,
So then I says to her, "Now won’t you jump in with me too. "


Well she jumped into bed and making no alarm,
Thinking a young sailor lad could do to her no harm.
I hugged her, I kissed her the whole night long,
’Til she wished the short night had been seven years long.


Well early next morning, this sailor lad arose,
And into Mary’s apron I threw a handful of gold,
Sayin’, "Take this me dear, for the damage that I’ve done,
For last night I fear I left you with a daughter or a son. "


Well if it be a girl child, send her out to nurse,
With gold in her pocket and with silver in her purse.
And if it be a boy child, he’ll wear the jacket blue,
And be climbing up the rigging like his daddy used to do.


So come all you fair maidens, a warning take by me:
Never let a sailor lad an inch above your knee.
She trusted one, and he beguiled she,
And left her with a pair of twins to dangle on her knee.


I'll Tell My Ma                More Songs
Traditional (Irish)

This is a traditional children's tune from the streets of Belfast.  Children would form a circle and dance while singing this and many other songs.

I’ll tell my ma when I go home
The boys won’t leave the girls alone.
They pulled my hair and stole my comb,
But that’s all right till I go home.
She is handsome she is pretty,
She is the belle of Belfast city,
She is courtin’ one, two, three,
Please, won’t you tell me who is she?

Albert Mooney says he loves her,
All the boys are fighting for her,
They rap at the door and they ring at the bell
Sayin’, "Oh, my true love, are you well?"
Out she comes as white as snow,
Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
Old Johnny Murray says she’ll die
If she doesn’t get the fellow with the roving eye.

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high,
And the snow come tumblin’ from the sky,
She’s as nice as apple pie,
And she’ll get her own boy by and by.
When she gets a lad of her own
She won’t tell her ma when she comes home
Let them all come as the will,
For it’s Albert Mooney she loves still.

Irish Rover                More Songs

In the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and six,
We set sail from the Coal Quay of Cork,
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand City Hall in New York.
We’d an elegant craft, it was rigged ’fore and aft,
And how the trade winds drove her.
She had twenty-three masts and she stood sev’ral blasts
And they called her the Irish Rover.

There was Barney Magee from the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Johnny McGurk who was scared stiff of work
And a chap from Westmeath named Malone
There was Slugger O’Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracy from Dover
And your man Mick McCann from the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper of the Irish Rover.

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of bone
We had three million bales of old nanny goats’ tails
We had four million barrels of stone
We had five million hogs and six million dogs
And seven million barrels of porter
We had eight million sides of old blind horses hides
In the hold of the Irish Rover.

We had sailed seven years, when the measles broke out
And our ship lost her way in a fog
And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two.
’Twas myself and the captain’s old dog
then the ship struck a rock, Oh, Lord, what a shock
And nearly tumbled over
Turned nine times around then the poor old dog was drowned;
I’m the last of the Irish Rover.

Johnson’s Motor Car                More Songs

’Twas down by Brannigan’s Corner, one morning I did stray.
I met a fellow rebel, and to me he did say,
"We’ve orders from the captain to assemble at Dunbar,
But how are we to get there, without a motor car?"

Oh Barney dear, be of good cheer, I’ll tell you what we’ll do.
The specials they are plentiful, the I.R.A. are few,
We’ll send a wire to Johnson to meet us at Stranlar
And we’ll give the boys a bloody good ride in Johnson’s motor car.

When Doctor Johnson heard the news he soon put on his shoes
He says this is an urgent case, there is no time to lose,
He then put on his castor hat and on his breast a star;
You could hear the din all through Glenfin of Johnson’s motor car.

But when he got to the railway bridge, some rebels he saw there
Old Johnson knew the game was up, for at him they did stare
He said, "I have a permit, to travel near and far."
"To hell with your English permit, we want your motor car."

"What will my loyal brethren think, when they hear the news?
My car it has been commandeered by the rebels at Dunluce."
"We’ll give you a receipt for it, all signed by Captain Barr;
and when Ireland gets her freedom, boy, you’ll get your motor car."

Well we put that car in motion and filled it to the brim,
With guns and bayonets shining which made old Johnson grim,
And Barney hoisted a Sinn Fein flag, and it fluttered like a star,
And we gave three cheers for the I.R.A. and Johnson’s motor car.

Join the British Army                More Songs

When I was young I used to be as fine a man as you could see,
The Prince of Wales he said to me, "Come join the British Army."

Too-ra-loo-ra loo-ra-loo, they’re looking for monkeys in the zoo,
And if I had a face like you I’d join the British Army.

Corporal Daly’s gone away. His wife is in the family way;
The only thing that she can say is, "Blame the British Army!"


Sergeant Doyle, he has the drought. Give him a load of Guinness stout.
He’ll beat the enemy with his mouth to save the British Army!


Kilted soldiers wear no drawers; won’t you kindly lend them yours?
The poor should always help the poor; God help the British Army!


They’ll beat the Germans without fuss and lay their bones out in the dust;
I know, for they quite near beat us, the gallant British Army!


Jolly Tinker                More Songs

As I went down a shady lane at a door I chanced to knock,
"Have you any pots or kettles with rusty holes to block?"

Well, indeed I have, don’t you know I have?
To me rightful laurel-laddy, well indeed I have.

The missus came out to the door, she asked me to come in,
Sayin’, "You’re welcome, jolly tinker, and I hope you brought your tin."


She took me through the kitchen then she led me through the hall,
And the servants cried, "The divil, has he come to block us all?"


She took me up the stairs, me lads, to show me what to do,
Then she fell on the feathery bed, and I fell on it to.


She then picked up the fryin’ pan, and she began to knock,
For to let the servants know, me lads, that I was at me work.


She put her hand into her pocket and she pulled out twenty pounds,
"Take this, me jolly tinker, and we’ll have another round."


Well, I’ve been a jolly tinker now for forty years or more,
Aye, but such a rusty hole as that, I’ve never blocked before.


The Jug of Punch                More Songs
Francis McPeake

One pleasant evening in the month of June,
As I was sitting with my glass and spoon,
A small bird sat on an ivy bunch,
And the song he sang was the Jug of Punch.

Toora loora loo, toora loora lay,
Toora loora loo, toora loora lay.
A small bird sat on an ivy bunch,
And the song he sang was the Jug of Punch.

What more diversion can a man desire
Than to sit him down by an ale-house fire?
Upon his knee a pretty wench,
Aye, and on the table a jug of punch.


The learned doctors with all their art
Cannot cure the impression that’s on the heart
Even the cripple forgets his hunch
When he’s safe outside of a jug of punch.


And if I get drunk when me money’s me own,
And men don’t like me, they can leave me alone,
I’ll tune me fiddle, and I’ll rosin me bow,
And I’ll be welcome wherever I go.


And when I’m dead and in my grave,
No costly tombstone will I crave.
Just lay me down in my native peat,
With a jug of punch at my head and feet.


The Life of the Rover                More Songs

The old ways are changing, you cannot deny
The day of the traveler’s over.
There’s nowhere to go and there’s nowhere to fight,
So, goodbye, David Burkey of Trailer.

Farewell to the tent and the old carnival,
To the tinker, the gypsy, the travelling band,
Goodbye to the life of the Rover.

Farewell to the salt and the traveling talk,
Farewell to the horse and the bridle.
The buyin’, the sellin’, the old fortune-tllin’,
The knock on the door and the hawkin’.


You’ve got to move fast to keep up with the times,
For these days a man cannot dander.
There’s a fine lad to say, "You must be on your way,"
And another to say, "You can wander."


The old ways are passing and soon they’ll be gone,
For improvement is always a factor.
That’s "santay effectus," when they eject us,
They tow us away with a tractor.


Liverpool Lou                More Songs
Dominic Behan

Oh, Liverpool Lou, lovely Liverpool Lou,
Why don’t you behave, love, like the other girls do?
Why must my poor heart keep following you?
Stay home and love me, my Liverpool Lou.

When I go a-walk-ing, hear people talking,
School children play-ing, I know what they’re saying;
They’re saying you’ll grieve me, that you will deceive me.
Some morning you’ll leave me, all packed up and gone.


The sounds from the river keep telling me ever
That I should forget you, like I’d never met you.
Tell me their song, love, was never more wrong, love;
Say I belong, love, to my Liverpool Lou.


Macnamara's Band               More Songs
John J. Stamford & Shamus O'Connor

Oh, me name is Macnamara, I’m the leader of the band,
And though we’re few in numbers, we’re the finest in the land.
We play at wakes and weddings, and ev’ry fancy ball,
And when we play the funerals, we play the march from Saul.

Oh, the drums are bangin’, the cymbals are clangin’, and the horns they blaze away;
McCarthy pumps the old basoon, while I the pipes do play;
And Hennessey Tennessee tootles the flute, and the music is something grand,
A credit to old Ireland is Macnamara’s Band.

Right now we are rehearsing for a very swell affair,
The annual celebration, all the gentry will be there.
When General Grant to Ireland came, he took me by the hand,
He says he never saw the likes of Macnamara’s Band.


Oh, me name is Uncle Yulius and from Sweden I have come,
To play in Macnamara’s Band and beat the big bass drum,
And when I march a long the street, the ladies think I’m grand,
They shout, "There’s Uncle Yulius playing with an Irish band!"

Oh, I wear a bunch of shamrocks and a uniform of green,
And I’m the silliest looking Swede that you have ever seen.
There’s O’Briens and Ryans and Sheehans and Meehans, they come from Ireland;
But by Yimminy, I’m the only Swede in Macnamara’s Band.


The Mermaid                More Songs

It was Friday morn’ when we set sail, and we were not far from the land,
When our captain he spied a mermaid so fair, with a comb and a glass in her hand.

And the ocean waves do roll, and the stormy winds do blow,
And we poor sailors are skipping at the top,
While the landlubbers lie down below, below, below,
While the landlubbers lie down below.

Then up spoke the captain of our gallant ship, and a fine old man was he,
"This fishy mermaid has warned me of our doom, we shall sink to the bottom of the sea."


Well up spoke the mate of our gallant ship, and a fine strappin’ man was he,
Sayin’, "I have a wife in Brooklyn by the sea, and tonight a widow she will be."


Then up spoke the cabin-boy of our gallant ship, and a brave young lad was he,
"Oh, I have a sweetheart in Salem by the sea, and tonight she’ll be weeping for me."


Then up spoke the cook of our gallant ship, and a crazy old butcher was he,
"I care much more for me pots and me pans than I do for the bottom of the sea."


Three times ’round spun our gallant ship, and three times ’round spun she,
Three times ’round spun our gallant ship, and she sank to the bottom of the sea.


Molly Malone                More Songs

In Dublin’s fair city, where girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels! A-live, a-live, oh!"

A-live, a-live-oh, a-live, alive-oh,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels! A-live, a-live, oh!"

She was a fishmonger, but sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they each pushed their wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels! Alive, alive, oh!"


She died of the fever, and no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone;
Her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels! Alive, alive, oh!"


The Moonshiner                More Songs

I’ve been a moonshiner for many a year,
I’ve spent all me money on whiskey and beer,
I’ll go to some hollow and I’ll set up my still,
And I’ll make you a gallon for a ten shilling bill.

I’m a rambler, I’m a gambler, I’m a long ways from home,
And if you don’t like me, well leave me alone.
I’ll eat when I’m hungry, and I’ll drink when I’m dry,
And if the moonshine don’t kill me, I’ll live ’til I die.

I’ll go to some hollow in this country,
Ten gallons of wash, I can go on a spree,
No woman to follow, the world is all mine,
And I love none so well as I love the moonshine.


Oh, moonshine, dear moonshine, oh how I love thee,
You killed me old father, but dare you try me,
Oh, bless all moonshiners and bless all moonshine,
Oh, it’s breath smells as sweet as the dew on the vine.


I’ll have moonshine for Liza and moonshine for May,
Moonshine for Lu and she’ll sing all the day,
Moonshine for me breakfast, moonshine for me tea,
Moonshine for me hearties, it’s moonshine for me.


Mountain Dew                More Songs

Let grasses grow, and waters flow in a free and easy way,
But give me enough of the fine old stuff that’s made near Galway Bay,
And policemen all from Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim, too,
We’ll give them the slip and we’ll take a sip of the real old mountain dew.

At the foot of the hill there’s a neat little still, where the smoke curls up to the sky
By the smoke and the smell, you can plainly tell that there’s poteen brewing near by,
For it fills the air, with odor rare, and betwixt both me and you,
When home you stroll, you can take a bowl, or a bucket of the mountain dew.

Now learned men who use the pen, have wrote your praises high,
That sweet poteen from Ireland green, distilled from wheat and rye
Throw away your pills, it will cure all ills, of pagan, Christian or Jew,
Take off your coat and grease your throat, with the real old mountain dew.

A Nation Once Again                More Songs
Music & Lyrics:  Thomas E. Davis (1814-1845 )(written c. 1843), co-founder of "The Nation" newspaper
Another biography
"Three hundred men" were the Spartans led by Leonidas who held back the Persians at Thermopylae.
"Three men" were Herminius, Horatius, and Lartius who held the bridge against the Tuscan armies of Lars Porsena.

When boyhood's fire was in my blood, I read of ancient freemen,
For Greece and Rome who bravely stood, three hundred men and three men;
And then I prayed I yet might see our fetters rent in twain,
And Ireland, long a province, be a nation once a-gain!

A nation once a-gain, A nation once a-gain,
And Ireland, long a province, be a nation once a-gain!

And from that time, through wildest woe, that hope has shown a far light,
Nor could love's brightest summer glow outshine the solemn starlight;
It seemed to watch above my head in forum, field and fame,
Its angel voice sang round my bed, a nation once again.


So as I grew from boy to man, I bent me to that bidding
The spirit of each selfish plan and cruel passion ridding,
For thus I hoped someday to aid, oh can such hope be vain
When, my dear country shall be made a nation once again.


It whisper'd too, that freedom's ark, and service high and holy,
Would be profaned by feeling dark and passions vain or lowly;
For, Freedom comes from God's right hand, and needs a godly train;
And righteous men must make our land a nation once again!


The Orange and the Green                More Songs
Anthony Murphy

Oh it is the biggest mix-up that you have ever seen:
My father, he was Orange, and me mother, she was Green.

Oh, my father was an Ulster man, proud Protestant was he,
My mother was a Catholic girl, from County Cork was she.
They were married in two churches, lived happily enough,
Until the day that I was born and things got rather tough.


Baptized by Father Reilly, I was rushed away by car,
To be made a little Orange man, me father’s shining star.
I was christened David Anthony, but still in spite of that,
To my father I was William, while my mother called me "Pat."


With Mother every Sunday to mass I’d proudly stroll,
Then after that, the Orange lodge which tried to save my soul.
For both sides tried to claim me, but I was smart because
I’d play the flute or play the harp, depending where I was.


One day me ma’s relations came ’round to visit me,
Just as my father’s kinfolk were all sitting down to tea.
We tried to smooth things over, but they all began to fight
And me being strictly neutral, I boxed everyone in sight.


Now my parents never could agree about my type of school;
My learning was all done at home, that’s why I’m such a fool.
They both passed on, God rest them, but left me caught me between
That awful color problem of the orange and the green.


The Rising of the Moon                More Songs

Oh, then tell me Sean O'Farrell, tell me why you hurry so?
Hush me Buchall hush and listen and his cheeks were all aglow.
I bear orders from the captain, get you ready quick and soon,
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon,
For the pikes must be together at the rising of the moon.

Oh, then tell me Sean O'Farrell where the gathering is to be.
In the old spot by the river right well known to you and me.
One more word for signal token, whistle up the marching tune
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon,
With your pike upon your shoulder at the rising of the moon.

Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through the night,
Many a manly heart was throbbing for the coming morning light
Murmurs passed along the valley like the banshees lonely croon,
And a thousand blades were flashing at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon,
A thousand blades were flashing at the rising of the moon.

And there beside the river's edge that mass of men was seen,
Far above their shining weapons hung their own beloved green.
Death to every foe and traitor, move forward to the marching tune,
Give a shout, me boys for freedom at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon,
Give a shout, me boys for freedom at the rising of the moon.

Well they fought for poor old Ireland and full bitter was their fate,
For what glorious pride and sorrow fills the year of ninety-eight.
And thank God we've still our beating hearts and manhood's burning noon,
Who would follow in their footsteps at the rising of the moon.
At the rising of the moon, at the rising of the moon,
Who would follow in their footsteps at the rising of the moon.

Scotsman’s Kilt                More Songs

Now a Scotsman clad in kilt come out o’ the bar one evening fair,
And you could tell the way he walked he drank more than his share.
He fumbled around until he could no longer find his feet,
Then he staggered off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

A ring-ding-diddle-diddle aye-dee-oh, a ring-ding diddley aye-day,
He staggered off into the grass to sleep beside the street.

Well about that time two young and lovely girls just happen by,
And one said to the other with a twinkle in her eye,
I see yon sleepin’ Scotsman, so strong and handsome built,
I wonder if it’s true, what they don’t wear beneath their kilt?


So they crept up on that sleepin’ Scotsman, quiet as can be,
And lifted up his kilt about an inch so they could see
And there, behold, for them to view beneath the Scottish kilt
Was nothin’ more than God had graced him once upon his birth.


Well they marveled for a moment then said, "Well, we must be gone."
Let’s leave a present for our friend before we move along.
As a gift they left a blue silk ribbon tied into a bow,
Around the bonnie star the Scotsman’s kilt that left its show.


Well the Scotsman woke to Nature’s call and stumbled toward the trees,
Behind a bush he lifts his kilt and he gawks at what he sees.
And in a startled voice he say, "To what’s before me eyes?"
"Oh, Lord, I don’t know where you been, but I see you’ve won first prize!"


Seven Nights Drunk                More Songs

As I came home on Monday night, as drunk as I could be,
I saw a horse in the stable, where my old horse should be.
Well I called my wife and I said to her, "Now won’t you tell me, please,
What’s this horse in the stable where my old horse should be?"
She said, "You’re drunk, you’re drunk, you silly old fool, can’t you ever see?
It’s nothing but a milkcow that my mother sent to me."
Well, it’s many a day I traveled a hundred miles or more,
But a saddle on a milkcow, I never saw before.

…a coat behind the door…a woolen blanket…buttons in a blanket…

…a pipe upon me chair…a lovely tin whistle…tobacco in a tin whistle…

…a hat in the closet…a bedpan…bedpan size seven-and-half…

…some pants a-hanging…a tablecloth…a zipper in a tablecloth…

…two boots beneath the bed…two lovely geranium pots…laces in geranium pots…

…head inside the bed…a baby boy…a baby boy with a moustache…

South Australia                More Songs

In South Australia I was born, Heave a-way, haul a-way,
In South Australia ’round Cape Horn, We’re bound for South Australia.

Haul away, your rolling king, Heave a-way, haul a-way,
Haul away, oh hear me sing, We’re bound for South Austral-ia.

As I walked out one morning fair, Heave away, haul away,
’Twas there I met Miss Nancy Blair, We’re bound for South Australia.


I shook her up, I shook her down, Heave away, haul away,
I shook her round and round the town, We’re bound for South Australia.


There ain’t but one thing grieves my mind, Heave away, haul away,
To leave Miss Nancy Blair behind, We’re bound for South Australia.


And as we wallop ’round Cape Horn, Heave away, haul away,
You’ll wish to God you’d never been born, We’re bound for South Australia.


Spancil Hill                More Songs

Last night as I lay dreaming Of pleasant days gone by
My mind bein' bent on ramblin' To Ireland I did fly
I stepped aboard a vision, And followed with my will
Till 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 I think I hear it still
It's the little stream of water That flows down by Spancil Hill.

It being the Twenty-third of June, The day before the Fair
When Ireland's sons and daughters In crowds assembled there
The young, the old, the brave and bold, They came for sport and kill
There were jovial conversations At the Cross of Spancil Hill.

I went to see my neighbors, To hear what they might say
The old ones were all dead and gone, The young ones 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, Sayin' "Johnny I love you still!"
She's Nell, the farmer's daughter, And the pride of Spancil Hill.

I dreamt I stopped and kissed her As in the days of yore
She said, "Johnny, you're only joking, As many times before."
The cock crew in the morning, He crew both loud and shrill
And I woke in California, Many miles from Spancil Hill.

Take Me Up To Monto                More Songs

Well if you've got a wing-o take me up to ring-o,
Where the waxies sing-o all the day.
If you've had your fill of porter and you can't go any further,
Then give your man 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 buttoned up his trousers,
And he whistled for a growler and he said,"My men!"


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.


You've seen the Dublin Fusileers, the dirty old banboozaliers;
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 over the sea.


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,"
But the buggers in the depot didn't know the tune.


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…Liathoidi…to you!

The Unicorn Song                More Songs
Shel Silverstein

A long time ago when the earth was green,
There was more kinds of animals than you’ve ever seen.
They’d run around free while the earth was being born,
But the loveliest of all was the unicorn.

There was green alligators, and long-necked geese,
Some humpty-backed camels, and some chimpanzees,
Some cats and rats and eliphants, but sure as you’re born
The loveliest of all was the unicorn.

Well God seen some sinnin’, and it gave him pain,
And he says, "Stand back, I’m going to make it rain!"
He says, "Hey, brother Noah,
I’ll tell you what to do; build me a floating zoo!"

And take some of them…CHORUS…don’t you forget my unicorn.

Old Noah was there to answer the call.
He finished up making the arc just as the rain started fallin’.
He marched in the animals, two-by-two,
And he called out as they went through, "Hey, Lord!"

I got you…CHORUS…but, Lord, I’m so forlorn; I just can’t see no unicorns.

Then Noah looked out through the drivin’ rain.
Them unicorns were hidin’, playin’ silly games,
Kickin’ and splashin’ while the rain was pourin’.
Oh, them silly unicorns!

CHORUS…And Noah cried, "Close the door ‘cause the rain is pourin’,"
"And we just can’t wait for no unicorn!"

The arc started movin’, it drifted with the tides;
Them unicorns looked up from the rocks, and they cried.
And the waters came down and sort of floated them away…<pause>
SPOKEN: And that’s why you never seen a unicorn to this very day…

But, you’ll see…CHORUS…you’re never gonna see no unicorn!

What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor?        More Songs

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor,
What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
Earlye in the morning.

Way-hey, and up she rises!
Way-hey, and up she rises!
Way-hey, and up she rises,
Earlye in the morning.

Put him in the scuppers with a hose pipe on him…
Heave him by the leg in a running bowline…
Shave his belly with a rusty razor…
That’s what we’ll do with a drunken sailor…

Whiskey in the Jar                More Songs

As I was going over the far fam’d Kerry Mountain,
I met with Captain Farrell, and his money he was countin’,
I first produced my pistol, and I then produced my rapier,
Sayin’, "Stand and deliver for you are my bold deceiver."

Musha ring dum a doo dum a da,
Whack fol de daddy o,
Whack fol de daddy o,
There’s whiskey in the jar.

He counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny,
I put it in my pocket, and gave it to my Jenny,
She sighed, and she swore that she would never betray me,
But the devil take the women for they never can be easy.


I went into my chamber all for to take a slumber,
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder,
But Jenny drew my charges, and she filled them up with water,
An’ she sent for Captain Farrell, to be ready for the slaughter.


And ’twas early in the morning before I rose to travel,
Up comes a band of footmen and likewise, Captain Farrell
I then produced my pistol for she stole away my rapier,
But I couldn’t shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken.


If anyone can aid me ’tis my brother in the army,
If I could learn his station, in Cork or in Killarney,
And if he’d come and join me we’d go roving in Kilkenny,
I’ll engage he’d treat me fairer than my darling sporting Jenny.


Whiskey, You're the Divil                More Songs
J. Clancy

Whiskey you’re the divil, you’re leading me astray
Over hills and mountains and to Amerikay
You’re sweeter, stronger, dacenter, you’re spunkier than tay
Oh, whiskey, you’re me darlin’ drunk or so-ber.

Oh, now brave boys we’re on the march and off for Portugal and Spain.
The drums are beating, banners flying; the divil a home will come tonight.
Love fare thee well
With me tiddery idle loodle lum a da
Me tiddery idle loodle lum a da
Me rikes fall, tour a laddie,
Oh, there’s whiskey in the jar.


Said the mother do not wrong me, don’t take me daughter from me
For if you do I will torment you, and after death me ghost will haunt you
Love fare thee well…


Now the french are fightin’ boldly, men are dying hot and coldly
Give every man his flask of powder, his firelock on his shoulder,
Love fare thee well…

The Wild Colonial Boy                More Songs

There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name.
He was born and raised in Ireland, in a place called Castlemaine.
He was his father’s only son, his mother’s pride and joy,
And dearly did his parents love the wild colonial boy.

At the early age of sixteen years he left his native home,
And to Australia’s sunny shore he was inclined to roam.
He robbed the rich, he helped the poor, he shot James McAvoy
A terror to Australia was the wild colonial boy.

One morning on the prairie as Jack he rode along,
A-listening to the mocking bird a-singing a cheerful song,
Out stepped a band of troopers, Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy
They all set out to capture him, the wild colonial boy.

Surrender now, Jack Duggan, for you see we’re three to one
Surrender in the King’s high name for you’re a plundering son.
Jack drew two pistols from his belt and proudly waved them high
"I’ll fight, but not surrender," said the wild colonial boy.

He fired a shot at Kelly which brought him to the ground,
And turning ’round to Davis he received a fatal wound,
A bullet pierced his proud young heart from the pistol of Fitzroy,
And that was how they captured him, the wild colonial boy.

The Wild Rover        More Songs

And it’s no, nay, never; no, nay, never, no more.
Will I play the wild rover, no, never, no more.

Well I’ve been a wild rover for many’s a year,
And I’ve spent all me money on whiskey and beer.
But now I’m returning with gold and great store,
And I never will play the wild rover no more.


I went into an alehouse I used to frequent,
And I told the landlady me money was spent.
When I asked her for credit, she told me, "No way!"
She said, "A custom like yours, I would fight any day."


Then out from my pockets I pulled ten sovereign bright,
And the landlady’s eyes opened wide with delight.
Then she said, "I’ve got whiskey and wine of the best,
And the words that I told you, they were only in jest."


I’ll go home to my parents, confess what I’ve done,
And I’ll ask them to pardon their prodigal son.
I’ll have faith again that I had times before,
And I never will play the wild rover no more.


The Work of the Weavers                More Songs

We’re all met together here to sit and to crack
With our glasses in our hands and our work upon our back.
There’s nay a trade among them that can mend or can mack,
If it wasn’t na for the work of the weavers.

If it wasn’t na for the weavers what would ye do?
You wouldn’t na have a cloth that’s made of wool.
You wouldn’t na have a coat of the black or the blue,
If it wasn’t na for the work of the weavers.

There’s soldiers, and there’s sailors, and glaziers and all,
There’s doctors, and there’s ministers, and them that live by law,
And our friends in South America, though them we never saw,
But we ken they wear the work of the weavers.


The weaving’s a trade that never can fail,
As long as we need clothes for to keep another hale,
So let us all be merry, oh, a pitcher of good ale,
And we’ll drink to the health of the weavers.


The Valley of Knockanure                More Songs

You may sing or speak about Easter week or the heroes of ninety eight:
Those Fenian men who roamed the glen for vict'ry or defeat.
Their names on history's page are told, their memories will endure;
Not a song was sung about three young men in the Valley of Knockanure.

There was Lyons and Walsh and the Dalton boy, they were young and in their prime,
They rambled to a lonely spot where the Black and Tans did hide.
The Republic bold they did uphold, though outlawed on the moor,
And side by side they fought and died in the Valley of Knockanure.

It was on a neighbouring hillside we listened in hushed dismay;
In every house, in every town, a young girl knelt to pray.
They're closing in around them now with rifle fire so sure,
And Lyons is dead and young Dalton's down in the Valley of Knockanure.

But afore the guns could seal his fate, young Walsh had broken through,
With a prayer to God he spurned the sod as against the hill he flew.
The bullets tore his flesh in two yet he cried with voice so sure,
"Revenge I'll get for my comrade's death in the Valley of Knockanure."

The summer sun was sinking low behind the field and lea,
The pale moonlight was shining bright far off beyond Tralee,
The dismal stars and the clouds afar were darkening over the moor,
And the Banshee cried when young Dalton died in the Valley of Knockanure.

You’re Not Irish                More Songs
Original words by Robbie O’Connell

When first I came to the USA with my guitar in hand,
I was told that I could get a job singing songs from Ireland.
So I headed off to Boston where I was sure it would be all right,
The very first night I got on the stage I was in for a big surprise,

They said: you’re not Irish, you can’t be Irish, you don’t know "Danny Boy,"
Or "Toora-loora-loora," or even "Irish Eyes,"
You’ve got a helluva nerve to say you came from Ireland,
So cut out all the nonsense and sing "Macnamara’s Band."

To tell the truth, I got quite a shock and I didn’t know what to say,
So I sang a song in Gaelic, I thought that might win the day.
They looked at me suspiciously and I didn’t know what was wrong,
When all of a sudden they started to shout, "Sing a real Irish song!"


The next day I was on my way, to Chicago I was bound;
I decided to give it another try, not let it get me down.
On the stage they looked quite friendly, and I’d hardly sung one word,
When a voice came up from the back of the room, and what do you think I heard?


I’ve traveled throughout the country, and it’s always been the same,
From Lake Champlain to the Rockies, and Washington to Maine.
And sometimes I wonder if it’s a secret society,
And it doesn’t matter wherever I go, they’ll be waiting there for me, saying…



Disclaimer:  "Traditional" tunes are frequently passed on at sessions, without the benefit of formal sheet music or written lyrics.  We have made every effort to identify authors of music and lyrics, and to give credit where credit is due.  If any of our information is incorrect or missing, please notify Mickey by E-mail.


Booking Information

Copyright © 1999 - 2005 by Prairie Biscuit Enterprises