"The Irish Rover"

Words & Music:



There is a single-line arrangement of this for acoustic guitar in the January 2009 issue of Acoustic Guitar.


       C                                    F

On the fourth of July, eighteen hundred and six,

       C             Am            G

We set sail from the sweet Cobh of Cork.

        C                            F

We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks

        C          G           C

For the grand city hall in New York.

         C                      G

'Twas an elegant craft, she was rigged fore and aft

    C                 G

And how the wild wind drove her.

          C                                       F

She could stand a great blast in her twenty-seven masts

       C                     G C

And we called her "The Irish Rover".


We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags,

We had two million barrels of stones.

We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,

We had four million barrels of bones.

We had five million hogs, six million dogs,

We had seven million barrels of porter.

We had eight million bales of old nanny goat tails

In the hold of "The Irish Rover".


There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee,

There was Hogan from County Tyrone.

There was Johnny McGuirk who was scared stiff of work,

And a chap from Westmeath called Malone.

There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule,

And fighting Bill Tratcy from Dover.

And your man Mick McCann from the banks of the Bann

Was the skipper of "The Irish Rover".


We had sailed seven years when the measels broke out

And our ship lost it's way in the fog.

Then the whole of the crew was reduced down to two

Just myself and the captain's old dog.

The ship struck a rock, Lord what a shock!

The boat, it was flipped right over.

Turned nine times around and the poor old dog was drowned

I'm the last of "The Irish Rover".

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