Rocky Road To Dublin

Words & Music:

Traditional Irish


Jay Buckey has a set of arrangements of this on his site.  Chordie also has versions of this by The Dubliners & Boston's own Dropkick Murphys.  This song is believed to date from the 19th century.


       Dm    C        Dm

In the merry month of May from my home I started,

Dm       C        Dm   C

Left the girls of Tuam nearly broken-hearted,

   Dm   C      Dm

Saluted Father dear, kissed my darlin' Mother,

Dm      C       Dm      C

Drank a pint of beer my grief and tears to smother.

     Dm              C         Dm                C

Then off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born,

  Dm                         C

I cut a stout black thorn to banish ghost and goblin.

     Dm                C         Dm               C

In a brand-new pair of brogues I rattled o'er the bogs,

    Dm                 C

And frightened all the dogs on the rocky road to Dublin.



A         C            Dm

One, two, three, four, five.


Hunt the hare and turn her

Dm                      C

Down the rocky road and all the ways to Dublin.

Am        C      Dm

Whack fol-lol-de-ra.


In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary.

Started by day light next morning, light and airy.

Took a drop of the pure, to keep my heart from sinking.

That's an Paddy'd cure, whene'er he's on for drinking.

To see the lasses smile, laughing all the while

At me curious style, 'twould set your heart a-bubbling.

They ax'd if I was hired, the wages I required,

'Til I was almost tired of the rocky road to Dublin.



In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity,

To be so soon deprived a view of that fine city.

Then I took a stroll out among the quality,

My bundle it was stole in a neat locality.

Something crossed me mind, then I looked behind,

No bundle could I find up on me stick a-wobblin',

Enquiring for the rogue, they said me Connaught brogue,

Wasn't much in vogue on the rocky road to Dublin.




From there, I got away; me spirits never failing.

Landed on the quay as the ship was sailing.

Captain at me roared, said that no room had he.

When I jumped aboard, a cabin found for Paddy,

Down among the pigs, I played some funny rigs,

Danced some hearty jigs, the water round me bubblin'.

When off to Holyhead I wished meself was dead,

Or better far, instead, on the rocky road to Dublin.




The boys of Liverpool, when we safely landed,

Called meself a fool, I could no longer stand it.

Me blood began to boil, temper I was losin'.

Poor old Erin's isle they began abusin'.

"Hurrah my soul!" says I, let my shillelagh fly.

Some Galway boys came by, saw I was a hobblin',

Then with a loud "Hurray!" they joined in the affray,

We quickly cleared the way, for the rocky road to Dublin.





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