Darby O’Leary


One evening of late as I happened to stray
To the County Tipperary I straight took my way
To dig the potatoes and work by the day
For a farmer called Darby O’Leary

I asked him how far we were bound for to go
The night being dark and the cold wind did blow
I was hungry and tired and my spirits were low
For I got neither whiskey nor water

The dirty old miser he mounted his steed
To the Galbally mountains he rode in great speed
I followed behind ’til my poor feet did bleed
When we stopped when his old horse was weary

When we came to his cottage I entered it first
it seemed like a kennel or a ruined old church
Says I to myself I am left in the lurch
In the house of old Darby O’Leary

I well recollect it was Michalmass night
To a hearty good supper he did me invite
A cup of sour milk that was more green than white
And it gave me the trotting disorder

The wet old potatoes would poison the cats
And the barn where my bed was was swarming with rats
The fleas would have frightened the fearless St. Pat
Who banished the snakes o’er the border

He worked me by day and he worked me by night
while he held an old candle to give me some light
I wished his potatoes would die of the blight
Or himself would go off with the fairies

It was on this old miser I looked with a frown
When the straw was brought in for to make my shakedown
And I wished I had never seen him nor his town
Nor the sky above Darby O’Leary

I’ve worked in Kilconnel, I’ve worked in Killmore
I worked in Knoockannie and Shamballamore
In Kalisanaker and Soloheadmore
With farmers so decent and cheery

I’ve worked in Tipperary, the Rag and Ross Green
At the mount of Killfegal, the Bridge of Orleans
But such woeful starvation I never yet seen
As I got from old Darby O’Leary