The Irish Rover (1)


On the Fourth of July 1806
We set sail from the sweet cobh of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the Grand City Hall in New York
‘Twas a wonderful craft, she was rigged for and aft
And oh, how the wild winds drove her
She stood several blasts, she had twenty-seven masts
And they called her The Irish Rover

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stone
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides
We had four million barrels of bones
We had five million hogs and six million dogs
Seven million barrels of porter
We had eight million bails of old nanny goats tails
In the hold of The Irish Rover

There was ould Mickey Coote who played hard on his flute
When the ladies lined up for a set
He was tootled with skill for each sparkling quadrille
‘Till the dancers were fluttered and bet
With his smart witty talk he was cock of the walk
And he rowled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance when he took up his stance
That he sailed in The Irish Rover

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

For a sailor it’s always a bother in life
It’s so lonesome by night and by day
That he longs for the shore and a charming young whore
Who will melt all his troubles away
All the noise and the rout swillin’ poitín and stout
For him soon is done and over
For the love of a maid he is never afraid
That old sod from The Irish Rover

We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
And the ship lost it’s way in the fog
And that whale of a crew was reduced down to two
Just meself and the Captain’s old dog
Then the ship struck a rock, Oh Lord! what a shock
The bulkhead was turned right over
Turned nine times around and the poor old dog was drowned
And the last of The Irish Rover

Of all the tall tales of tall ships, none had a cargo to compare with the fabulous Irish Rover. As sung by The Dubliners.

See also this version of The Irish Rover (2).