The Irish Rover (2)


In the year of our Lord 1806
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 for and aft
And how the trade winds
drove her
She had twenty-three masts and she stood several 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 MacCann from the banks of the Bann
Was the skipper on 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
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 measels broke out
And our ship lost her way in the fog
And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two
‘Twas meself 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

Of all the tall tales of tall ships, none had a cargo to compare with the fabulous Irish Rover. As sung by The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem.

See also this version of The Irish Rover (1).