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The Irish Rover

[ Roud 4379 ; Ballad Index DTirshro ; DT IRSHROVR ; Mudcat 14865 , 79205 ; trad., possibly Joseph Mary Crofts, ca. 1911]

The Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem sang the tall tale Irish Rover in 1962 on their CBS album Hearty and Hellish—A Live Nightclub Performance and in 1977 on their eponymous Columbia compilation album The Clancy Brothers With Tommy Makem. The Clancy Brothers with Louis Killen also sang The Irish Rover in 1973 on their Vanguard album Greatest Hits.

John Roberts sang The Irish Rover on his 1989 album Songs From the Pubs of Ireland.

Logic sang The Irish Rover on their 2004 album Shades of Ireland.


John Roberts sings The Irish Rover

In the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the Coal Quay of Cork.
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand City Hall of New York.
We’d an elegant craft, she was rigged fore-and-aft
And how the trade winds drove her.
She’d twenty-three masts and she stood several blasts
We called her the Irish Rover.

And we had Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee,
And Hogan from County Tyrone.
And Daniel McGurk who was scared stiff of work
And a chap from West Meade named Malone.
And Slugger O’Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracy from Dover.
And your man Mick McCann from the Banks of the Bann
Was skipper of the Irish Rover.

And we had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
And two million barrels of bone,
And three million bales of old nanny goat’s tails
And four million barrels of stone.
Five million hogs, and six million dogs,
Seven million barrels of porter.
We’d eight million sides of old blind horse’s hides
In the hold of the Irish Rover.

And we had sailed seven years when the measles broke out,
Our ship lost her way in a fog.
And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two,
Myself and the captain’s old dog.
The ship struck a rock, Lord what a shock,
And nearly tumbled over,
Went nine times around, and the poor old dog was drowned,
I’m the last on the Irish Rover.