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McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy

[Mike Waterson]

Mike Waterson sang his own song McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy in 1994 on the No Masters Co-operative’s anthology No Masters. He also played the guitar and was accompanied by Barry Coope playing piano, Steáfán Hannigan pipes and banjo, Ralph Jordan playing bouzouki, and John Tams mouth organ and cymbal. This track was also included in 2004 on the Watersons’ 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.


Mike Waterson sings McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy

When McIlroy was a boy other kids come round to play
There was only one game going, they played cowboys night and day
They rode the range and herded cattle through the streets of Dublin town
McIlroy is still a cowboy though he’s grown to be a man

Chorus (after each verse):
Isn’t it strange in a land famed for being green
Another man’s grass is greener, dreams someone else’s dreams
He rides the range and herds the cattle in the sunshine and the rain
McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy rides the daydream trail again

Stars shine bright every night when his factory job is through
He mounts his palomino moped, goes to see his Lady Lou
Why, she is fair but she is fickle, she gives pleasure, she gives pain
McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy rides the daydream trail again

It is hard to find a new job when there are no jobs around
But the foreman kept on needling, McIlroy he stood his ground
Into each life a little sunshine, mostly seems like rain
McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy rides the daydream trail again

When he dies he’ll go to heaven at the Golden Gate he’ll stand
And St Peter will be waiting, he will take him by the hand
Saying, “Do you play fiddle or the banjo or a harp among the rest?”
He’ll say, “No sir, I’ll play cowboys, that’s the game I love the best!”