#03394
The Irish Rover (Irish Descendants)
See also: The Irish Rover (Ryan's Fancy)

One, two, three...

In the year of the Lord eighteen hundred and six,
We set sail from the cold sea of Cork;
We were sailing away with a cargo of brick,
For the grand city hall in New York.

We'd an elegant craft,
she was rigged fore and aft,
And know how the trade winds they drove her;
She had twenty-seven masts
and stood several blasts,
And they called her the Irish Rover.

So, fare thee well,
my pretty little girl,
I must sail away;
Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away.

There was Barney McGee
from the banks of the Lee,
There was Hogan from County Tyrone;
And wee Ben 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 Treacy from Dover;
And your man Mick McCann
from the banks of the Bann,
He was the skipper of the Irish Rover.

So, fare thee well,
my pretty little girl,
I must sail away;
Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away.

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags,
We had two million barrels of stones;
And three million bales of old nanny goat tails,
And four million barrels of bones.

We had five million hogs and six million dogs,
And seven million barrels of porter;
We had eight million sides of blind horses' hides,
In the hold of the Irish Rover.

So, fare thee well,
my pretty little girl,
I must sail away;
Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away.

We had sailed several years
when the measles broke out,
The ship lost its way in the fog;
The whole of the crew
it was reduced down to two,
Meself and the captain's old dog.

Then the ship struck a rock.
Oh, Lord, what a shock!
It nearly tumbled over;
She spun nine times around,
and the poor old dog was drowned -
I'm the last of the Irish Rover.

So, fare thee well,
my pretty little girl,
I must sail away;
Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away.

Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away;
Fare thee well, my pretty little girl,
I must sail away.

####.... Author unknown. Roud Folk Song Index #4379 cites the earliest example of this comic ditty in 1941 in a recording by Helen Hartness Flanders from David Kane of Searsport, Maine ....####
Although the dates relate to those of New York City Hall's construction (1810-1812), there is no recorded usage of Irish bricks in the building's construction. Perhaps this is because, as the song mentions, The Irish Rover never actually arrived in New York, but struck a rock and sank instead.

This variant was arranged and recorded by the Irish Descendants (Livin' On The Edge, trk#11, 1996 CD, Warner Music Canada Ltd, Scarborough, Ontario, distributed by Duckworth Distribution; executive producer: Fred Brokenshire; producer: Hayward Parrott).


See more songs by the Irish Descendants.

A variant was also recorded by Harry Hibbs (Harry Hibbs At The Caribou Club, trk#5, 1968, Arcsound, Ltd, St John's, NL).

See more songs by Harry Hibbs.

A variant was recorded by Sons Of Erin (The Sons Of Erin: Volume 1, Alive 'N' Kickin', trk#1, 1991, Erinson Music, St John's, NL).

See more songs by Sons Of Erin.

A variant was also arranged and recorded as The Irish Rover for the Ryan's Fancy CBC television series with Fergus O'Byrne, Dermot O'Reilly and Phyllis Morrissey onboard the MV Bonavista on her final voyage down the coast of Labrador in 1986.

See more songs by Ryan's Fancy


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