Songs of the Drink, Songs of the Sea

The Irish Rover

Pierce Campbell


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 that grand city hall in New York We’d an elegant craft that was rigged fore and aft, and how the trade winds they drove her She had twenty three masts, and she stood several blasts And they called her the Irish Rover There was Barney McGee, from the banks of the Lee, There was Hogan from the county Tyrone There was Johnny McGirk, who was scared stiff sick 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 young Mic McGann from the banks of the Bann Was the skipper of the Irish Rover We had one million bags of the sligo diaper rags, we had two million barrels of bone We had three million bales, of nanny goat tails, we had four million barrels of stone We had five million hogs, and six million dogs, seven million barrels of porter Eight million sides of old blind horses hides, in the hold of the Irish Rover We sailed seven years and the measles broke out, And our ship lost her way in the fog And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two, T'was myself and the captain's old dog The ship struck a rock, and oh Lord what a shock, And nearly tumbled over It turned nine times around, till that poor old dog got drowned Now I'm the last of the Irish Rovers