Sunday, 7 February 2010

The Rocky Road to Dublin

In the merry month of May, from me home I started
Left the girls of Tuam nearly broken hearted, saluted father dear
Kissed me darlin' mother, drank a pint of beer
Me grief and tears to smother, then off to reap the corn
And leave where I was born, cut a stout blackthorn
To banish ghost and goblin
In a brand new pair of brogues
To rattle over the bogs, and frighten all the dogs
On the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five

Hunt the hare and turn her
Down the rocky road
And all the way to Dublin

In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary
Started by daylight, next mornin' light and airy
Took a drop of the pure to keep me heart from sinkin'
That's the Paddy's cure, whenever he's up for drinking
To see the lasses smile, laughing all the while, at me curious style
'Twould set your heart a-bubblin'
They asked if I was hired, and wages I required, till I was almost tired
Of the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity
To be so soon deprived, a view of that fine city
Then I took a stroll
All among the quality, me bundle it was stole
In a neat locality
Something crossed my mind, then I looked behind, no bundle could I find
Upon me stick a wobblin', enquirin' for the rogue
They said me Connacht brogue wasn't much in vogue
On the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five

From there I got away, me spirits never failin'
Landed on the quay just as the ship was sailin'
Captain at me roared. Said that no room had he
But when I jumped aboard, a cabin found for Paddy
Down among the pigs, did some hearty rigs, played some hearty jigs
The water round me bubblin'
When off Holyhead, I wished meself was dead, or better far instead
On the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five

The boys of Liverpool
When we safely landed, called meself a fool
I could no longer stand it, blood began to boil, temper I was losin'
Poor old Erin's isle, they began abusin'
"Hurrah me soul," says I, my shillelagh I let fly
Some Galway boys were by and saw that I was a-hobblin'
Then with a loud hurray they joined in the affray, quickly cleared the way
For the rocky road to Dublin
One, two, three, four, five.

- Words and tune traditional

I heard this tune for the first time since my childhood only a couple of weeks ago. It brings back memories of my own father, not to mention the wonderful Irish family who did so much for me when I was living in Dublin all those years ago. I don't know what a shillelagh is, except that I wouldn't want to be hit by one. Plus it has the line 'Whack-fol-lol-de-ra' in it, and yet still rocks. The Dubliners version of this song is available on iTunes, and I heartily recommend it.

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