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Roud Folk Song Index #4379

Earliest written evidence for the song is the 1930s in County Leitrim.

    Irish Rover, The

    by trad
    On the [G] fourth of July eighteen hundred and [C] six
    We set [G] sail from the sweet cove of [D] Cork
    We were [G] sailing away with a cargo of [C] bricks
    For the [G] grand city [D] hall in New [G] York
    'Twas a [G] wonderful craft, she was [D] rigged fore-and-aft
    And [G] oh, how the wild winds [D] drove her.
    She had [G] twenty three masts and she'd stood several [C] blasts
    And we [G] called her the Irish [D] Ro- [G] ver.

    We had one million bales of the best Sligo rags
    We had two million barrels of stones
    We had three million sides of old blind horses hides,
    We had four million barrels of bones.
    We had five million hogs, we had six million dogs,
    Seven million barrels of porter.
    We had eight million bails of old nanny goats' tails,
    In the hold of the Irish Rover.

    There was [^]awl Mickey Coote who played [^]hard on his flute
    When the ladies lined up for his set
    He was tootin' with skill for each sparkling quadrille
    Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
    With his sparse witty talk he was cock of the walk
    As he rolled the dames under and over
    They all knew at a glance when he took up his stance
    And he sailed in the Irish Rover

    There was Barney McGee from the banks of the Lee,
    There was Hogan from County Tyrone
    There was Jimmy McGurk who was scarred stiff of work
    And a man from Westmeath called Malone
    There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule
    And fighting Bill Tracey from Dover
    And your [^]man (Mick McCann) from the banks of the Bann
    Was the skipper of the Irish Rover

    We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out
    And the ship lost it's way in a fog.
    And that whale of the crew was reduced down to two,
    Just meself and the captain's old dog.
    Then the ship struck a rock, oh Lord what a shock
    The bulkhead was turned right over
    Turned nine times around, and the poor dog was drowned
    I'm the last of the Irish Rover

    hard ending on Ro-ver