The modern song is due to Dominic Behan, who published it in 1965. Behan relates that he learned the song from actor Peter O'Toole. In his book, "Ireland Sings" (London, 1965), Behan gives three verses, the first and third of which he says that he obtained from O'Toole and the middle one that he wrote himself. The 1964 album "The First Hurrah!" by The Clancy Brothers includes a song entitled "Carrickfergus (Do Bhí Bean Uasal)". The melody has been traced to an Irish-language song, "Do Bhí Bean Uasal" ("There Was a Noblewoman"), which is attributed to the poet Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Ghunna, who died in 1756 in County Clare. - Wikipedia
This is a great song but rarely sung at events!
Carrickfergusby Peter O'Toole and Dominic Behan
only for [Bm] nights in [E] Bally- [A] grand
I would swim [E] over the deepest [A] ocean [F#m]
the deepest [Bm] ocean, for [E] my love to [A] find.
But the sea is [A] wide and I cannot swim [E] o-ver,
and neither [A] have I wings to [E] fly
If [D] I could [E] find me a handsome [A] boatman [F#m]
to ferry me [Bm] over to [E] my love and [A] die.
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
of happy times I spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and now my own relations
have all passed on now like melting snow
but I’ll spend my days in endless roaming,
soft is the grass, my bed is free.
Ah! to be back now in Carrickfergus,
on that long road down to the sea.
But in Killkenny it is reported
they have marble stones there as black as ink.
With gold and silver, I would support her,
But I’ll sing no more now, till I get a drink.
I’m drunk today and I’m seldom so-ber,
A handsome ro-ver from town to town
Ah but I’m sick now and my days are numbered
So come all ye young men and lay me down.