Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Irish Ballads: Rocky Road To Dublin

Rocky Road To Dublin
In the merry month of June, From my home I started,
Left the girls of Tuam, Nearly broken hearted,
Saluted father dear, Kissed my darlin' mother,
Drank a pint of beer, My grief and tears to smother,
Then off to reap the corn, And leave where I was born,
I cut a stout blackthorn, To banish ghost and goblin,
In a brand new pair of brogues, I rattled o'er the bogs,
And frightened 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 ways to Dublin,

In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, My spirits light and airy,
Took a drop of the pure, To keep my heart from sinkin',
That's the Paddy's cure, Whene'er he's on for drinking.
To see the lasses smile, Laughing all the while,
At my curious style, 'Twould set your heart a-bubblin'.
They ax'd if I was hired, The wages I required,
Till I was almost tired, Of the rocky road to Dublin.

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,
My bundle it was stole, In a neat locality;
Something crossed my mind, Then I looked behind;
No bundle could I find, Upon my stick a wobblin'.
Enquirin' for the rogue, They said my Connacht brogue,
Wasn't much in vogue, On the rocky road to Dublin.

From there I got away, My spirits never failin'
Landed on the quay Just as the ship was sailin';
Captain at me roared, Said that no room had he,
When I jumped aboard, A cabin found for Paddy,
Down among the pigs I played some funny rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, The water round me bubblin',
When off Holyhead, I wished myself was dead,
Or better far instead, On the rocky road to Dublin.

The boys of Liverpool, When we safely landed,
Called myself a fool; I could no longer stand it;
Blood began to boil, Temper I was losin',
Poor ould Erin's isle They began abusin',
"Hurrah my soul," sez I, My shillelagh I let fly;
Some Galway boys were by, Saw I was a hobble in,
Then with a loud hurray, They joined in the affray.
We quickly cleared the way, For the rocky road to Dublin.

This video is of The High Kings sining from their video concert. I love this high energy version of Rocky Road To Dublin, it always sets my toes tapping! This DVD concert, The High Kings: Live In Dublin, it is a must have for St. Patrick's Day!

Historical Info: The words were written by D.K. Gavan, "The Galway Poet", for the English music hall performer Harry Clifton (1824-1872), who popularised the song. The song is almost identical to the Scottish Jacobite song Cam Ye O'Er Frae France written in 1715.
The song follows one man's experiences as he travels to Liverpool, England from his home in Tuam. It refers to the Irish capital city Dublin, the Irish towns Tuam and Mullingar, the Welsh town Holyhead, the Irish city Galway and the English city Liverpool.

Singers: The High Kings! I can't talk about Irish music too long without mentioning these guys! This Celtic group features four wonderful Irish lads: Martin Furey, Brian Dunphy, Darren Holden and Finbarr Clancy. Each lovely lad has amazing talent, for most of them Irish music is in their blood. I really enjoy their traditional style of vocals and playing a variety of instruments. Most of the songs they play are Irish standards. If you haven't heard of The High Kings you simply must check them out! More on them later!

Do you have any favorite singers who sing this song?
Thoughts on The High Kings and their version of this song? 



Michaela said...

The High Kings are my all-time favorite Irish Folk group. (and my favorite music group at that!!)

I can testify that they are wonderful, down-to-earth, "real" guys, having become friends with them via facebook and seeing them twice in concert. At the concert I attended recently they greeted my sister and I with hugs and kisses! - gotta love Europeans. And Irish accents...of course!!

Anyway...its been really neat getting to know THK. I've been a fan of their music for a couple of years now, but turning "fanship" into friendship has been an amazing experience!

The Rocky Road to Dublin is a fun song. Have you gotten to hear Memory Lane (THK's new album) at all yet?

Miss Laurie said...

Michaela, I follow your YouTube channel and really enjoyed watching the videos from The High Kings concert. I'm so jealous that you've not only seen them twice in concert but that they seem to know you by name and well enough to give you hugs! :) I've never been one to write "celebrities" but I might have to follow them a bit more closely. They are on the top of my list of famous people I want to meet some day.
I've been planning on posting about THK but I don't feel quite qualified because I really haven't followed them for very long.
I don't have "Memory Lane" but I've been able to listen to most of the songs. They are brilliant! :)

~Miss Laurie
Old-Fashioned Charm

Esther Romaine said...

Isn't "played some bonny rigs"?

My favorite version of "Rocky Road to Dublin" is by The Dubliners. It was used in the movie version of Sherlock Holmes with Robert Downey Jr.

Here it is.

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