On the fourth of July 1806

Thursday, 4 July, 2019
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How many Irish folk songs have the fourth of July in the lyrics? Well, here's one to enjoy for the day that's in it.

Although the Irish Rover was probably a fictional ship, as the lyrics go it was headed from Cobh to New York just 30 years after the U.S. Declaration of Independence.  Happy 4th of July!

This celebratory rendition by the Dubliners and the Pogues topped the Irish singles charts in 1987. 

Lyrics THE IRISH ROVER

On the Fourth of July, eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the sweet Cobh of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the Grand City Hall in New York
'Twas a wonderful craft
She was rigged fore-and-aft
And oh, how the wild wind drove her
She stood several blasts
She had twenty-seven masts
And they called her The Irish Rover

We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags
We had two million barrels of stone
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides
We had four million barrels of bones
We had five million hogs
And 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 a set
He was tootin' with skill
For each sparkling quadrille
Though the dancers were fluther'd and bet
With his smart witty talk
He was cock of the walk
And he rolled the dames under and over
They all knew at a glance
When he took up his stance
That he sailed in The Irish Rover

There was Barney McGee
From the banks of the Lee
There was Hogan from County Tyrone
There was Johnny McGurk
Who was scared stiff of work
And a man from Westmeath called Malone
There was Slugger O'Toole
Who was drunk as a rule
And Fighting Bill Treacy from Dover
And your man, Mick MacCann
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 its way in the fog
And that whale of a crew
Was reduced down to two
Just myself 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 old dog was drowned
And then that's the Irish Rover!