The Longest Song Wiki

"The Irish Rover" is an Irish folk song about a magnificent though improbable sailing ship that reaches an unfortunate end.

The song describes a gigantic ship with "twenty-seven masts", a colourful crew and varied types of cargo in enormous amounts. The verses grow successively more extravagant about the wonders of the great ship. The seven-year voyage comes to a disastrous end when the ship sinks. The narrator becomes the only survivor, "the last of the Irish Rover", leaving no one else alive to contradict the tale.

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns Feat. The Pyrates in their collaboration music video. Their lyrics were based almost entirely on the version sung by The Dubliners, found here.

On the Fourth of July, 1806
We set sail from the sweet Cove 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 winds drove her
She stood several blasts, she had twenty seven masts
And they called her The Irish Rover

We had one million bales of old billie goats' tails
We had two million buckets of stones
We had three million sides of old blind horses hides
We had four million packets of bones
We had five million hogs and six million dogs
Seven million barrels of porter
We had eight million bags of the best Sligo rags
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
And a chap from Falkirk who was scared stiff of work
And a chap from Westmeath called Malone
There was Slugger O'Toole who was drunk as a rule
And fighting Bill Tracy from Dover
There was Dudey O'Claire who was strong as a bear
As 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 whole of the crew was reduced down to two
Just myself and the Captain's old dog
Then the ship struck a rock, boy! 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