Song Lyrics

THE SEA AROUND US
(Dominic Behan)

They say that the lakes of Killarney are fair
That no stream like the Liffey can ever compare,
If its water you want, you'll find nothing more rare
Than the stuff they make down by the ocean.

Chorus:
The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croide*
Long may it stay between England and me
It's a sure guarantee that some hour we'll be free
Oh, thank God we're surrounded by water.

Tom Moore made his "Waters" meet fame and renown
A great lover of anything dressed in a crown
In brandy the bandy old Saxon he'd drown
But throw ne'er a one in the ocean.

The Scots have their Whisky, the Welsh have their speech
And their poets are paid about ten pence a week
Provided no hard words on England they speak
Oh Lord, what a price for devotion.

The Danes came to Ireland with nothing to do
But dream of the plundered old Irish they slew,
"Yeh will in yer Vikings" said Brian Boru
And threw them back into the ocean.

Two foreign old monarchs in battle did join
Each wanting his head on the back of a coin;
If the Irish had sense they'd drowned both in the Boyne
And partition thrown into the ocean.

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SEAN SOUTH OF GARRYOWEN

It was on a dreary New Year's Eve as the shades of night came down
A lorry load of volunteers approached a border town
There were men from Dublin and from Cork, Fermanagh and Tyrone
And the leader was a Limerick man, Sean from Garryowen

And as they moved along the street up to the barracks door
They scorned the dangers they would meet, the fate that lay in store
They were fighting for old Ireland's cause to claim their very own
And the leader was a Limerick man, Sean from Garryowen

But the sergeant spied their daring plan; he spied them through the door
With the sten guns and the rifles, a hail of death did roar
And when that awful night was past, two men lay cold as stone
There was one from near the border and one from Garryowen

May God reward those gallant men, may heaven be their home
In Brookburogh Town, where they were shot down' in a cabin they lay cold
They never feared the R.U.C., or the B men on patrol
O'Hanlon from the border and South from Garryowen

No more he will hear the seagulls cry o'er the murmuring Shannon tide
For he fell beneath a northern sky, O'Hanlon by his side
They have gone to join that gallant band of Plunkett, Pearse and Tone
Another martyr for old Ireland, Sean South from Garryowen
Another martyr for old Ireland, Sean South from Garryowen

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THE SETTING
(Ralph McTell)

Oh I'll never forget the walk to the station
And me with your suitcase being brotherly and strong
And in trying to make light of the whole situation
In mild conversation we moved through the throng

And above all the roar of the town was the blue skies
I could hear the birds singing joy of the day
And there was no support from the city forthcoming
No sympathy numbing you're going away

And you with your bright eyes and best dress for travel
And me with my work clothes unshaven and plain
I fully intended to put in a half day
But my good intentions went with you on the train

I never looked back as the train left the station
Crossed over the bridge and walked into a pub
And there at the bar an old man was singing
And I sat there drinking until it got dark

And outside the trees grew starlings like apples
Their hustle and chatter not dampened by the rain
That washed down the payment and into the gutters
That soak through my clothes as I set out again

And above me the stars all hidden by rain clouds
The son of the old man still locked in my brain
And oh emigration the curse of this nation
The setting now fitting this sad sweet refrain

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SEVEN DEADLY SINS

Some say that kissin's a sin, but tell me how can that be true
For kissin' has been in this world since the very first day there was two
Now if it wasn't legal then the lawyers they would sue
And the prisons would be full of folk who had a kiss or two
And if they didn't like it then away the girls would run
And if it wasn't plenty then the girl-folk would get none

Now some say that gamblin's a sin but I'll bet you twenty to one
That gamblin' has been in this world since horses and greyhounds could run
Now if it wasn't legal then the lawyers they would sue
And the prisons would be full of folk who made a bet or two
And if they didn't like it then away the girls would run
And if it wasn't plenty then the girl-folk would get none

Now some say that swearin's a sin but where is the man who can tell
For swearin has been in this world since the devil was told, "Go to hell"
Now if it wasn't legal then the lawyers they would sue
And the prisons would be full of folk who had a curse or two
And if they didn't like it then away the girls would run
And if it wasn't plenty then the girl-folk would get none

Now some say that smokin's a sin but a pipe now and then is enough
For smokin' has been in this world since Adam taught Eve how to puff
Now if it wasn't legal then the lawyers they would sue
And the prisons would be full of folk who had a puff or two
And if they didn't like it then away the girls would run
And if it wasn't plenty then the girl-folk would get none

Some say that drinkin's a sin but a gargle is fine now and then
For drinkin' has been in this world forever and ever, amen
Now if it wasn't legal then the lawyers they would sue
And the prisons would be full of folk who had a pint or two
And if they didn't like it then away the girls would run
And if it wasn't plenty then the girl-folk would get none

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SEVEN DRUNKEN NIGHTS

As I went home on Monday night as drunk as drunk can be
I saw a horse outside the door, where my old horse should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her, "Will you kindly tell to me,"
"Who owns the horse outside door, where my old horse should be?"

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly ol' fool
Still you cannot see, that's a lovely sow that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow, sure I never saw before

As I went home on Tuesday night as drunk as drunk can be
I saw a coat behind the door, where my old coat should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her, "Will you kindly tell to me,"
"Who owns the coat behind the door, where my old coat should be?"

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly ol' fool
Still you cannot see, that's a lovely blanket that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But buttons on a blanket, sure I never saw before

As I went home on Wednesday night as drunk as drunk can be
I saw a pipe upon the chair, where my old pipe should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her, "Will you kindly tell to me,"
"Who owns the pipe upon the chair, where my old pipe should be?"

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly ol' fool
Still you cannot see, that's a lovely tin whistle that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But tobacco in a tin whistle, sure I never saw before

As I went home on Thursday night as drunk as drunk can be
I saw two boots beneath the bed, where my two boots should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her, "Will you kindly tell to me,"
"Who owns the boots beneath the bed, where my old boots should be?"
           
Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly ol' fool
Still you cannot see, they're two lovely geranium pots that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But laces in geranium pots, sure I never saw before

And as I went home on Friday night as drunk as drunk can be
I saw a head inside the bed, where my old head should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her, "Will you kindly tell to me,"
"Who owns the head with you in the bed, where my old head should be?"

Ah, you're drunk, you're drunk, you silly ol' fool
Still you cannot see, that's a baby boy that me mother sent to me
Well, it's many a day I've traveled, a hundred miles or more
But a baby boy with his whiskers on, sure I never saw before

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SEVEN OLD LADIES

Chorus:
Oh dear what can the matter be?
Seven old ladies locked in the lavatory
They were there from Sunday to Saturday
Nobody knew they were there

They said they were going to chat with the Vicar
They went in together they thought it was quicker
The lavatory door was a bit of a sticker
And the Vicar had tea alone

The first was a wife of the Deacon of Dover
Always was known as a bit of a rover
She passed out in the ladies napkin disposal
And nobody knew they were there

The next old lady was dear Mrs. Bickles
Found herself in a bit of a pickle
Locked out of the stalls for she hadn't a nickel
And nobody knew they were there

The next was the Bishop of Chichester's daughter
She couldn't wait so she used the basin
Unaware it was the basin a pope had washed his face in
And nobody knew they were there

The next old lady was Abigail Humphery
Who settled in and made herself comfy
Tried to get up but couldn't get her bum free
And nobody knew they were there

The next old lady was Elizibeth Spender
Was doing all right 'til her vagrant suspender
Got all twisted up in her feminine gender
And nobody knew they were there

The last was a lady named Jennifer Tripp
She couldn't wait, couldn't wait to get started
But when she sat down she only farted
And nobody knew they were there

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SHIT, I'VE FORGOTTEN THE WORDS

My heart is a-pounding within my breast,
Ah know the first line, forgot all the rest,
A memory like mine is a hell of a pest,
Shit, I've forgotten the words.

Chorus
On a packet of fags I'd written them down,
Threw them away as I drove into town,
Now I feel a bit of a clown,
'cos shit, I've forgotten the words.

The last time I sang them they went down a treat,
Dogs were a-howling out on the street,
And I spilt my beer all over my feet,
'cos shit, I've forgotten the words.

Sometimes they come back line by line as I sing,
Tonight I can't seem to remember a thing,
Ian McCalman will know, I'll give him a ring,
Oh shit, I've forgotten his number.

 So come all you singers, practice your verse,
 If you do not, you surely will curse,
 But I remembered the tune so it could have been worse,
 Next time I'll remember the words.

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THE SHOALS OF HERRING
(Ewan McColl)

With our nets and gear, we're faring
On the wild and wasteful ocean
It's out there on the deep; we harvest and reap our bread
As we hunt the bonny shoals of herring

Oh it was a fine and pleasant day
Out of Yarmouth harbor I was faring
As a cabin boy on a sailing lugger
For to go and hunt the shoal of herring

Oh the work was hard and the hours were long
And the treatment, sure it took some bearing
There was little kindness and the kicks were many
As we hunted for the shoals of herring

Oh we fished the Swarth and the Broken Bank
I was cook and I'd a quarter sharing
And I used to sleep standing on me feet
And I'd dream about shoals of herring

Oh we left the home grounds in the month of June
And to Canny Sheils we soon were bearing
With a hundred cran of the silver darlings
That we'd taken from the shoals of herring

Now you're up on deck, you're a fisherman
You can swear and show a manly bearing
Take your turn on deck with the other fellows
While you're searching for the shoals of herring

In the stormy seas and the living gales
Just to earn your daily bread, you're daring
From the Dover Straits to the Faroe Islands
As you're following the shoals of herring

Oh I earned me keep and I paid me way
And I earned the gear that I was wearing
Sailed a million miles, caught ten million fishes
We were sailing after shoals of herring

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THE SHORES OF AMERICAY

Chorus:
So fare thee well me darling Mary Ann
We sail at the break of day
O'er the raging foam for to seek a home
On the shores of Americay

I'm bidding farewell to the land of my youth
And the home I loved so well
And the mountains grand in me old native land
I'm bidding them all farewell

With an aching heart I'll bid them adieu
O'er the raging foam for to seek a home
On the shores of Americay

Chorus

It's just for the want of employment I'm going
It's not for the want of fame
But fortune bright may shine over me
And give me a glorious name

Our land may be poor, but of this I am sure
We're welcome where ever we roam
O'er the raging foam for to seek a home
On the shores of Americay

Chorus
Chorus

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THE SICK BED OF CUCHULAINN
(Shane MacGowan)

McCormat and Richard Tauber are singing by the bed.
There's a glass of punch below your feet and an angel at your head.
There's devils on each side of you with bottles in their hands.
When you pissed yourself in Frankfurt and got syph down in Cologne.
And you heard the rattling death trains as you lay there all alone.
Frank Ryan bought you whiskey in a brothel in Madrid.
And you decked some fucking Blackshirt who was cursing all the Yids.

At the sick bed of Cuchulainn we'll kneel and say a prayer.
And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devils in the chair.

And in the Euston Tavern you screamed it was your shout.
But they wouldn't give you service so you kicked the windows out.
They took you out into the street and kicked you in the brains.
So you walk back in through a bolted door and did it all again.
At the sick bed of Cuchulainn we'll kneel and say a prayer.
And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devils in the chair.

You remember that foul evening when you heard the banshees howl.
There was lousy drunken bastards singing Billy in the bowl.
They took you up to midnight mass and left you in the lurch.
So you dropped a button on the plate and spewed up in the church.
Now you'll sing a song of liberty for Blacks and Paks and jocks.
And they'll take you from this place you're in and stick you in a box.
Then they'll take you to Cloughprior and shove you in the ground.
But you'll stick your head back and shout we'll have another round.

At the graveside of Cuchulainn we'll kneel around and pray.
And God is in heaven and Billy's down the bay.

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THE SICK NOTE
Pat Cooksey

Dear Boss, I write this note, for to tell you of my plight.
And at the time of writing, I am not a pretty sight.
My body is all black and blue, my face a deathly grey.
And I write this note to say why Paddy's not at work today.

While working on the fourteenth floor, some bricks I had to clear.
For to throw them down from off the top, seemed quite a good idea.
The foreman he would not agree, he being an awful sod,
And he said I'd have to cart them down the ladder, in my hod.

Well, clearing all those bricks by hand, it seemed so very slow,
So I hoisted up a barrel and secured the rope below.
But in my haste to do the job, I was too blind to see
That a barrel full of building bricks is heavier than me.

So when I untied the rope, of course the barrel fell like lead.
And clinging tightly to the rope, I started up instead.
I shot up like a rocket and to my dismay I found
That half-way up, I met the bloody barrel coming down.

Well the barrel broke my shoulder as towards the ground it sped.
And when I reached the top, I banged the pulley with my head.
I held on tight, now numb with shock from that terrific blow,
While the barrel spilled out half its bricks, some fourteen floors below.

Now when the bricks had fallen from the barrel to the floor,
I then outweighed the barrel, and I started down once more.
I still held tightly to the rope, my body racked with pain,
When halfway down, I met the bloody barrel once again.

Well the force of that collision, halfway up the office block,
Caused multiple contusions, and a nasty state of shock.
I still held tightly to the rope, and headed towards the ground,
And landed on those broken bricks, lain scattered all around.

Well as I lay there moaning, sure I thought I'd passed the worst.
But when the barrel reached the top, `twas then the bottom burst.
A shower of bricks rained down on me, I didn't have a hope.
And in the great confusion, I let go the bloody rope.

Well, the barrel now was heavier, and started heading down.
And it landed right on top of me, as I lay there on the ground.
It broke three ribs, and my left arm, and I can only say,
That I hope you'll understand why Paddy's not at work today.

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