The Fiddler of Dooney
When I play on my fiddle in Dooney,
Folk dance like a wave of the sea;
My cousin is priest in Kilvarnet,
My brother in Mocharabuiee.
I passed my brother and cousin:
They read in their books of prayer;
I read in my book of songs
I bought at the Sligo fair.
When we come at the end of time
To Peter sitting in state,
He will smile on three old spirits,
But call me first through the gate;
For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle,
And the merry love to dance:
And when the folk there spy me,
They will all come up to me,
With 'Here is the fiddler of Dooney!'
And dance like a wave of the sea.
In popular culture
Immortalised in the poem, Dooney Rock is a small hill overlooking Lough Gill in County Sligo. The rock is located just outside Sligo itself. The prestigious instrumental competition held in Sligo and known at the Fiddler of Dooney Competition is also named after the poem.
Winners of the Fiddler of Dooney Competition 2016
- 1st place: Ademar O'Connor
- 2nd place: Ellen O'Gorman
- 3rd place: Seamus O'Gorman
- 1st place: Jason McGuinness
- 2nd place: Caoimhe Kearins
- 3rd place: Clare Anne Kearns
In his LP Branduardi canta Yeats (1986), Angelo Branduardi sings an italian version of this poem.
- The Bookman, vol. 3, London, 1892, p. 78
- Yeats, W.B.(1992). Yeats Collected Poems. Vintage Classics, pp. ix
- Fiddler of Dooney Competition Sligo Town Branch CCÉ Homepage