The Irish Rover
"The Irish Rover" is an Irish folk song about a magnificent though improbable sailing ship that reaches an unfortunate end. It has been recorded by numerous artists, some of whom have made changes to the lyrics over time.
The song describes a gigantic ship with "twenty-three masts" (versions by The Dubliners and The Pogues claim twenty-seven), 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 culminates in a disastrous end, after the ship suffers a measles outbreak, killing all but the narrator and the captain's dog. The ship then strikes a rock, turning "nine times around" and sinking. The captain's dog drowns in the incident, and the narrator is the only survivor, "the last of the Irish Rover," leaving no one else alive to contradict the tale.
According to the 1966 publication Walton's New Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads 2, the song is attributed to songwriter/arranger J. M. Crofts.
(The Pogues & The Dubliners single)
|UK Singles (OCC)||8|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||25|
- "The Irish Rover" is one of the most popular Irish-Gaelic Scottish country dances and is set to the music of the song.
- The Irish Rovers, created in 1963, were named after the traditional song "The Irish Rover" by their mother in Ballymena, N. Ireland.
- A character from the song lends his name to the political blog Slugger O'Toole.
"The Irish Rover" has been recorded many times including:
- 1966 – The Irish Rovers on their debut album, The First of the Irish Rovers. They recorded it again in 1996 for the album, The Irish Rovers' Gems.
- 1987 – The Dubliners with The Pogues on The Dubliners's album 25 Years Celebration. When released as a single in the same year this version reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart, number 1 in the Irish Singles Chart and number 45 in the Euro Chart.
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- James Prescott (3 February 2014). "James Prescott - Folk Song Index In - Je". Telusplanet.net. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
- "The Irish Charts – Search Results – The Irish Rover". Irish Singles Chart.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
- "The Pogues & the Dubliners – The Irish Rover". Top 40 Singles.
- The First of the Irish Rovers
- The Irish Rovers' Gems