We Left

This is a song James wrote when we were in Doolin. Turns out it was not true. We’ve since been in Scotland and are now in Amsterdam, coming home soon.

In Ireland We’ll Stay


We’ve been drinking, we’ve been dancing


We’ve done every nature hike


We’ve been feckin’ locked in Cork

                   C                          D

And they think we’re locals like


We’ve seen Fungi out in Dingle


And we’ve kissed the Blarney Stone


We know we’re only tourists

              C        D              G

But this island feels like home


            G              D

We’re not going home (No!)

         C                                    D

We love our pints of beer

           G          D

It’s welcome! Cheers!


            C                         D

And kiss my ass you’ll hear

            G                     D

We’re not going to leave

      C                  D

In Ireland we’ll stay

        G                         D

It’s failte (fawl-cha)! Slainte (slawn-cha)!

          C                                                      D           G

And pog ma thoin (pok ma hown) you’ll hear us say


We hate When Irish Eyes are Smiling

And we’re sick of Danny Boy

We need music sung in Irish

To fill our hearts with joy


We love our pints of Guinness

Smithwicks, Bulmer’s, Murphy’s so

When we suggest another pint

The answer you will know




We just looked in our passports

There’s an expiration date

Does anyone know the penalty

If we go home too late?


Ah screw it (yeah!)

We’re never leaving here

And if customs comes a-calling

We’ll just blame it all on beer…’cause


<chorus repeat as desired>

                 C          D      G

‘Cause in Ireland we’ll stay

The map of our trip!


Galway Girl

This song was written by Steve Earle: an American with good taste in women. The song has become a kind of anthem in Ireland, a country proud of its Galway girls (for good reason! Even James Joyce’s wife, Nora Barnacle, was from there). I (James) was learning to play this song in our hostel in Dublin and a married couple from the States sat down to listen. The couple, a musical duo on tour in Ireland, are Steve Earle’s sister and brother-in-law! How crazy is that? I didn’t really have the tune right in my head that day, but I’ve been able to play it successfully since. I listened to some different versions online and this is the composite cover I perform. It’s in the key of D to make it well suited for fiddle and tin whistle accompaniment.

Intro: D (which carries on until the first chord change)

Well I took a stroll on the old long walk


On a day-aye-ay-aye-ay


And I met a little girl and we stopped to talk

                       G           D

On a fine soft day-aye-ay

          G           D                     G        D

And I ask you man, what’s a fella to do?

                  Bm        A                    G             D

Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue

           G               D                G           D

And I knew right then, I’d be taking a whirl

                  Bm        A                 G          D

Round the Salthill Prom with a Galway girl

D (for a bit) A A G G D (repeat while your tin whistling friend plays and then go back to D)

We were halfway there when the rain came down


On a day-aye-ay-aye-ay


And she asked me up to her flat downtown

                       G            D

On a fine soft day-aye-ay

          G          D                       G         D

And I ask you friend,what’s a fella to do?

                  Bm        A                    G             D

Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue

         G           D                G              D

So I took her hand, and I gave her a twirl

           Bm       A            G           D

And I lost my heart to a Galway girl

D~ AA GG D, etc.


When I woke up, I was all alone

            D                                                      G D

With a broken heart and a ticket home

          G           D                  G                         D

And I ask you now, tell me what would you do?

           Bm       A                     G             D

If her hair was black and her eyes were blue?

                   G              D                             G            D

Cause I’ve travelled around, I’ve been all over this world

                     Bm            A                    G           D

Boys, I ain’t never seen nothing like a Galway girl

                 Bm             A                   G           D

No I ain’t never seen nothing like a Galway girl

D~ A A G G D (until satisfied)

Erin Go Bragh

I'll tell you a story of a row in the town, 
When the green flag went up and the Crown rag came down, 
'Twas the neatest and sweetest thing ever you saw, 
And they played the best games played in Erin Go Bragh. 

One of our comrades was down at Ring's end, 
For the honour of Ireland to hold and defend, 
He had no veteran soldiers but volunteers raw, 
Playing sweet Mauser music for Erin Go Bragh. 

Now here's to Pat Pearse and our comrades who died 
Tom Clark, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBryde, 
And here's to James Connolly who gave one hurrah, 
And placed the machine guns for Erin Go Bragh. 

One brave English captain was ranting that day, 
Saying, "Give me one hour and I'll blow you away," 
But a big Mauser bullet got stuck in his craw, 
And he died of lead poisoning in Erin Go Bragh. 

Old Ceannt and his comrades like lions at bay, 
From the South Dublin Union poured death and dismay, 
And what was their horror when the Englishmen saw 
All the dead khaki soldiers in Erin Go Bragh. 

Now here's to old Dublin, and here's her renown, 
In the long generation her fame will go down, 
And our children will tell how their forefathers saw, 
The red blaze of freedom in Erin Go Braugh.

Whiskey in the Jar

As I was a-goin' over Gilgarra Mountain
I spied Colonel Farrell, and his money he was countin'.
First I drew my pistols and then I drew my rapier,
Sayin' "Stand and deliver, for I am your bold receiver."
Musha ringum duram da,
Whack fol the daddy-o,
There's whiskey in the jar. 

He counted out his money and it made a pretty penny;
I put it in my pocket to take home to darlin' Jenny.
She sighed and swore she loved me and never would deceive me,
Bu the devil take the women, for they always lie so easy!
Musha rungum duram da

I went into me chamber all for to take a slumber,
To dream of gold and girls, and of course it was no wonder:
Me Jenny took me charges and she filled them up with water,
Called on Colonel Farrell to get ready for the slaughter.
Musha rungum duram da

Next mornin' early, before I rose for travel,
A-came a band of footmen and likewise Colonel Farrell.
I goes to draw my pistol, for she'd stole away my rapier,
But a prisoner I was taken, I couldn't shoot the water.
Musha rungum duram da

They put me into jail with a judge all a-writin':
For robbin' Colonel Farrell on Gilgarra Mountain.
But they didn't take me fists and I knocked the jailer down
And bid a farewell to this tight-fisted town.
Musha ringum duram da

I'd like to find me brother, the one who's in the army;
I don't know where he's stationed, be it Cork or in Killarney.
Together we'd go roamin' o'er the mountains of Kilkenny,
And I swear he'd treat me fairer than my darlin' sportin' Jenny!
Musha ringum duram da

There's some takes delight in the carriages and rollin',
Some takes delight in the hurley or the bollin',
But I takes delight in the juice of the barley,
Courtin' pretty maids in the mornin', o so early!
Musha ringum duram da

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

There's a tear in your eye, 
And I'm wondering why, 
For it never should be there at all. 
With such pow'r in your smile, 
Sure a stone you'd beguile, 
So there's never a teardrop should fall. 
When your sweet lilting laughter's 
Like some fairy song, 
And your eyes twinkle bright as can be; 
You should laugh all the while 
And all other times smile, 
And now, smile a smile for me. 

When Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, 'tis like the morn in Spring. 
In the lilt of Irish laughter 
You can hear the angels sing. 
When Irish hearts are happy, 
All the world seems bright and gay. 
And when Irish eyes are smiling, 
Sure, they steal your heart away. 

For your smile is a part 
Of the love in your heart, 
And it makes even sunshine more bright. 
Like the linnet's sweet song, 
Crooning all the day long, 
Comes your laughter and light. 
For the springtime of life 
Is the sweetest of all 
There is ne'er a real care or regret; 
And while springtime is ours 
Throughout all of youth's hours, 
Let us smile each chance we get.

Danny Boy

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
and I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

But when ye come, and all the flow’rs are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
ye’ll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.
And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be
For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.