The Minstrel Boy – lyrics and chords

The lyrics to The Minstrel Boy tell the story of young man with no military experience who goes to fight for his country’s freedom.

Minstrel Boy
Song Meaning
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It’s a stirring, idealistic song that can evoke a sense of patriotism in people of all nationalities across the world. The lyrics are by Irish writer Thomas Moore and the melody is the Irish traditional tune, The Moreen.

The chords are presented here in the C Major, the key used by Shane MacGowan in his version of the song. Danny Quinn plays the Minstrel Boy in E Flat. Place a capo on the third fret of your guitar and play the chords printed here if you would like to play the song in E flat. Use our chord converter to play the song in other keys.

 
The  
C 
Minstrel 
 
 
F 
Boy to the  
C 
war is  
Am 
gone
 
In the  
F 
ranks of  
C 
death you’ll  
G7 
find 
 
 
C 
him
 
His  
C 
father’s 
 
 
F 
sword he has  
C 
girded 
 
 
Am 
on
 
And his  
F 
wild harp  
C 
slung 
 
be
G7 
hind 
 
 
C 
him.
 
Am 
Land of  
F 
Song said the  
Em 
warrior 
 
 
G 
bard
 
Though  
Am 
all the  
C 
world 
 
be
F 
trays 
 
 
C 
thee
 
One  
C 
sword at  
F 
least thy  
C 
rights shall  
Am 
guard
 
One  
F 
faithful 
 
 
C 
harp shall  
G7 
praise 
 
 
C 
thee.

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The Minstrel fell but the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under
The harp he loved never spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder.
And said no chains shall sully thee
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery.

Additional verse

This is an additional verse, not written by Thomas Moore but probably added by an unknown author at the time of the American Civil War. The song had been brought to the United States by Irish immigrants and became very popular with American Army regiments.

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it
The minstrel boy will return one day
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace
In a world such as Heaven intended
For all the bitterness of man must cease
And every battle must be ended.

Minstrel Boy
Song Meaning
Minstrel Boy videos
Minstrel Boy lyrics and chords

Minstrel Boy lyrics and chords print version

The [C]Minstrel [F]Boy to the [C]war is [Am]gone
In the [F]ranks of [C]death you’ll [G7]find [C]him
His [C]father’s [F]sword he has [C]girded [Am]on
And his [F]wild harp [C]slung be[G7]hind [C]him.
[Am]Land of [F]Song said the [Em]warrior [G]bard
Though [Am]all the [C]world be[F]trays [C]thee
One [C]sword at [F]least thy [C]rights shall [Am]guard
One [F]faithful [C]harp shall [G7]praise [C]thee.

The Minstrel fell but the foeman’s chain
Could not bring his proud soul under
The harp he loved never spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder.
And said no chains shall sully thee
Thou soul of love and bravery!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
They shall never sound in slavery.

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it
The minstrel boy will return one day
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace
In a world such as Heaven intended
For all the bitterness of man must cease
And every battle must be ended.

Minstrel Boy
Song Meaning
Minstrel Boy videos
Minstrel Boy lyrics and chords

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