Rocky Road to Dublin – lyrics and chords

The chords to The Rocky Road to Dublin are presented here in the key of E minor. Use our chord converter to play the song in other keys.

Rocky Road to Dublin
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The lyrics to the Rocky Road to Dublin present an interesting challenge to singers. The words come thick and fast and with virtually no pause between the lines, it’s a problem finding time to draw breath. The verse runs straight into the chorus. The only respite comes at the end of chorus but even that is very brief. Within a few beats the singer is straight into the next verse.


Em 
In the merry  
D 
month of  
Em 
May, from my home I started,
 
Left the  
D 
girls of  
Em 
Tuam, 
 
 
D 
nearly broken hearted,
 
Sa
Em 
luted 
 
 
D 
father 
 
 
Em 
dear, kissed my darlin’ mother,
 
Drank a  
D 
pint of  
Em 
beer, my  
D 
grief and tears to smother,
 
Then  
Em 
off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born,
 
I cut a stout blackthorn, to  
D 
banish ghost and goblin,
 
In a  
Em 
brand new pair of brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs,
 
And frightened all the dogs, on the  
D 
rocky road to Dublin.
Chorus
 
Bm 
One, two,  
D 
three, four  
Em 
five, hunt the hare and turn her
 
Down the  
A 
rocky 
 
 
D 
road, and  
Bm 
all the ways to Dublin,
Em 
Whack-fol-
D 
lol-de-ray
Em 
.

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In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, next mornin’ light and airy,
Took a drop of the pure, to keep my heart from sinkin’,
That’s the paddy’s cure, whene’er he’s on for drinking.
To see the lasses smile, laughing all the while,
At my curious style, ‘twould set your heart a-bubblin’.
They ax’d if I was hired, the wages I required,
Till I was almost tired, of the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity,
To be so soon deprived, a view of that fine city.
Then I took a stroll, all among the quality,
My bundle it was stole, in a neat locality;
Something crossed my mind, then I looked behind;
No bundle could I find, upon my stick a wobblin’.
Enquirin’ for the rogue, they said my Connacht brogue,
Wasn’t much in vogue, on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

From there I got away, my spirits never failin’
Landed on the quay as the ship was sailin’;
Captain at me roared, said that no room had he,
When I jumped aboard, a cabin found for Paddy,
Down among the pigs I played some funny rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, the water round me bubblin’,
When off Holyhead, I wished myself was dead,
Or better far instead, on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

The boys of Liverpool, when we safely landed,
Called myself a fool; I could no longer stand it;
Blood began to boil, temper I was losin’,
Poor ould Erin’s isle they began abusin’,
“Hurrah my soul,” sez I, my shillelagh I let fly;
Some Galway boys were by, saw I was a hobble in,
Then with a loud hurray, they joined in the affray.
We quickly cleared the way, for the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

Rocky Road to Dublin
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Rocky Road to Dublin lyrics and chords

Earlier version of lyrics

This version of the lyrics was published 1901 in a collection of songs under the title of Irish Com-All-Ye’s compiled and arranged Manus O’Connor. It was published by L Lipkind of New York.

There are some slight variations such as singer sets off in June rather than May and there is no mention of Tuam. The main change to the lyrics, however is in the chorus which is completely different.

Rocky Road to Dublin lyrics – O’Connor version 1901

In the merry month of June, when first from home I started,
And left the girls alone, sad and broken-hearted.
Shook hands with father dear, kissed my darling mother,
Drank a pint of beer, my tears and grief to smother;
Then off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born.
I cut a stout black-thorn to banish ghost or goblin ;
With a pair of bran new brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs —
Sure I frightened all the dogs on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

The steam-coach was at hand, the driver said he’d cheap ones.
But sure the luggage van was too much for my ha’pence.
For England I was bound, it would never do to balk it.
For every step of the road, bedad I says I, I’ll walk it.
I did not sigh or moan until I saw Athlone
A pain in my shin bone, it set my heart a-bubbling;
And fearing the big cannon, looking o’er the Shannon,
I very quickly ran on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

In Mullingar, that night, I rested limbs so weary.
Started by daylight, with spirits light and airy;
Took a drop of the pure, to keep my spirits from sinking,
That’s always an Irishman’s cure, whenever he’s troubled with thinking.
To see the lassies smile, laughing all the while
At my comical style, set my heart a-bubbling.
They axed if I was hired, the wages I required.
Until I was almost tired of the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it was a pity
To be so soon deprived of a view of that fine city;
‘Twas then I took a stroll, all among the quality,
My bundle then was stole in a neat locality,
Something crossed my mind, thinks I, I’ll look behind.
No bundle could I find upon my stick a-wobbling.
Inquiring for the rogue, they said my Connaught brogue.
It wasn’t much in vogue on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

A coachman raised his hand as if myself was wanting,
I went up to a stand, full of cars for jaunting;
“Step up, my boy!” says he ; “Ah, ah I that I will with -pleasure,”
“And to the strawberry beds, I’ll drive you at your leisure.”
“A strawberry bed?” says I, “faith, that would be too high!”
“On one of straw I’ll lie, and the berries won’t be troubling;”
He drove me out as far, upon an outside car.
Faith! such jolting never wor on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

I soon got out of that, my spirits never failing,
I landed on the quay, just as the ship was sailing.
The captain at me roared, swore that no room had he.
But when I leaped on board, they a cabin found for Paddy.
Down among the pigs I played such rummy rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, with water round me bubbling.
But when off Holyhead, I wished that I was dead,
Or safely put in bed, on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

The boys in Liverpool, when on the dock I landed.
Called myself a fool, I could no longer stand it;
My blood began to boil, my temper I was losing.
And poor old Erin’s Isle, they all began abusing.
“Hurrah! my boys,” says I, my shillelagh I let fly.
Some Galway boys were by, they saw I was a hobble in;
Then with a loud “hurrah !” they joined me in the fray.
Faugh-a-ballagh! clear the way for the rocky road to Dublin.

Rocky Road to Dublin lyrics and chords print version

[Em]In the merry [D]month of [Em]May, from my home I started,
Left the [D]girls of [Em]Tuam, [D]nearly broken hearted,
Sa[Em]luted [D]father [Em]dear, kissed my darlin’ mother,
Drank a [D]pint of [Em]beer, my [D]grief and tears to smother,
Then [Em]off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born,
I cut a stout blackthorn, to [D]banish ghost and goblin,
In a [Em]brand new pair of brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs,
And frightened all the dogs, on the [D]rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

[Bm]One, two, [D]three, four [Em]five, hunt the hare and turn her
Down the [A]rocky [D]road, and [Bm]all the ways to Dublin,
[Em]Whack-fol-[D]lol-de-ray[Em].

In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, next mornin’ light and airy,
Took a drop of the pure, to keep my heart from sinkin’,
That’s the paddy’s cure, whene’er he’s on for drinking.
To see the lasses smile, laughing all the while,
At my curious style, ‘twould set your heart a-bubblin’.
They ax’d if I was hired, the wages I required,
Till I was almost tired, of the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity,
To be so soon deprived, a view of that fine city.
Then I took a stroll, all among the quality,
My bundle it was stole, in a neat locality;
Something crossed my mind, then I looked behind;
No bundle could I find, upon my stick a wobblin’.
Enquirin’ for the rogue, they said my Connacht brogue,
Wasn’t much in vogue, on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

From there I got away, my spirits never failin’
Landed on the quay as the ship was sailin’;
Captain at me roared, said that no room had he,
When I jumped aboard, a cabin found for Paddy,
Down among the pigs I played some funny rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, the water round me bubblin’,
When off Holyhead, I wished myself was dead,
Or better far instead, on the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

The boys of Liverpool, when we safely landed,
Called myself a fool; I could no longer stand it;
Blood began to boil, temper I was losin’,
Poor ould Erin’s isle they began abusin’,
“Hurrah my soul,” sez I, my shillelagh I let fly;
Some Galway boys were by, saw I was a hobble in,
Then with a loud hurray, they joined in the affray.
We quickly cleared the way, for the rocky road to Dublin.

Chorus

Rocky Road to Dublin
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Rocky Road to Dublin lyrics and chords

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