The lyrics to The Wearing of the Green are traditional and were adapted by Irish playwright Don Boucicault for his play Arragh na Pogue, meaning Wicklow Wedding, in 1864.
The melody is traditional and is also used in the Irish rebel song, The Rising of the Moon. The chords are quite straightforward and are presented here in the key of D Major.
Use our converter to find the chords in other keys.
John McCormack sang the song in G major. The Wolfe Tones play The Wearing of the Green in D Major.
The Orthodox Celts play it in C Major. The Wakes play the superfast version in E Flat.
The Molloy Sisters sing it in A Major.
The Wearing of the Green lyrics and chords
For there’s a
Oh I met with Napper Tandy
And he took me by the hand.
He said:”How is poor old Ireland
And does she stand?”
She’s the most distressful country
That ever yet was seen,
They’re hanging men and women
For the Wearing of the Green!
And since the colour we must wear
Is England’s cruel red,
Let it remind us of the blood
That Ireland’s sons have shed.
Then take the Shamrock from your hat
And cast it on the sod.
It will take root, and flourish still,
Though under foot it’s trod.
My father loved his country
And sleeps within its breast,
While I that would have died for her
Must never so be blessed.
Those tears my mother shed for me
How bitter they had been
If I proved a traitor to
The Wearing of the Green.
When the law can stop the blades of grass
From growing where they grow,
And when the leaves in summer time
Their colours dare not show,
Then, I will change the colour
I wear in my caibin (A cap – pronounced cawbeen)
But till that day please God I’ll stick to
The Wearing of the Green!
But if sometime the colour should
Be torn from Ireland’s heart,
Her sons with shame and sorrow
From the dear old land will part;
I’ve heard whispers of a country
That lies far beyond sea,
Where rich and poor stand equal,
In the light of liberty!
So Erin must we leave you
Driven by the tyrant’s hand!
Must we ask a mother’s blessing,
In a strange and distant land,
Where England’s cruel and vicious hand
Is never to be seen:
But where, thank God we’ll live and die
Still Wearing of the Green!