Trad. Arr: Paddy Moloney
Vocal: Sinéad O'Connor

Oh, Father dear, I oft times heard you talk of Erin's Isle,
Her lofty scene, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,
Oh why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?

Oh son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
'Til a blight came over on my crops, my sheep and cattle died,
The rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem,
And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Oh, It's well I do remember that bleak December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
They set my roof on fire with their demon yellow spleen
And that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
She fainted in her anguish seeing the desolation round.
She never rose but passed away from life to mortal dream,
She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,
I could not leave you with your friends, you bore your father's name,
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh and said goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.

Foggy Dew

Attributed to Peader Kearney and Charles O'Neill

As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound its dread tattoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war
T'was better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Suvla or Sud El Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

T'was Britannia bade our Wild Geese go that small nations might be free
But their lonely graves are by Suvla's waves or the shore of the Great North Sea
Oh, had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha
Their names we will keep where the fenians sleep 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew

Oh the night fell black, and the rifles' crack made perfidious Albion reel
In the leaden rain, seven tongues of flame did shine o'er the lines of steel
By each shining blade a prayer was said, that to Ireland her sons be true
But when morning broke, still the war flag shook out its folds in the foggy dew

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.

A Soldier's Return

Brian Warfield

I went away to fight a war that small nations might be free.
Got a soldier's gun and uniform to fight the enemy.
I was trained to shoot my fellow man before he got to me,
And I danced with death in the mud and wept,
And prayed my home to see.

So come over to me darling girl, come here me Molly dear.
You are as welcome as the flowers in May, you're welcome here to me.
No more I'll fire the musket shot or hear the cannon roar,
I've done my time, now you'll be mine,
I'm yours forever more.

While in the trenches there I thought who starts these bloody wars,
And thought of these great Irishmen who died on these strange shores.
Then a bomb did burst, to the air it thrust some shrapnel, fire, and blood.
I escaped it then, shot back at them, and lay back in the mud.


While I was off in foreign lands, fighting other peoples' wars,
Some gallant men were fighting here to free their native shores.
You shot our leaders of '16, saw our city sacked and burned.
Then you sent us in the Black and Tans to greet our home return.


I don't need your hero's welcome.
I don't want your bugle call.
No brass band, no pipes and drums, no medal, badge, or star.
Just give me what you promised me when first I went to war,
That's freedom for old Ireland and I'll go to fight no more.

Created by | Updated February 2016