11. THE IRISH ROVER
The Irish Rover is an Irish folk song about a magnificent, though improbable, sailing ship that reaches an unfortunate end. It has been recorded by numerous artists, some of whom have made changes to the lyrics.
The song describes a gigantic twenty-seven masted ship with a colourful crew and varied types of cargo in enormous amounts. The verses grow successively more extravagant about the wonders of the great ship. The seven-year voyage comes to a disastrous end after losing its way in the fog, striking a rock, and spinning nine times around before sinking with most of the crew and the captain’s old dog aboard – everyone except the singer, who in the last line of the song is revealed to be the lone survivor of The Irish Rover’s ill-fated final voyage, so there is no one alive to contradict the tale.
The song is attributed to songwriter/arranger J. M. Crofts. The Irish Rover is one of the most popular Irish-Gaelic Scottish country dances and is set to the music of the song. The Canadian musical performance band, The Irish Rovers, created in 1963, were named after the traditional song “The Irish Rover” by their mother in Ballymena, N. Ireland. They first recorded this song on their 1966 debut album, The First of the Irish Rovers.
THE IRISH ROVER C Our version from T’UkeS – Tillsonburg Uke Group.