I’ve been a wild rover for many a year; And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer

364 days are practice for one holiday: St. Patrick’s Day

When I lived in Dublin, I was told that 364 days were training for the one, the only St. Paddy’s Day.  And, folks, this is true if you’ve ever drunk with the Irish.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Granted, we Yanks certainly go over-and-above with green for this holiday.  We saturate our beer and our rivers with the color.  Leprechauns, four-leaf clovers,  and whiskey shots are abundant in the public houses.  Guinness, Murphy’s, Kilkenny, Smithwick’s (please pronounce as “Smiddick’s,” not Smith-wicks), Carlsberg, Strongbow (or any cider variety) will flow abundantly.

For St. Patrick’s Day (this excludes Parade Day), Scruffy’s taps around 40 kegs of Guinness, Irish Rover does not disclose the number (“we don’t want to brag”), Irish Snug taps between 40-50 Guinness kegs, Katie Mullen’s kills 55, Fado’s puts down around 85, and the Celtic Tavern does “an awful lot.”  Folks, this is Guinness alone.

So, granted, we’ll all be happy folk on this fine day.  One custom for any Irish drinker is that of son.  Drinking songs, to be precise.  And here is my Irish Drinking Song Playlist (my preferred version noted).

Wild Rover (The Pogues)

I’ve been a wild rover for many a year
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
And now I’m returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more.

Chorus: And it’s no, nay, never,
No nay never no more,
Will I play the wild rover
No never no more.

The Scotsman (The Malarkey Brothers) *note: yes, I know. It is a Scottish song.  But, it’s a great drinking song, too.

Well a Scotsman clad in kilt left a bar on evening fair
And one could tell by how we walked that he drunk more than his share
He fumbled round until he could no longer keep his feet
Then he stumbled off into the grass to sleep beside the street
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh

About that time two young and lovely girls just happend by
And one says to the other with a twinkle in her eye
See yon sleeping Scotsman so strong and handsome built
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath the kilt
Ring ding diddle diddle I de oh ring di diddly I oh
I wonder if it’s true what they don’t wear beneath the kilt…

Seven Drunken Nights (Brobdingnagian Bards)

As I went home on Monday night as drunk as drunk could be
I saw a horse outside the door where my old horse should be
Well, I called me wife and I said to her: Will you kindly tell to me
Who owns that horse outside the door where my old horse should be?

Ah, you’re drunk,
you’re drunk you silly old fool,
still you can not see
That’s a lovely sow that me mother sent to me
Well, it’s many a day I’ve travelled a hundred miles or more
But a saddle on a sow sure I never saw before

Finnegan’s Wake (Clancy Brothers)

Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin Street,
A gentle Irishman mighty odd
He had a brogue both rich and sweet,
An’ to rise in the world he carried a hod
You see he’d a sort of a tipplers way
but for the love for the liquor poor Tim was born
To help him on his way each day,
he’d a drop of the craythur every morn

Whack fol the dah now dance to yer partner
round the flure yer trotters shake
Bend an ear to the truth they tell ye,
we had lots of fun at Finnegan’s Wake

Bugger Off (Cobblestones)

Bugger off you bastards bugger off
Bugger off you bastards bugger off
Like a heard of bloody swine who refuse to leave the trough
You’ll get no more this evening so you bastards bugger off

Mountain Dew (Irish Rovers)

Ah didlee ay dum
ah diddlee ay dum
Ah doo ray diddlee ai ay
Ah didlee ay dum
ah diddlee ay dum
Ah doo ray diddlee ai ay

Let grasses grow and waters flow
In a free and easy way
Just give me enough of that fine old stuff
that’s made near Galway Bay
The police men from old Donegal
Sligo and Lietrin too
We’ll give them the slip and we’ll take a sip
Of that real old Mountain Dew

Danny Boy (Elsie Griffin or The Pogues)

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the flowers are dying
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
‘Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

Bog Down in the Valley/Railin Bog (Irish Rovers)

O-ro the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o
O-ro the rattlin’ bog, the bog down in the valley-o

And in that bog there was a tree, a rare tree, a rattlin’ tree
With the tree in the bog
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Now on that tree there was a limb, a rare limb, a rattlin’ limb
With the limb on the tree and the tree in the bog
And the bog down in the valley-o.

Molly Malone (The Dubliners)

Alive alive oh
alive alive ohh
Singing cockles and mussels
alive alive ohhh

In Dublin’s fair city
where the girls are so pretty
I once met a girl named sweet Molly Malone
and she wheeled her wheel barrow
through the streets broad and narrow
singing cockles and mussels alive alive oh

 

Raise your pints, lads and lassies, and cheers with me.  Happy St. Paddy’s.

Sláinte! (slawn-cha)

What’s your favorite?

About Jess Hunter


Jess is a lady and a scholar. If she's not mulling over the various names of famous mustaches and their respective bitter cocktails, she's nibbling on American Craft Singles and Cantillon. Connect with her by email at jesshunter@denveroffthewagon.com.

  • Jess Hunter

    From Fado’s: How about Whiskey Tonight by The Indulgers