Famine in Skibbereen



Oh father dear, I oft-times hear you talk of Erin's isle,
Her lofty hills, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild.
They say she is a lovely land wherein a saint might dwell,
So why did you abandon her? the reason to me tell.

Oh son, I loved my native land with energy and pride,
Till a blight came o'er the praties and my sheep and cattle died,
My rent and taxes went unpaid, I could not them redeem,
And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Oh well do I remember that bleak December day,
The landlord and the agent came to take us all away,
They set my roof on fire with their cursed English spleen,
And I heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the stony ground,
She fainted in her anguish, seeing desolation 'round.
She never rose but passed away from life to immortal 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 my friends for you bore your father's name.
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen,
And heaved a sigh and bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.

Oh father dear, the day will come when in answer to the call,
All Irish men of freedom stern will rally one and all,
I'll be the man to lead the van beneath the flag of green,
And loud and clear we'll raise the cheer,
Revenge for Skibbereen!

Recorded by The Dubliners

'Skibbereen' midi by Barry Taylor

Skibbereen Revisited 2001 ..... if you do nothing else on this site, please read this poem ....