FolkWorld #50 03/2013
© Seán Laffey

Songs That Made History

Christmas 2012 and the Dubliners made their final appearance in their native town. After 50 years as a ballad group and with none of the original members remaining it was time to put the instruments back in their cases and take a well earned rest. Have you ever wondered, of all their ballads, which one song gave the Dubliners their start?

The related article has been withdrawn by the author.


I've been a wild rover for many's the year
I've spent all me money on whiskey and beer
But now I'm returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more

 And it's no, nay, never
 No, nay, never, no more
 Will I play the wild rover
 No never no more

I went in to an alehouse I used to frequent
And I told the landlady me money was spent
I asked her for credit, she answered me "nay
Such a customer as you I can have any day"

I took up from my pocket ten souvereigns bright
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight
She says "I have whiskeys and wines of the best
And the words that you told me were only in jest"

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done
and I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son
And when they've caressed me as oft times before
I never will play the wild rover no more

 Listen to The Wild Rover from:
    Mick West, Maeve Mackinnon

 Watch The Wild Rover from:
    The Dubliners (2012)
    Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly

The Dubliners, Tønder 2002

Dubliners @ FolkWorld:
FW#23, #37, #39, #41, #44, #48, #50 |

The Wild Rover

Ronnie Drew

The Wild Rover


As I was going over far fam'd Kerry Mountains
I met with Captain Farrell and his money he was countin'
I first produced my pistol, and I then produced my rapier
Sayin': "Stand and deliver for you are my bold deceiver"

 Musha ring dum a doo dum a da
 Whack fol de daddy Oh
 Whack fol de daddy Oh
 There's whiskey in the jar

I counted out his money and it made a pretty penny
I put it in my pocket, and I took it home to Jenny
She sighed and she swore that she never would deceive me
But the devil takes the women for they never can be easy

I went into my chamber all for to take a slumber
I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder
But Jenny drew my charges and she filled them up with water
Then sent for Captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter

'Twas early in the morning just before I rose to travel
Up comes a band of fottmen and liekwise Captain Farrell
I first produced my pistol for she stole away my rapier
But I couldn't shoot the water, so a prisoner I was taken

If anyone can aid me 'tis my brother in the army
If I can fidn his station in Cork or in Killarney
And if he'll go with me we'll go roving in Kilkenny
And I'm sure he'll treat me better than my darling sporting Jenny

 Listen to Whiskey in the Jar from:
    Brian Roebuck, ThingumaJig 

 Watch Whiskey in the Jar from:
    The Dubliners (2012)
    Seán Cannon, Luke Kelly

Whiskey in the Jar

Luke Kelly

Barney McKenna

Whiskey in the Jar

The Dubliners The Dubliners The Dubliners

Photo Credits: (1)-(2), (4)-(5), (7)-(9) The Dubliners (Walkin' Tom, unknown); (3) "The Wild Rover", (6) "Whiskey in the Jar" (unknown).

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