Sheet Music (and more information about this song)
Oh father dear, I often hear you speak of Erin's isle
Her lofty scenes, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a lovely land wherein a prince might dwell
So why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell.
My son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
'Till a blight came over all my crops, and my sheep and cattle died
The rents and taxes were to pay, I could not them redeem
And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.
It's well I do remember that bleak November day
When the landlord and his agent came to drive us all away
They set the roof on fire with their cursed English spleen
And that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.
Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the stony ground
She fainted in her anguish, seeing the desolation 'round
She never rose but passed away from life to immortal dream
She found a quiet grave, me 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
I 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 band beneath the flag of green
And loud and high we'll raise the cry: Revenge for Skibbereen!