I have been singing this for days and it won't leave me! I learned it from Ian Benzie. I feel haunted!
C F G C Am
I wish I was in Carrickfergus
Dm G C
Only for nights in Ballygrand
F G C Am
I would swim over the deepest ocean
Dm G C
Only for nights in Ballygrand.
But the sea is wide and I can't swim over,
C F G
And neither have I the wings to fly
F G C
If I could find me a handsome boatsman
Am Dm G C
To ferry me over to my love and die.
Now in Kilkenny, it is reported,
They've marble stones as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her
But I'll sing no more now till I get a drink
I'm drunk today, but then I'm seldom sober,
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah, but I'm sick now, my days are numbered.
Come all ye young lads and lay me down.
Do bhí bean uasal seal dá lua liom,
's chuir sí suas díom fóraíl ghéar;
Do ghabhas lastuas di sna bailte móra
Mar go dtug sí svae ['sway'] léi os comhair an tsaoil.
Ach dá bhfaighinnse a ceann siúd faoi áirsí an teampaill,
Do bheinn gan amhras ar m'ábhar féin;
Ach anois táim tinn lag 's gan fáil ar leigheas agam.
Is go mbeidh mo mhuintir ag gol im' dhéidh.
Do shiúlaíos Éire is an Mhumhain le chéile
Is cois Beann Éadair ag lorg mná,
Is ní fhaca éinne ar fhaid an méid sin
Do dhein mé phléasáil ach mo Mhalaí Bán.
Mná na hÉireann do chur le chéile
Is nach mór an t-aeraíocht dom san a rá;
'Sé dúirt gach éinne a chonaic mo spéirbhean.
Go dtug sí svae léi ó Chontae an Chláir.
Tá an ghrian ag imeacht is tá an teas ag tréigean
Is an tart ní féidir liom féin do chlaoi,
Mar go bhfuil an geall orm ó Shamhain go Féabhraí
Is ní bheidh sí reidh liom go dtí Lá Mhichíl;
Ach geallaim féin daoibh nach mar gheall ar an méid sin
A d'iontaíos féinig i gcoinne na dí,
Ach mar gheall ar mo chéad searc a dhein mé thréigean -
Chuaigh sí ag bailiú déirce dá clann iníon.
Agus táim tinn breoite is mo chos dheas leonta
Ó ghabh an ógbhean úd tharam isteach;
D'iarras póigín uair nó dhó uirthi,
For I'd long to roam with my own sweetheart.
For I'm tired of drinking and I'm seldom sober!
I'm a constant rover from town to town!
But now I'm dying and my days are over -
Come Malaí, a stóirín, and lay me down!
In modern times, "Carrickfergus" became known after actor Peter O'Toole related it to Dominic Behan, who put it in print and made a recording in the mid-1960s. The middle verse was allegedly written by Behan.
The song has been recorded by many well known performers including Declan Affley, Joan Baez, Dominic Behan, Charlotte Church,Ian Benzie, De Dannan, Joe Dassin (as Mon village du bout du monde), The Dubliners, Bryan Ferry, Brian Kennedy, Declan Galbraith, Lisa Kelly, Loreena McKennitt, Órla Fallon, Van Morrison, Bryn Terfel and Ronan Keating. The song is a popular request at folk festivals and concerts, and was played at the 1999 funeral of John F. Kennedy, Jr.
I wish I was in Carrickfergus, only for nights in Ballygran
I would swim over the deepest ocean, the deepest ocean for my love to find
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over and neither have I wings to fly
If I could find me a handsome boatman to ferry me over to my love and die
My childhood days bring back sad reflections of happy times I spent so long ago
My boyhood friends and my own relations have all passed on now like melting snow
But I'll spend my days in endless roaming soft is the grass my bed is free
Ah to be back in Carrickfergus on that long road down to the sea
And in Kilkenny it is reported there are marble stones as black as ink
With gold and silver I would support her, but I'll sing no more now till I get a drink
I'm drunk today and I'm seldom sober, a handsome rover from town to town
Ah, but I'm sick now, my days are numbered so come all ye young men and lay me down