Rocky Road to Dublin
"Rocky Road to Dublin" is a fast-paced 19th century song about a man's experiences as he travels to Liverpool, England from his home in Tuam. The tune has a typical Irish rhythm, classified as a slip (or hop) jig in 9/8 timing, and is often performed instrumentally.
The song describes the many troubles and travails that the protagonist encounters on this travels. At the beginning of the songs, the protagonist of the story states that he is "off to reap the corn" or intending to become a migrant agricultural labourer. He begins his journey by biding farewell to his family and friends. He leaves his hometown of Tuam on foot, resting in Mullingar where the local women make fun of his clothes. He next arrives in the Irish capital city Dublin, but is robbed of his meagre possessions, and mocked for his Connacht accent. He hops a ship in the habour headed for England, and is placed in the hold with the pigs where he experiences severe sea sickness off the coast of Holyhead, Wales. He arrives in the English city Liverpool where he is mocked by the locals because of his Irishness. He engages them in a fight using his blackthorn shillelagh, but is outnumbered until a group of Irishmen from County Galway come to his rescue ("join in the affray"), the first people who have helped him on his voyage.
There are many variations in the lyrics depending on the singer. For instance "June" in the first line is often replaced by "May", etc. Most interpretations of the twentieth century omit the second and antepenultimate couplets, and replace the chorus by the following :
- One two three four five,
- Hunt the hare and turn her down the rocky road
- And all the ways to Dublin, whack-fol-la-de-da !
- Bert Jansch
- The Irish Descendants
- The Pogues, as part of a medley on If I Should Fall from Grace with God and on its own
- The Clancy Brothers with Tommy Makem, in 1964.
- The Dubliners, in 1964.
- Luke Kelly, in 1973
- Ryan's Fancy, in 1973.
- Paddy Reilly, in 1985.
- Fiddler's Green, in 1992.
- The Rolling Stones on The Chieftains' 1995 album The Long Black Veil.
- Blood or Whiskey, on their debut album in 1996.
- Clandestine, in 1996.
- The Permanent Cure, in 1996
- Gaelic Storm, in 1998.
- Orthodox Celts, on Green Roses (1999).
- Belfast Food, on album Zašto zato in 2000
- Christy Moore, in 2000.
- Dropkick Murphys, in 2001 and 2002.
- Brobdingnagian Bards, in 2002.
- Cruachan, in 2002.
- Blaggards, in 2005.
- Bad Haggis, in 2005.
- Barleyjuice, within the medley, Modern Pirates, on Six Yanks, in 2006.
- Dublin City Workingman's Band on St Patrick's Day 2007, for Luxembourg TV channel RTL
- The Young Dubliners, on the 1994 album Rocky Road and With All Due Respect - The Irish Sessions, in 2007
- Leatherat, on the album "Garden of Eden" in 2007
- Damien Dempsey, in 2008.
- The High Kings, in 2008.
- The Tossers, in 2008.
- Culann's Hounds, on One for the Road in 2008
- Sherlock Holmes (Remastered Recording by The Dubliners) in 2009.
- Celtic Thunder on Mythology in 2013
- The Era magazine, 22 February 1863
- Attribution on sheet music
- Dublin City Workingman's Band » Videos
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|