oh, father dear, i oft times hear you talk of erin’s isle,
her lofty scene, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
they say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,
oh, why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?
oh, son i loved my native land with energy and pride
’til a blight came over on my crops, my sheep and cattle died,
the rent and taxes were so high, i could not them redeem,
and that’s the cruel reason why i left old skibbereen.
oh, it’s well i do remember that bleak december day,
the landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
they set my roof on fire with their demon yellow spleen
and that’s another reason why i left old skibbereen.
your mother too, god rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
she fainted in her anguish seeing the desolation round.
she never rose but p*ssed away from life to mortal 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 your friends, you bore your father’s name,
i wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
i heaved a sigh and said goodbye to dear old skibbereen