Bards Irish Fiddle Tunebook Supplement/Rocky Road to Dublin

"Rocky Road to Dublin" is a fast-paced 19th century song with Irish lyrics about a man's experiences as he travels to Dublin, Ireland from his home in Tuam. The tune has a typical Irish rhythm, classified as a Treble Jig and is often performed instrumentally.


The words were written by D.K. Gavan, "The Galway Poet", for the English music hall performer Harry Clifton (1824-1872), who popularised the song.

The song refers to the Irish capital city Dublin, the Irish towns Tuam and Mullingar, the Welsh town Holyhead, the Irish city Galway and the English city Liverpool.


The song is partially recited several times by Mr. Deasy in James Joyce's Ulysses.

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 way to Dublin, whack-fol-la-de-da !



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