If you’re looking for lyrics to any other
Mick Hanly songs you can request them
them here and we’ll add them to this page.



Enjoyed your music for so many years and still enjoying it, trying to find lyric sheet for the “Glasgow Barber” at the moment. I’m a builder but unrepentant here is why and look at viking longhouse on facebook, Fingal Living History. Keep it going,



The Glasgow Barber


When I first sailed over from Belfast to Greenock

My blood felt congealed at leaving the sod

And my heart swelled as big as the cot I sailed o’er on

When the gaffer refused to give Paddy a job.

Verse 2.

When I landed in Glasgow I inquired for Queen Street

Called into a barber’s and he bid me sit down

And he placed me so fair in the arms of a chair

And he covered me over with his grandmother’s gown.

Verse 3.

Ah, said he, ‘are you shaving?’ Said I ‘are you raving?’

‘The hair on my head I want cut in a row

And before you’d be going I’d like you’d be knowing

It’s the style that we have in the County Mayo’.

Verse 4.

Well he placed his steel clinkers above my eye winkers

You’d swear t’was the ramps of Moll Flannigan’s fan

He oiled it and streaked it he combed it and sleaked it

He oiled front and rear with his two little hands.


Verse 5.

‘Ah’ says he ‘Irish Pat you’ll pay fourpence for that

It’s a cut that an Irishman seldom does show

It’s the ladies conceit aye and you will look neat

When you land with your friends in the County Mayo’.

Verse 6.

‘Ah bad luck to your soul do you think I’m a ‘looby’

The hell to your soul sure the hair was my own

It’s before I’d make bargains with the barbers of Scotland

I’d rather make bargains with the landlords at home’.

Verse 7.

Well he called in two bobbies for the take Irish Paddy

With hats on their heads like large rucks of straw

Says they ‘Torra musha’ say’s I ‘Arra gusha’

‘Tis a word that we use in the County Mayo.

Verse 8.

Then I took to me stick and they took to their batons

The police and the barber I soon did take down

And I left them a mark for to buy sticking plaster

And straight took my way to the east of the town.

Verse 9.

When I looked in the glass you’d swear I was an ass

For me lugs stood so high and me head hung so low

Bad luck to their trestles their bells and steam whistles

And hurrah for the girls from the County Mayo.

I found this in a book called Folksongs Sung in Ulster by Robin Morton. In the same book, I also found a good version of the Hills of Granemore,  which Monroe (Mícheál O’Domhnaill & Mick Hanly) released as a single with an early version of Fionnghuala, later recorded  by the Bothy Band.

I’m afraid the ‘Barber’ doesn’t wear the years as well as Granemore, but that’s usually the way with ‘fun’ songs.


Hallo Mick,

I hope you didn’t forget me. When you got the the lyrics of only one or two of your songs I would be happy if you send them to me.

Songtext of ” As I went over blackwater” and “A kiss in the morning early”


Hello Mick,

Thank you for putting the lyrics of your songs on your website ! That’s fine for those, like me, not of English language…
Could you please add the lyrics of “The reluctant pirate” and “A kiss in the morning early” ?
I have been owning this beautiful LP since 1976 (I had the chance to see you in concert in Lorient, Bretagne, at the same period). Unfortunately, the lyrics were not included in the sleeve notes. I wonder why this beautiful album is not available again as CD (which is the case for the “Mulligan” LP by Irvine-Brady I also bought at the same period)
All the best,
PS : about three years ago, you sent to me (at my request) the lyrics of “Farewell Dearest Nancy”. Thanks again !
Thanks to you, I also discovered the talent of Hal Ketchum (I have been a fan for many years now)


A Kiss in the Morning Early

Verse 1.

T’was early one morning a fair maid arose
And dressed herself up in the finest of clothes
And off to the shoemaker’s shop sure she goes
For a kiss in the morning early

Verse 2.
The cobbler arose and he soon let her in
His awl and his hammer were neat as a pin
And he had the will for to greet her so slim
With a kiss in the morning early.

Verse 3.
Oh cobbler, Oh cobbler ‘tis soon we’ll be wed
And nestling together in a fine feather bed
So give me two shoes with two buckles of red
For me kiss in the morning early.

Verse 4.
The maid hid the shoes in the back of her waist
She praised his good cobbling and shoemaker’s taste
And home to her father she mournfully faced
For it was in the morning early.

Verse 5.
Oh father, Oh father I’ve good me a man
And he is the one I would wed if I can
As handsome as ever in leather did stand
For me kiss in the morning early.

Verse 6.
The father was thinking and thinking again
For to wed her to riches and have them for kin
Who knows but it might be a prince or a king
That she met in the morning early.

Verse 7.
Who knows but it might be a jobber from town
Or a wealthy sea captain who’s sailed the world round
A man with some thousands and thousands of pounds
That she met in the morning early.

Verse 8. 
The father was smiling his daughter embraced
And touching the buckles he drew back in haste
He spied the red shoes that were tied round her waist
For it was in the morning early.

Verse 9.
Oh daughter Oh daughter he started to shout
When he did discover what she was about
God knows but t’was none but that old cobbling clout
That you met in the morning early.


As I went over Blackwater

As I went over Blackwater, Blackwater went over me
I met two little blackbirds perching on a tree
One of them called me a robber the other one called me a thief
I took out my little blackthorn stick and I hit him across the cheek

This is a fragment of a song that my grandmother sang to me as a child and that was all she had of it. It sounds like the makings of a dark song….if anyone knows anymore of it, I’d love to hear it. Mick


The Reluctant Pirate


Verse 1.

Come listen to me sailors to this tale I do report
And beware of roaming pirates who would plunder any boat
I left my lovely Nancy for to sail the ocean blue
And I was taken prisoner by a wild and wicked crew.

Verse 2.

The mist was down upon us when they took us by surprise
Our men they fought most gallantly and some did lose their lives
The pirates gained the upper hand and took me captive then
Along with Captain Johnson bold and fourteen of our men.
Verse 3.

And many’s the man was wounded and the captain sorely vexed
He cursed and swore at sick and sore all scattered on the decks
Stand forth you British seamen for desertion you will die
But he fainted from a bullet wound and on the deck did lie.
Verse 4.

Upon the morn a ruffian gang did drag me to his door
With vengeance in their wicked hearts revenge upon me swore
The captain he being pressed for men a chance he gave to me
‘Would you care to go a sailin’ on the wild and briney sea?’
Verse 5.

I joined with this marauding gang as you must understand
Not wanting to be drowned at this cruel captains hand
And often times to save my life some honest me I’ve slew
Better that than to be dead beneath the ocean blue.
Verse 6.

And now I’m waiting for my chance to gain my liberty
Along with my fine comrades and we’ll no more go to sea
For oft I think of Nancy and the life we had begun
And I swear I’ll go to join her when this pirating is done.

God bless my imagination. I was never within an ass’s roar of a pirate….though I did meet a few lads on Innisboffin with daggers in their teeth? I don’t know how I came to write this piece of whimsy, but remember that, “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” was written by Chaunay Olcott, from Buffalo, New York. That’s as good an excuse as any.



I was looking for lyrics and chords to “The Scourge of the Nation” and Mick’s versions of “The Dewy Dens of Yarrow” and “Blackwater”. I would dearly like to try and learn these songs and would appreciate your help.
Thank you


The Scourge of the Nation

Verse 1.
Good countrymen all who are fond of a ball
Of malt or the gin or a pint of good stout
For a long time you know to a bar you could go
And imbibe in them all ‘til your brain it gave out
In two minutes flat you were sure to find chat
You were welcome to strike up a bar of a song
For chat with the boys tall stories and lies
You went down to your local you couldn’t go wrong.

Verse 2.
But sad this cantation the scourge of the nation
More deadly that darts and far worse than the pool
Has every man-jack with his jaw hanging slack
His porter forgot his arse stuck to the stool
His tongue without wag and his mouth round a fag
His fingernails gone bitten down to the core
Through smoke thick and thin he’ll sit with a grin
And watch the oul box ‘til his eyeballs are sore.

Verse 3.
From Cork up to Derry in bars they make merry
When Bibi that beauty appears on the screen
They’re stuck into Neighbours, Glenroe, and bejapers
Professional wrestlers the Pope and the Queen
Anne Doyle all the while their hearts does beguile
The cards get confused and the trumps are mislaid
No tune on the fiddle no pipes or fal-diddle
They’re all pushed aside now to watch the Late-Late.

Verse 4. 
There’s no more conversation on who’ll run the nation
The economy’s crisis or the next hurling match
‘Tis discussed on the telly each man fills his belly
And argue he won’t he’s content for to watch
And what’s more insulting from all this resulting
Your call for a drink is completely ignores
For the barman the yob has forgotten his job
He’s glued to the box while your pint’s still unpoured.

Verse 5.
So proprietors all please pay heed to my call
And get rid of your carpets and mock leather seats
Throw out the oul box and replenish your stocks
For ‘tis great the demands you’ll be called on to meet
Put a sign on your door saying porter galore
No Telly, No Pool, but the best of oul jar
All night you’ll be filling and the crowds they’ll be milling
For the pleasure of swilling a pint in your bar.



Could you put up lyrics for Shelakabookie Boy (not sure of spelling)?
Always makes me cry.

Ann Slaven


Shellakabookee Boy

Every mother has a boy in the field,
And all she has to hold, is a picture of his charms
Every boy has a mother back at home,
And all he wants to do, is lie there in her arms
Every war is a war to end all wars but it never, never, does
Why? Because
Because, because, because.

Verse 1.
He was slow to walk, so she hauled him on her hip
He was heavy then, but she never let him slip
It’s no wonder it’s so hard for her to loosen her grip
On her Shellakabookee boy
Every garden snail he laid out on a plate
Don’t be shy he said, ‘ I can wait, I can wait’
Then one day all by himself he stood and opened the gate
Her Shellakabookee boy
Then she coaxed him towards the school
Found his mittens found his coat,
Edged him towards the pool
Saw him flounder, helped him float,
When at last he walked on water she went
‘My, oh! My, oh! My.


Verse 2.
Parris island’s not the place for gentle hearts
Tender mercies, trampled on, blown apart
Every homesick tear that’s shed’s, another stain on the chart
Of a Shellakabookee boy
They take everything, all your clothes, all your hair
Your dignity, every mask you’ve learned to wear
‘Til you’re naked on parade and there’s no more that they can tear
From a Shellakabookee boy
They dress you down, fuck you over
‘Til you’re sparking like a fuse
Reassemble, reassure you, march you out in your dress blues
In his arms on graduation, she goes
My, oh! My, oh! My.

Now she has no say in the matter, and a million mother’s kisses
Never stopped the unforgiving ricochets of war,
And one way or the other there’ll be tears
And when the good news or the bad comes knocking on her door,
She’ll go My, oh My, oh! My.


Hey Mick,
Thank you for the reply! As I remember, you opened the show with Silly Wizard at the “Old Church”, it was a great concert! I figured out that you played the song in DADGAD with a capo at the third fret, so key of “F”. Anyway, thank you for the wonderful music, my wife and I still listen to the album regularly. I hope you get out to Portland again, we would love to come see you perform! The Aladdin Theatre is a great venue!


S. Calvin Harvey


Jack Haggerty

Verse 1.
I’m a heartbroken raftsman from Greenville I came
And my hearts broke asunder with a lass I did feign
From the strong darts of cupid I’ve suffered much grief
And my heart’s broke asunder, I can get no relief.

Verse 2.
Of my trouble I’ll tell you without much delay
Of a sweet little lassie my heart stole away
She’s a blacksmith’s fair daughter from the flat river side
And I always intended to make her my bride.

Verse 3.
I worked on the river where the high waters roll
And my name I’ve engraved on the high rock and schoal
I’m the boy that stands happy on the dark purling stream
But my thoughts were on Molly, she haunted my dreams.

Verse 4.
I gave here fine jewels the finest of lace
The costliest muslins her form to embrace
I gave her my wages all for to keep safe
I deprived her of nothing I had on this earth.

Verse 5.
While I worked on the river I earned quite a stake
I was steadfast and steady and ne’er played the rake
O’er camp, flat, and river I’m very well known
And they call me Jack Haggerty the pride of the town.

Verse 6.
‘Til she wrote me a letter, which I did receive
And she said from her promise herself she’d relieve
For to wed to another she’d a long time delayed
And the next time I’d see her she’d no more be a maid

Verse 7.
To her mother Jane Tucker I lay all the blame
For she caused her to leave and go back on my name
For to cast of the riggings that God was to tie
And to leave me a rambler ‘til the day that I die.

Verse 8.
So come all you bold raftsmen with hearts stout and true
Don’t trust to a woman ‘cause you’re beat if you do
But if you do meet one with a dark chestnut curl
Remember Jack Haggerty and the flat river girl.


 A Chara Mick, can you post the lyrics of a song I heard you sing with Moving hearts (In St Francis Xavier hall, I think) they said he was a rebel then but is he a rebel now – can I buy a recording of this anywhere? tremendous stuff – delighted to heard your still gigging. Hopefully you’ll get up to Derry/Donegal one of these days. le dea ghui – Tony


The Terrorist Or The Dreamer

Verse 1.
In Sackville Street the curfew drove the restless out of sight
The Black and Tans marched up and down the moon shone cold and bright
The shot was like a whip crack, took the first man of his feet
He died on bloodied cobblestones, while his comrades combed the streets
They called up the reinforcements, dragged the people from their beds
They were screaming, “get the bastard” but t’was fear was in their heads
They found him in a cellar he was only seventeen
But he was fighting for his country; he was dying for the green
The sergeant took him by the head and beat him to the ground
And into this young man’s body he emptied every round
“Come and take a look,” he cried as he marched his troops away
They came in stony silence such a price to have to pay
Some knelt and prayed beside him, but t’was too late anyhow
They said he was a rebel then, but he’s a hero now.

Verse 2.
In sixty-six this country sang the praises of the dead
We didn’t call them rebels then, we used patriot instead
On every household TV screen we saw how hard they fought
How they spilled their lifeblood, how freedom had been bought
And garden gates were opened up to silent motorcades
The cannons boomed, the flags unfurled, and solemn wreaths were laid
And prayers for those departed were called for loud and clear
For those who had been outlawed, ah but that was another year
The veterans lined up stiff and proud, their white hair in the wind
Their pride pinned to their gabardines and their thoughts upon their friends
Bitter wounds burst open and the scars of history
Were flung into our faces in stark reality
Just up the road from Sackville Street, but things are different now
They said he was a rebel then but he’s a hero now.

Verse 3.
Along the falls the soldiers push with glances left and right
Kids of the English working class, soldiers overnight
Tossed into a melting pot of bitterness and strife
Never understanding and fearing for their life
Outside the Smithwicks Brewery a bomb takes two away
The bomber’s work is over he’s finished for the day
The terrorist or the dreamer the savage or the brave?
It depends whose vote you’re trying to catch
Whose face you’re trying to save
There’s tea and cake in Downing Street and whispers in the hall
There are moves to cure Rhodesia our backs are to the wall
There’s panic down in Leinster House where words are seldom scarce
Send someone to Glasnevin quick to remember Patrick Pearse
Once more his crucifixion, it all seems strange somehow
They said he was a rebel then but he’s a hero now.

Words and Music: Mick Hanly.


Note: This song was written in the late 70’s when the North of Ireland was in turmoil.
My Christian Brother’s education had left me in no doubt, but that England was indeed ‘Perfidious Albion’. I’d also been to Sean South’s funeral in Limerick as a boy, and the year long celebrations of the 1916 Rising in 1966 were still fresh in my mind…what was now exercising my thoughts, was how the Southern government and a large proportion of its citizens were differentiating between Patrick Pearse and IRA. This is a long-winded treatment of a question, which is still relevant today. The song failed in live performances, more because of length than sentiment. I performed the song with Moving Hearts about a half dozen times before it was dropped, due to its devastating effect on the gig’s momentum. The writing is naïve and ham-fisted in places, but I don’t think that diminishes the sincerity of the effort. To my knowledge, there is no recording of this song in existence.

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