Oh, Father, dear, I often hear you speak of Erin’s isle
Her lofty scenes, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a lovely land, wherein a prince might dwell
Oh why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell.
My son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
Till the blight came over all my crops, my sheep and cattle died
My rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem
That’s the cruel reason I left old Skibbereen.
It’s well I do remember the year of ‘98
When I arose a Fenian to battle against our fate
I was hunted through the mountains as a traitor to the Queen
That’s another reason I left old Skibbereen.
It’s well I do remember the cold November day
When the landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
They set our roof ablaze in fire with their damning yellow spleen
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, the desolation round
She never rose but passed away from life to mortal dream
She found a grave and place of rest in dear old Skibbereen.
You were only two months old, and feeble was your frame
I could not leave you with my friends, you bore your father’s name
I wrapped you in my cótamór, at the dead of night unseen
We heaved a sigh and bid goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.
Oh father, dear, the day will come when on vengeance we will call
When Irishmen both stout and stern will rally one and all
I’ll be the man to lead the van, beneath the flag of green
And loud and high we’ll raise the cry, “Revenge for Skibbereen.”