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.”