“The Irish Rover” is an Irish folk song about an improbably, sailing ship which reaches an unfortunate end.
The song describes “a gigantic twenty-seven masted ship with a colourful crew and varied types of cargo in enormous amounts.”
Each verse builds from the previous verses, making the ship more extravagant and wonderous than the last verse.
After a seven-year voyage, the ship “loses its way in the fog, strikes a rock, and spins around nine times before sinking with most of the crew and the captain’s old dog aboard.”
Only in the last line is the singer revealed to be the lone survivor, leaving no one else to contradict the tale.
The song is attributed to songwriter J. M. Crofts and seems to originally have appeared in the 1966 “Walton’s New Treasury of Irish Songs and Ballads 2”.
The song has been recorded by numerous artists. Some artists have changed the lyrics over the course of time.
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