The Rocky Road To Dublin slip jig

Also known as An Bairille, An Botar Sgreagmar Go Baile-Ata-Cliat, An Bothar Carrach Go Baile Atha Cliath, Black Burke, Promenade Side-step, Promenade Step, The Rocky Road.

There are 68 recordings of a tune by this name.

The Rocky Road To Dublin has been added to 932 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Six settings

X: 1
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
efe d2B ~A3|E2A A2A Bcd|efe d2B A2c|B2G G2A Bcd:|
e2a a2f ~g3|e2a a2f g2d|e2a a2f g2e|d2B G2A Bcd|
e2a a2f ~g3|e2a a2A Bcd|efg fga g2e|d2B G2A Bcd||
ABC
X: 2
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: efe d2 B A2 c | e2 A A2 A Bcd |
|: e2 a a2 f g2 g | e2 a a2 A Bcd |
ABC
X: 3
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
[2 e2 g f2 a g2 e | d2 B G2 A Bcd ||
ABC
X: 4
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
|: e2 a a2 g a2 g | e2 a a3 g2 e |\
ABC
X: 5
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ador
(3 efe dB AG | EA AB cd | (3 efe dB Ac | BG GG Bd |
(3 efe dB AG | EA AB cd | (3 efg fa ge | dB GA Bd :|
|: ea af gg | ea aA Bd | ea af ge | dB GA Bd |
ea af gg | ea af ga | bb af ge | dB GA Bd :|
|:(3 efe dB cA | eA cA Bd | (3 efe dB cA | BG GG Bd |
(3 efe dB cA | eA cA Bd | (3 efg fa ge | dB GA Bd :|
ABC
X: 6
T: The Rocky Road To Dublin
R: slip jig
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
K: Ddor
AAA G2E DDD | A,2D D2E F2G | AAA G2E D2F | E2C C2D EFG :|
A2d d2B cBc | A2d d3 DEG | A2d d2B cBA | G2E C2D EFG |
A2d d2B cBc | A2d d2B c3 | A2d d2B cBA | G2E C2D EFG |
A2A G2E D3 | A,2D DDE F2G | AAA G2E D2F | E2C C2D EFG | AAA G2E D3 ||
ABC

Thirty-two comments

The air of a well-known song, although singers tend to throw in a few extra beats here and there to accommodate the words, which tends to throw the musicians trying to accompany them. Be warned. I’ve heard this played (as a slip-jig) with a third part as well.

Rocky Road to Dublin

Does anyone know the words to this song? If they do, I would be grateful if you could post them.

Beware… a folk song is about to be perpetrated

In the Merry Month of May
From me home I started
Left the Girls of Tuam
Sad and Broken hearted
Saluted Father dear
Kissed my darlin Mother
Drank a Pint of beer
Me tears and grief to smother
In a brand-new pair o’ Brogues
I rattled o’er the bogs
and Frightened all the Dogs
on the Rocky road to Dublin

1 2 3 4 5
Hunt the Hare and turn her
down the Rocky road
and all the way to Dublin
Whack fol lol de ra.


etcc….

Rocky Road

An old favourite of the "Dubliners", but if you want an alternative version, listen to Ged Foley sing it with "The House Band".

Posted by .

Rocky Road to Dublin

Do you know the rest of the song? You only gave the first verse and the corous.

Rocky Road to Dublin, set?

Im interested to know what you guys put in a set with Rocky Road to Dublin. I recently put it with a jig called lanigans ball and a reel called sleepy maggie and it works pretty well.

Re: Rocky Road to Dublin, set?

hi mate,
i cant remember what we end up playing it with, but i have a track by Gaelic Storm that plays it with the Kid On The Mountain afterwards.

it sounds alright!
andy

Re: Rocky Road to Dublin, set?

i’ve heard people put The Morning Dew with it.

Johnathan

Lyrics

Here are the lyrics as I sing ‘em:

All in the merry month of May,
from me home I started,
Left the girls o’ Tuam
nearly broken-hearted
Saluted father dear,
kissed me darling mother
Drank a pint o’ beer,
me grieves and tears to smother,
then off to reap the corn,
leave where I was born
Cut a stout blackthorn,
to banish ghost and goblins
[In a] brand new pair of brogues,
I rattled o’er the bogs,
a-frightenin’ all the dogs,
on the rocky road to Dublin

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Hunt the hare and turn her down
The rocky road and all the way to Dublin
A-whack-fa-lal-de-rah

In Mullingar that night
I rested limbs so weary
Started by daylight,
next morning bright and early
Took a drop o’ the pure,
tae keep me heart from sinkin’
That’s the Paddy’s cure,
Whenever he’s on the drinkin’
Now see the lassies smile,
Laughing all the while,
At me curious style,
‘Twould set your heart a-bubblin’
Asking was I hired,
Wages I required
‘Til I was almost tired
Of the rocky road to Dublin

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …

In Dublin next arrived,
I thought it such a pity
To be so soon deprived
A view o’ that fine city
When I took a stroll,
all among the quality,
me bundle it was stolen
in that neat locality
A something crossed me mind
When I looked behind
Nay bundle I could finde
Upon me stick a-wobblin’
Inquiring for the rogue,
They said me Connacht brogue
It wasn’t much in vogue
On that rocky road to Dublin

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …

From there I got away,
Me spirits never failing
Landed on the quay
Just as the ship was sailing
Captain at me roared,
Said that nay had he,
When I jumped aboard,
A cabin found for Paddy’s
Doon among the pigs,
I played some funny rigs,
I danced some hearty jigs
The water ‘round me bubblin’
Off to Hollishead(?),
Wished meself was dead,
Or better far instead
On the rocky road to Dublin

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 …

The boys of Liverpool,
when I safely landed,
called meself a fool
I could no longer stand it,
blood began to boil,
me temper I was losing
poor old Erin’s isle
they began abusing
"Hurrah me soul!" says I
Shillelagh I let fly,
Some Galway boys were nigh,
Saw I was a-wobbelin’
With a loud "Hurray!"
They joined in the afray
We quickly cleared the way,
For the rocky road to Dublin

1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Hunt the hare and turn her down
The rocky road, and all the way to Dublin
A-whack-fa-lal-de-rah

Posted by .

Rocky road to Dublin

In the fourth verse, the name is ‘Holyhead’ - it’s a port on the Welsh island of Anglesey that the Dublin to Liverpool packet used to sail past.

Posted by .

Rocky road to dublin

The last bit of the last verse is wher he’s after getting into a fight with some liverpool lads and it sys" some Galway boys were by saw i was a swobbling =" which is an old word for fightin in Irish.

You can’t beat Luke kelly for singing that song and i’d wrestle any man to the gropund who thinks otherwise.
He’s a LEGEND….

Listen again…….

Luke Kelly most certainly never sang “swobble”. “Swobble” doesn’t seem to exist in the meaning you ascribe to it. Can you direct me to any English or Irish dictionary where “swobble” means “fighting” as you say? The lyric is “saw I was a hobble in”. Do a google search for “rocky road to Dublin lyric” and check it out for yourself. Then do a search for “hobble” – one of the definitions is “ an awkward situation”, and that’s what yer man was in.
By the way, Jacqui McCarthy has a 3rd part for this. I’ll post it if anyone’s interested.

Posted by .

Any tabs for this on the 5 string to be had

I’d be grateful for the tab for the aforementioned, for the 5 string, thanks.
Swobble. heh heh.

Rocky road to dublin

recently heard a great jazzed up version of song by Canadian group McDades on 2002 Cd "for reel". check it out!

Perhaps….

Perhaps instead of "swobbling" you may have heard something like "squabbling" although the inferred meaning seems a bit less severe than the context leads me to believe. To my ear the word in question sounds like "hobbling".

Oh and….

A very very similar slipjig is #1116 by the same name in O’Niels.

But I wonder if it is actually the same piece transposed into some mode of the key of "A" because it also begins on "E" and the notes are as though altered to fit the mixolydian mode, which seems a little unusual for Irish music.

The two are so similar I that I tend to think it’s either an editorial error or simply a less popular variation. Has anyone ever run into this?

Roche II, page 25, tune #257 “The Rocky Road to Dublin”

"The Roche Collection of Traditional Irish Music, Volume II", 1912
"Hop Jigs" ~ pages 24 – 28

X: 2
T: Rocky Road To Dublin, The
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: Ador
|: efe d2 B A2 c | e2 A A2 A Bcd |
efe d2 B A2 c | B2 G G2 A Bcd :|
|: e2 a a2 f g2 g | e2 a a2 A Bcd |
[1 e2 a a2 f g2 e | d2 B G2 A Bcd :|
[2 efg agf gfe | dBG G2 A Bcd |]

“The Rocky Road” ~ weren’t they all ‘rocky’ back in 1905? :-/

X: 3
T: Rocky Road, The
S: "Stanford/Petrie: Complete Collection", 1905, page 139, #548
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: Ador
e2 c d2 B A3 | E2 A A2 B c2 d |
[1 e2 c d2 B A2 c | B2 G G2 A Bcd :|
[2 e2 g f2 a g2 e | d2 B G2 A Bcd ||
e2 a a2 ^g a3 | e2 a a2 f ged |
e2 a a2 f g2 e | d2 B G2 A Bcd |
e2 a a2 g g3 | e2 a a2 f g2 a |
b2 g a2 f g2 e | d2 B G2 A Bcd |]

Squabbling over words…

"Squabble" means to fight… I suspect that might be the correct term.

“The Rocky Road to Dublin” / ‘promenade side-step’ ~ Michael Gorman

X: 4
T: Rocky Road to Dublin, The
S: Michael Gorman
M: 9/8
L: 1/8
R: slip jig
K: Ador
Bcd |:\
e2 A A3 GED | E2 A A2 B c2 d |\
e2 A A3 GED | E2 G G2 F G2 B :|
|: e2 a a2 g a2 g | e2 a a3 g2 e |\
d2 g g2 f g3 | a2 g g2 e d2 g :|

Version with 3rd Part

Here’s the version from Tommy Keane and Jacqueline McCarthy - The Wind Among The Reeds - with the 3rd part mentioned by Kenny. I’ve notated it in 3/4 rather than 9/8 to give a better feel for how they play it as a hop jig. If you want to play it as groups of triplets instead of as written, just lengthen the first of each pair of 8th notes a bit.

Kenny - I’d be interested to see the version you have from Jacqui.

X: 5
T: The Rocky Road to Dublin
M: 3/4
S: The Wind Among the Reeds, Track 15
R: Hop Jig
K: Ador
(3 efe dB AG | EA AB cd | (3 efe dB Ac | BG GG Bd |
(3 efe dB AG | EA AB cd | (3 efg fa ge | dB GA Bd :|
|: ea af gg | ea aA Bd | ea af ge | dB GA Bd |
ea af gg | ea af ga | bb af ge | dB GA Bd :|
|:(3 efe dB cA | eA cA Bd | (3 efe dB cA | BG GG Bd |
(3 efe dB cA | eA cA Bd | (3 efg fa ge | dB GA Bd :|

I always have loved this slip jig as a song…but it’s super hard to dance to, especially if it is played right after another slip jig tune.
Anyway I’m glad I found the sheet music.

the Rocky Road rocks

rocky road to dublin

PJ Mcgorvin is pre-occupied with wether it is in a mode of a or mixalodian which he claims is unusual in ( irish ) music, mixylodian is quite common, as are the dorian modes and also the plain natural minors or aeoleon mode as it is also known. off course which key you play it in is dependant on the capabilities of your instrument and ones own ability to play in different modes keys . it seems to be a tune related in some way to the slipjig the Butterfly who knows which came first ,it doesn’t really matter,does it ? like this comment it’s irrelevant

Rocky Road to Dublin

This is an Irish version of a very old Scotch/Border tune in 3/2 called "A Hornpipe" which first appears in 1625. There are many other later versions from Scotland and Northern England called "Key To the Cellar", "Bobbing Joan" (John), "Stoney Batter", "Pawkie Adam Glen" and it was given words in I think 1715, as a rude Jacobite song called "Come Ye O’er From France" which refers to King George going into a brothel.

Key to the Cellar

Thanks for that linkage, John Offord — I’m just getting into learning some 3/2s, and I see where you’re getting the connection to Key to the Cellar. Here’s a video of a ballroom dancing to the tune (warning, period wigs ensue): http://youtu.be/1_UEMm2XfbU

Key to the Cellar

A Caledonian gentleman told me that the song "Come Ye o’er"… is not in fact about a visit to a brothel, but about some Scottish Lairds coming to London after the Act of Union in 1707. The "Kittel Housie" in the song is in fact St James Palace in London. The Lairds mock the affected manners of the courtiers and the only very rude remark is about one of the ladies called "The Goosie" , because of her long neck. This might be one of King George’s mistresses, but I do not know.