Donegal Danny


I remember the night that he came in from the wintery cold and damp
A giant of a man in an oilskin coat and a bundle that told he was a tramp
He stood at the bar and called a pint and turned and gazed at the fire
On a night like this, to be safe and dry is my one and only desire

So here’s to those that are dead and gone
The friends that I love dear
And then here’s to you, and I’ll bid you adieu
Saying Donegal Danny’s been here me boys
Donegal Danny’s been here

Then, in a voice that was hushed and low, he said listen, I’ll tell you a tale
How a man of the sea became a man of the roads, never more to set sail
I’ve fished out of Howth and Killybegs, Ardglass and Baltimore
But the cruel sea, it has beaten me, I’ll end my days on the shore

One fateful night in the wind and the rain, we set sail from Killybegs town
There were five of us from Donegal and one from County Down
We were fishermen who worked the sea and never counted the cost
But I never thought ‘ere that night was done, that my fine friends would be lost

When the storm it broke, it drove the boat to the rocks ‘bout ten miles from shore
We fought the tide and we hoped inside to see our homes once more
We struck a rock and holed the bow and all of us knew she’d go down
We jumped into the icy sea and prayed to God we wouldn’t drown

But the raging sea, it was rising still, as we struck out for the land
She fought with all her cruelty, to claim that gallant band
By St John’s point in the early dawn I dragged myself onto the shore
And I cursed the sea for what she’d done and vowed to sail her never more

Ever since that night, I’ve been on the road travelling and trying to forget
That awful night I lost all my friends, I see their faces yet
And often at night when the sea is high and the rain is tearing at me skin
I hear the cries of drowning men floating on the wind

Donegal 1

Songs of Donegal


Clip – Brendan Moriarity



Song Themes

Songs of the sea