Garryowen in glory


Let Bacchus’ sons be not dismayed
But join with me each jovial blade
Come booze and sing and lend your aid
To help me with the chorus

Instead of spa we’ll drink brown ale
And pay the reckoning on the nail
For debt no man shall go to gaol (jail)
From Garryowen in glory

We are the boys that take delight in
Smashing Limerick lamps when lighting
Through the street like sportsters fighting
And tearing all before us

We’ll break the windows, we’ll break the doors
The watch knock down by threes and fours
Then let the doctors work their cures
And tinker up our bruised

We’ll beat the bailiffs out of fun
We’ll make the mayor and sheriffs run
We are the boys no man dares dun
If he regards a whole skin

Our hearts so stout have got us fame
For soon ’tis known from whence we came
Where’er we go they dread the name
Of Garryowen in glory

Johnny Connell’s tall and straight
And in his limbs he is complete
He’ll pitch a bar of any weight
From Garryowen to Thomondgate

Garryowen is gone to rack
Since Johnny Connell went to Cork
Though Darby O’Brien leapt over the dock
In spite of judge and jury

Limerick 1

Songs of Limerick


In medieval times Garryowen was located just outside the Irishtown area of the walled city of Limerick. The name derives from Gaelic meaning ‘Eoin’s garden’. That was the base for the 5th Royal Irish Lancers, and the song was associated with the Lancers’ drinking escapades. Poet Thomas Moore wrote the words around 1807.
General George Armstrong Custer was very impressed when heard the song performed by his Irish troops. In 1867, he adopted the tune as the official marching song of the Seventh Cavalry. It was the last song played for Custer’s men as they rode out to defeated on 25th June 1876 at the Battle of Little Bighorn. The arrangement for flute differs slightly from the drinking song arrangement





Thomas Moore