Notes: This is a classic Irish ballad from the northern singing tradition. Carrickfergus is in County Antrim.
I wish I was in Carrickfergus only for a night
I would swim the deepest ocean
only for a night in Ballygrand
But the sea is wide and I cannot swim over
and neither have I but wings to fly
I wish I could meet a handsome boatman
To ferry me over, my love and I.
My childhood days bring back sad reflections
Of happy times I spent so long ago,
My boyhood friends and my own relations
Have all passed on now like melting snow.
But I'll spend my days in endless roaming,
Soft is the grass, my bed is free.
Ah, to be back now in Carrickfergus,
On that long road down to the sea.
And in Killkenny It is reported
They have marble stones there As black as ink
With gold and silver I did support her
But I'll sing no more now 'Til I've had a drink
I'm drunk today and I'm seldom sober
A handsome rover from town to town
Ah but I'm sick now
My days are numbered
Come all you young men
And I'll lay me down