Irish Video Skibbereen, a tale of the famine and troubles

Video Shorts at the Irish Roots Cafe #16.
Skibbereen, a tale of famine and troubles
from our house band Sean Nós Abú.

Launch of Irish Video Shorts, season two!
Today we resume our Irish Video Shorts
program. The first selections this season
are my Irish Song videos, to be followed
by Irish genealogy video shorts.

Here are my notes on todays Irish video:
Skibbereen, a tale of famine and troubles.
This song tells of the coming of the great
Irish famine and troubles that ensue.

It begins with a young boy asking his father
why they left Ireland. After all, he hears
it spoken of by his father in glowing terms
all the time.

The Reason Revealed
This opens a floodgate of descriptions
including the potato crop failure, eviction,
rebellion, and death of the childs mother.
It ends with the young man vowing to return
to Ireland, reclaiming his heritage at all

Considered the grandaddy of all famine songs
actually written near the famine era, it has
become a favorite here at the Irish Roots
Cafe. (note: Kilkelly, another favorite song,
tells of a later Irish famine, and was written
in the last half of the 20th century.)

Watch and listen to Skibbereen on our iTunes video
podcast channel here, for free:

For all of our podcast channels see the
iTunes Irish Provider Page (click below):
Here are the lyrics that I use to sing this song:

Oh, Father dear, I oft times hear you talk of Erin’s Isle,
Her lofty scenes, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,
Oh, then why did you abandon it, the reason do me tell?

Oh, son I loved my native land with energy and pride
‘Til a blight came upon my crops, and the sheep and cattle died,
The rent and taxes were so pay, I could not them redeem,
And that’s the cruel reason why, I left old Skibbereen.

Oh, It’s well I do remember, that cold December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive us all away
They set my roof on fire, with their demon yellow spleen
And that’s another reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
She fainted o’er in anguish, desolation all around.
She did not rise, but passed away, from life to immortal dream,
She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,
I could not leave you with my friends, for you bore your father’s name,
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
and heaved a sigh, and said goodbye, to dear old Skibbereen

Its well I do remember, the year of ’48
When erins sons they rose again
to battle against their fate
I was hunted through the mountains
as a traitor to the queen
And thats another reason why
I left old Skibbereen.

Oh father dear, the day will come when vengeance loud will call
and Erins sons will rally round, together one and all
and I will be the man to lead the van, beneath the flag of green
And loud and high we’ll raise the cry,
Revenge for Skibbereen!


   The #1 Celtic band in the U.S. on RN (4/25/2012)
  We have singers who specialize in Sean Nós Song,
  as well Irish Ballads in the English Language.
  Check out our band page on Reverbnation
  by clicking the picture on the left !

   Our ‘band’ name is set up as ‘Sean Nós Abu’
   Sean Nós means ‘old style’. Abu is a war cry !
   We are the house band for the Irish Roots Cafe

You can follow Sean Nós Abú on Reverbnation at:
Contact Us
You can reach the Irish Roots Cafe on Twitter; Facebook;; and by mail at our U.S. location:

The Irish Roots Cafe
Box 7575
Kansas City, Missouri 64116

Sponsors Welcome.
Remember to keep the hedgerow growing –
with your donation, subscription or membership.
– Thank you, Mike O’Laughlin

About Mike

Mike is the worlds most published author in his field, with over 40 books, 700 articles, two newsletters, a blog, 200 podcasts and 170 videos. He also publishes rare books like "The Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters" and Keatings "History of Ireland". Mike also sings in the Irish (Gaeilge) Language, with 3 albums to his credit. Mike descends from the O’Loughlins of Kilfenora, County Clare, and the O’Donahues of Glenflesk, County Kerry and also bears Sullivan, Buckley, Kilmartin, Llewellyn and Kelliher roots. He has led tours to Ireland and maintains a 3,000 volume Irish library.
This entry was posted in Video podcast and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.