Finnegan's Wake


Finnegan's Wake is an old Irish tune, but these words were added later for music-hall use during the Victorian era. Some Irish people have objected to them as an English inspired stereotype, but I first heard this song sung by the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, at the Gate of Horn in Chicago, in the late 50s. To me, no one was more Irish than they were. Here it is in honor of Saint Patrick's Day.
[C] Tim Finnegan lived on [Am] Walker Street
And a [F] gentle, Irishman, [G] mighty odd;
[C] He'd a beautiful brogue [Am] so rich and sweet
And to [F] rise in the world he [G] carried a [C] hod.
You see he'd a sort o' the [Am] tipplin' way
With a [C] love of the liquor poor [Am] Tim was born
And to [C] help him on with his [Am] work each day
He'd a [F] 'drop of the cray-thur' [G] every [C] morn.

[C] Whack fol the die do, [Am] dance to your partner
[F] Welt the floor, your [G] trotters shake;
[C] Wasn't it the [Am] truth I told you
[F] Lots of fun at [G] Finnegan's [C] wake!

2. One mornin' Tim was rather full
His head felt heavy which made him shake;
He fell from the ladder and broke his skull
And they carried him home his corpse to wake.
They rolled him up in a nice clean sheet
And laid him out upon the bed,
With a gallon of whiskey at his feet
And a barrel of porter at his head.

3. His friends assembled at the wake
And Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch,
First they brought in tea and cake
Then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch.
Biddy O'Brien began to cry
'Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see?
'Tim, mavourneen, why did you die?'
'Arragh, hold your gob' said Paddy McGee!
4. Then Maggie O'Connor took up the job
'O Biddy,' says she, 'You're wrong, I'm sure'
Biddy gave her a belt in the gob
And left her sprawlin' on the floor.
And then the war did soon engage
'Twas woman to woman and man to man,
Shillelagh law was all the rage
And the row and eruption soon began.

5. Then Mickey Maloney raised his head
When a noggin of whiskey flew at him,
It missed, and fallin' on the bed
The liquor scattered over Tim!
Tim revives! See how he raises!
Timothy rising from the bed,
Says,'Whirl your whiskey around like blazes
Thanum o'n Dhoul! Did you think I'm dead?'