Oh, father dear, I often hear you speak of Erin's Isle,
Her lofty scenes and valleys green, her mountains rude and wild,
They say it is a lovely land wherein a prince might dwell,
Oh, why did you abandon it? the reason to me tell.
Oh, son ! I loved my native land with energy and pride,
Till a blight came o'er my crops - my sheep, my cattle died;
My rent and taxes were too high, I could not them redeem,
And that's the cruel reason that I left old Skibbereen.
Oh, well do I remember the black December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away.
They set my roof on fire with their cursed English spleen,
And that's another reason that I left old Skibbereen.
Your mother, too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
She fainted in her anguish, seeing the desolation round,
She never rose, but passed away from life to mortal dream,
And 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, you bore your father's name
I wrapt you in my cotamore at the dead of night unseen,
I heaved a sigh and bade good-bye, to dear old Skibbereen.
Oh, father dear, the day may come when in answer to the call
Each Irishman, with feeling stern, will rally one and all;
I'll be the man to lead the van beneath the flag of green,
When loud and high we'll raise the cry - "Remember Skibbereen."