The Irish Rover

Folk song
First published in 1937
Words by the composer J. M. Crofts

First lines in the song:
On the fourth of July eighteen hundred and six
We set sail from the sweet cove of Cork
We were sailing away with a cargo of bricks
For the grand city hall in New York


The Irish Rover guitar tab and notes (pdf)

tabs tabs & notes


The Irish Rover instrumental guitar (mp3)

The Irish Rover - guitar tab, notes and lyrics

“The Irish Rover” is an Irish folk song. The origin is not fully known, but the song has been attributed to the songwriter J. M. Crofts of which little is known. The lyrics with many verses tell the story of a ship with the name of the song and begins with the ship sailing from the cove outside the British town Cork. It's uncertain when the song was first published, one source states the first source from 1937, but other sources claim older dates. The song has been recorded many times and the first occasion may have been in 1941 by David Kane.

The music transcriptions of the song with tabs and notes are available for download as PDFs. It's free for personal use only.

The Irish Rover (full accompaniment)

"The Irish Rover" for guitar with full accompaniment. Free download in pdf-file and audio.

The Irish Rover guitar accompaniment

The Irish Rover (only melody)

"The Irish Rover" tablature for guitar. This version doesn't include notes, se pdf versions above for notes.

The Irish Rover tabs

Tips on how to learn this song

Notice that some of the bars are identical, for example bar 1, bar 5 and bar 13. It's always a good idea to find repetitious segments, which makes the task for memorizing seems less overwhelming. Notice also that the key is D Major and that there aren't any notes outside the scale.

The Irish Rover (Drop D)

"The Irish Rover" in Drop D tuning (DADGBE). Free download in pdf-file.

The Irish Rover (Drop D)

Key, time, tuning and tempo

Information about "The Irish Rover" considering musical key, time signature, tuning and bpm.

Key signature music symbol


The (tab) version of The Irish Rover is played in the key of D.

Time signature music symbol

Time signature

The song is played in 4/4 tempo (counted one, two, three, four for each measure).

Tuning overview


The song is normally played in standard tuning (EADGBE).

BPM symbol and numbers

Tempo (BPM)

The tempo in beats per minute is 120 for the presented version.

Tags: Folk song, Drop D tuning