The Dubliners and The Pogues – The Irish Rover

The Dubliners and The Pogues – The Irish Rover

As well as his song writing, Shane MacGowan is to be commended for taking traditional music from the British Isles and making it exciting again. I love English folk music, but I do wish there was someone around who could inject this sort of excitement into it.

MacGowan often cites The Dubliners as one of his biggest inspirations. You can tell he’s really enjoying performing this traditional Irish song with them. At the start of the song he has a fag in one hand and drink in the other, but by the end of the song he’s copying Ronnie Drew’s hands-in-pockets stance. It’s so cute, like watching a five year old boy and his dad.

One thing to note in this tune is that the chord progressions are slightly different for the verses sung by Ronnie Drew and those sung by Shane MacGowan. The difference occurs in the last line of the verse. In MacGowan’s verses, there is a G followed by a quick D then G on ‘Rover’. In Drew’s verses, the chords go straight to D and holds it until the G at the end of the line. The instrumental verses also mix it up. The first instrumental verse follows the MacGowan chords and the second Drew’s.

Make sure you change the line, “There was awl Mickey Coote who played hard on his flute,” to, “There was awl Mickey Coote who played hard on his uke.”

View Comments


  1. zym March 14th, 2008 12:56 am

    Thanks for that – funnily enough i heard it on the radio earlier on today.

    Last night I watched the very last episode of ‘The Wire’.
    As well as being the the best TV show Ive ever seen, it also featured a sequence with The Pogues ‘The Body Of An American’ – A song that, within the show, is sung by the cops when one of their members dies.

  2. Woodshed March 14th, 2008 9:23 pm

    That’s another fantastic Pogues song. He can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.

    I never got into The Wire. By the time I found out about I’d missed too much to make sense of it.

  3. DogSolitude › Uke Tab: The Dubliners and The Pogues - The Irish Rover March 15th, 2008 8:42 pm

    […] Tab: The Dubliners and The Pogues – The Irish Rover viaUke Hunt This was written by rob. Posted on Saturday, March 15, 2008, at 12:42 pm. Filed under […]

  4. zym March 15th, 2008 11:24 pm

    I think The Wire is definately one of those shows you need to watch from the very start.

    The power of the show is such that all the people who have watched it become somewhat evangelical about it –

  5. Woodshed March 17th, 2008 9:03 am

    It looks like The Wire will have to be next on the torrent list when I’m done with Damages.

    Charlie Brooker, on the other hand, I do watch.

  6. Irish Ukulele Tabs | Uke Hunt March 17th, 2008 5:47 pm

    […] 2007 ← The Pogues – Streams of Whiskey The Dubliners and The Pogues – The Irish Rover […]

  7. aubrey August 12th, 2008 8:01 pm

    listen, don’t let me hear you call this british music ever again! this is as much british music as elvis is british music! this is the music of IRELAND!

  8. Woodshed August 12th, 2008 9:33 pm

    Aubrey: You might want to listen yourself. You didn’t hear me call it British music in the first place. What I said was, “traditional music from the British Isles.” Which is very different. The British Isles consists of , “the islands of Great Britain, Ireland and many smaller surrounding islands.”

  9. ian August 17th, 2008 12:08 am

    its irish folk music, from eire, and so is the music of pogue mahone. a totally different concept in musical rootsand expression, and my god, certainly not english………..!.

  10. Woodshed August 17th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Ian: Thanks for pointing out the bleedin’ obvious.

  11. mark November 13th, 2008 10:05 pm

    woodshed, ireland is not a british isle, northern ireland yes but not the republic which is wer these hail from, so stop tryin to class them as british, thanks

  12. Woodshed November 13th, 2008 10:15 pm

    mark: Ireland is not a British Island but IS part of the British Isles. READ HERE.

  13. mark November 14th, 2008 10:30 pm


  14. Kayla Diaz April 8th, 2009 3:13 am

    Would it be horribly lousy of me to wish this was “Love You ‘Til The End”?

  15. Desi September 15th, 2010 9:19 pm

    I love you anyway Woodshed. XD

  16. Woodshed September 20th, 2010 10:14 pm

    Desi: What do you mean, “anyway”? ;)

  17. gnort_2 February 17th, 2011 12:07 am

    It may sound silly but what is the strum patern for this song?

  18. kaizersoza November 14th, 2011 12:19 am

    just one small point Shane Mcgowan is english

  19. fran March 18th, 2012 7:58 pm

    yeah i wanna ask aswell about the strum patern, just cant figure it out…no matter if irish or english…

  20. Steve January 7th, 2013 6:13 pm

    Not only English but educated at Westminster college – posh English indeed!

    Not a member of the Pogues were Irish, anyway it’s all music of the British Isles anyway, love to see some Levellers chords up btw.

  21. Philip February 26th, 2013 7:26 pm

    Hi, i am a relative Uke beginner and I just want to know how you are doing on the strumming pattern? Just improvising along or anything fixed? I feel that I can not find the perfect match… :-(

  22. Gus June 29th, 2013 4:28 pm

    Is there anywhere I can find the tab for this not just the chords? Love the website as it pulls together so much good information.

  23. Lori March 19th, 2015 11:09 am

    Are we going to have any luck on the strum pattern?

  24. Kevin July 15th, 2015 11:29 pm

    I think its down down up

  25. Kevin July 15th, 2015 11:32 pm

    sorry down up down

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