Wild Rover Lyrics:  And it's No, Nay, Never!

Wild Rover lyrics are the story behind a wildly popular Irish song. It's so popular, in fact, that it's sometimes referred to as Ireland's second national anthem.

Irish Expressions - Irish Song Lyrics.  The High Kings play Wild Rover via Youtube.

The song is about a man drinking in a pub who, at the last verse, decides to change his ways and leave alcohol behind.

Things to Know About the Song

Here are some fun facts about Wild Rover lyrics.  Hopefully they will entice you to sing along next time you hear it!

  • Interestingly, it seems that The Wild Rover was intended to be a song about temperance. Most people today, however, think that the song's verse about reform is just said in jest. Its origins are funny when you consider that it is now such a popular drinking song in Ireland and around the world!
  • There is plenty of debate about whether the song is originally English or Irish. Early written copies were found around the globe in places like the United States, England and Australia.
  • Even before there were written or recorded versions of Wild Rover lyrics, it was sung around the globe. Some of the earliest singers of the song, and perhaps some of the people responsible for spreading its popularity, where fishing crews in the Atlantic who traveled extensively. 
  • The Wild Rover is now a song closely associated with soccer in Europe. At away games, the Celtic Football Club sing the song, and it is sung at many soccer games in England. The lyrics are sometimes adapted to suit the specific location or team in question.
  • While The Wild Rover has long been associated with Ireland, new audiences experience the song thanks to new recordings. Some of the notable acts who have sung The Wild Rover include The Dubliners, The Clancy Brothers, The Pogues, Burl Ives and Dropkick Murphys.

Wild Rover Lyrics

Irish expressions is about having an Irish experience, on demand, wherever you happen to be.  What better way, than to sing along? 

To help you do just that, here the Wild Rover lyrics! 

I've been a wild rover for many a year
And I've spent all my money on whiskey and beer
And now I'm returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the wild rover no more

And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more
And I'll play the wild rover
No never, no more

I went to an alehouse I used to frequent
And I told the landlady my money was spent
I asked her for credit, she answered me, "Nay"
Saying, "Custom like yours, I can have any day"

And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more
And I'll play the wild rover
No never, no more

I took from my pocket ten sovereigns bright
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight
She said, "I have whiskeys and wines of the best
And the words that I told you were only in jest"

And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more
And I'll play the wild rover
No never, no more

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done
And I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son
And when they have kissed me as oft-times before
I never will play the wild rover no more

And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more
And I'll play the wild rover
No never, no more

Songwriters: Frank Ifield / Norrie Paramor

Wild Rover lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Our Favorite Performance

We enjoy the live stage performance and audience participation from - The High Kings!

Another Version - Which Do You Like Better?

And you can't go wrong with - the Dubliners!

Want More Irish Song Lyrics?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish songs!  The music of the Emerald Isle brings people together, telling stories that touch every human emotion.

Learning the lyrics and singing these songs gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured 10 of our favorite Irish songs in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Irish Songbook."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Answer two quick questions below to get instant access!

What's Next?

Folk songs like this one are an essential part of Irish culture and heritage. Even if you're not really into folk music, these Irish melodies tell fascinating stories that take you back to special times in Ireland's long and proud history. 

Sing them, listen to them, dance to them, to celebrate Irish culture and share your personal Irish side!

For more information of this type, you may want to pay a visit to our main section on Irish Song Lyrics.

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Meanwhile, thanks for visiting!  I hope that we will meet someday, in person or online, and you can tell me about your own connection to the Emerald Isle.

Until then, best wishes -

Bruce Grady




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