London Irish Rifles Association

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Home Regimental History. Regimental Song Book.

LIR Songbook

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We shall start adding here the songs that have proved famous through the long and illustrious history of the London Irish Rifles.

We welcome receiving your additions to this song sheet.


THE GARRY OWEN.

The Regimental marching song was played by the Irish Brigade Pipes and Drums at the victory marches at Tunis in May 1943, and in Austria in July 1945, and at the Vatican in June and July 1944.

Let Bacchus' sons be not dismayed

But join with me, each jovial blade

Come, drink and sing and lend your aid

To help me with the chorus:

Chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale

And pay the reckoning on the nail;

No man for debt shall go to jail

From Garryowen in glory.

We are the boys who take delight,

In smashing Limerick lamps at night,

And through he street like sportsters fight,

Tearing all before all.

Chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale

And pay the reckoning on the nail;

No man for debt shall go to jail

From Garryowen in glory.

We'll break the windows, we'll break down doors,

The watch knock down by threes and fours,

And let the doctors work their cures,

And tinker up our bruised.

Chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale

And pay the reckoning on the nail;

No man for debt shall go to jail

From Garryowen in glory.

We'll beat the bailiffs out of fun,

We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run

We are the boys no man dares dun

If he regards a whole skin.

Chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale

And pay the reckoning on the nail;

No man for debt shall go to jail

From Garryowen in glory.

Our hearts so stout have got no fame

For soon 'tis known from whence we came

Where'er we go they fear the name

Of Garryowen in glory.

Chorus:

Instead of spa, we'll drink brown ale

And pay the reckoning on the nail;

No man for debt shall go to jail

From Garryowen in glory.

 


YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE.

Sung by the 2nd Battalion as they went into action on Jan 11th 1943 near to Bou Arada.

You are my sunshine my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey

You'll never know dear how much I love you, please don't take my sunshine away

The other night dear as I laid sleeping, I dreamed I held you by my side

When I awoke dear, I was mistaken and I hung my head and cry

You are my sunshine...

You told me once dear, you really loved me and no one else could come between

But now you've left me and you love another and you have shattered all my dreams

You are my sunshine...

I'll always love you and make you happy, if you will only say the same

But if you leave me to love another

You'll regret it all some day

You are my sunshine...

Please don't take my sunshine away.



THE ROSE OF TRALEE.

Sung by Rifleman (later CQMS/RQMS) Edmund O'Sullivan, who served with the 2nd Battalion from October 1939 to March 1946 and the basis on which his Regimental nickname 'Rosie' was based.

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,

The sun was declining beneath the blue sea;

When I strayed with my love to the pure crystal fountain,

That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,

Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me;

Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,

that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

The cool shades of evening their mantle were spreading,

And Mary all smiling was listening to me;

The moon through the valley her pale rays was shedding,

When I won the heart of the Rose of Tralee.

Though lovely and fair as the Rose of the summer,

Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me;

Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,

that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

In the far fields of India, 'mid wars dreadful thunders,

Her voice was a solace and comfort to me,

But the chill hand of death has now rent us asunder,

I'm lonely tonight for the Rose of Tralee.


She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,

Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me;

Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,

that made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.



D DAY DODGERS.

Sung (to the tune of 'Lili Marlene') by the 8th Army in Italy in response to a disparaging remark made in parliament by Lady Astor.

We’re the D-Day Dodgers, out in Italy!

Always on the vino, always on the spree!

Eighth Army skivers and the Yanks

We go to war, in ties like swanks

We are the D-Day Dodgers, in sunny Italy

We landed at Salerno, a holiday with pay

Jerry brought his bands out, to cheer us on our way

Showed us all the sights and gave us tea

We all sang songs and the beer was free

We are the D-Day Dodgers, the lads that D-Day dodged

Salerno and Cassino were taken in our stride

We did not go to fight there, we just went for the ride

Anzio and Sangro are just names

We only went to look for dames

We are the D-Day Dodgers, in sunny Italy

On our way to Florence, we had a lovely time

We ran a bus to Rimini through the Gothic Line

On to Bologna we did go

Then went bathing in the Po

For we are the D-Day Dodgers, over here in Italy

Looking round the hillsides, through the mist and rain

See the scattered crosses, some that bear no name

Heartbreak and toil and suffering gone

The boys beneath, they slumber on

We are the D-Day Dodgers, who’ll stay in Italy

So listen all you people, over land and foam

Even though we’ve parted, our hearts are close to home

When we return we hope you’ll say

“You did your little bit, though far away

All of the D-Day Dodgers, way out there in Italy”