Farewell to Carlingford

Written by Tommy Makem in about 1968.  Tommy told of this being his favourite town, situated in the south-eastern most part of Northern Ireland.  I came across this song in the early 1970s on one of my most go-to favourite albums, “The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem Sing of the Sea”, 1968.  Here is a link to a YouTube presentation of that very track.  Tommy sings it in B while I prefer a full step down to A.




.         A         D                 A
When I was young and in my prime
.                  D                            A
And could wander wild and free
.                  A              E            A        F#m
There was always a longing in my mind
.     D                                  E
To follow the call of the sea

.         A             D           A          F#m
So I’ll sing farewell to Carlingford
.       A                           E
And farewell to Greenore
.            A            (A7)          D             A
And I’ll think of you both day and night
.       D                       E
Until I return once more,
.       D     E7             A
Until I return once more

On all the stormy seven seas
I have sailed before the mast
And every voyage I ever made
I swore it would be my last But I’ll…

Now I had a girl called Mary Doyle
And she lived in Greenore
And the foremost thought that was in her mind
Was to keep me safe onshore But I’ll…

Now a landman’s life is all his own
He can go or he can stay
But when the sea gets in your blood
When she calls you must obey So I’ll…