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– May 8, 2015

You will see some variation among singers, but I believe these the standard. Some vocabulary and comments follow the lyrics.


Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin street,
A gentleman Irish, mighty odd.
He had a brogue both rich and sweet
And to rise in the world he carried a hod.
You see he'd a sort of a tipplin' way
With a love for the liquor he was born.
And to help him on his way each day,
He'd a drop of the craythur ev'ry morn.

Whack fol' the dah, now, dance to your partner.
Wipe the floor, your trotters shake.
wasn't it the truth I told ya?
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake.

One morning Tim was rather full;
His head felt heavy, which made him shake.
He fell from a ladder and he broke his skull
And they carried him home, his corpse to wake.
They rolled him up in a nice, clean sheet
and laid him out upon the bed
With a gallon of whiskey at his feet
And a bottle of porter at his head.

(Repeat Chorus)

His friends assembled at the wake
And Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch.
First she brought in tay and cake,
Then pipes, tobacco, and whiskey punch.
Biddy O'Brien began to cry,
"Such a nice clean corpse did you ever see?"
"Arragh, Tim, mavourneen! Why did you die?"
"Arragh, hold yer gob!" says Paddy McGee.

(Repeat Chorus)

Then Maggie O'Connor took up the job.
"Oh Biddy," says she, "you're wrong, I'm sure."
Biddy gave her a belt in the gob
And left her sprawling on the floor.
Then the war did soon engage;
'Twas woman to woman and man to man.
Shillelagh law was all the rage
And a row and a ruction soon began.

(Repeat Chorus)

Then Mickey Maloney ducked his head
When a noggin of whiskey flew at him.
It missed, and falling on the bed
The whiskey scattered over Tim.
Tim revives, see how he rises!
Timothy risin' from the bed!
Says' "Whirl your whiskey 'round like blazes,"
"Thanum an Dhul! Do ye think I'm dead?"

(Repeat Chorus)


Some glosses (mostly from the wikipedia page on the song):

  • hod: a tool for carrying bricks; also a slang term for a tankard or drinking vessel
  • tippler's way: a tippler is a drunkard
  • craythur: whiskey
  • whack fol' the dah: a nonsense phrase used in tradition Irish lyrics
  • trotters: feet
  • full: drunk
  • mavoureen: my darling
  • gob: mouth
  • Shillelagh law: a brawl
  • ruction: a fight
  • bedad: an expresseion of shock
  • thanam an Dhul": "your soul to the devil"

Major usages in the Wake:

You can see elements from the first stanza scattered through the second paragraph on page 4.

The end of the second stanza is readily seen at 6.26-28.