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​Donegal Danny

This song is by The Dubliners and appears on the album Plain & Simple (1973) and on the album The Dubliners (1998).

I remember the night that he came in from the wintery cold and damp
A giant of a man in an oilskin coat and the bundle that told he was a tramp
He stood at the bar and he called a pint then turned and gazed at the fire
On a night like this to be safe and dry is my one and only desire.

So here's to those that are dead and gone
The friends that I loved dear
And here's to you then I'll bid you adieu
Saying Donegal Danny's been here me boys
Donegal Danny's been here

Then in a voice that was hushed and low he said: Listen I'll tell you a tale
How a man of the sea became a man of the roads and never more will set sail
I've fished out of Howth and Killybegs, Ardglass and Baltimore
But the cruel sea has beaten me and I'll end my days on the shore

One fateful night in the wind and the rain we set sail from Killybegs town
There were five of us from sweet Donegal and one from County Down
We were fishermen who worked the sea and never counted the cost
But I never thought when that night was done that my fine friends would all be lost

Then the storm it broke and drove the boat to the rocks about ten miles from shore
As we fought the tide we hoped inside to see our homes once more
Then we struck a rock and holed the bow and all of us knew that she'd go down
So we jumped right into the icy sea and prayed to God we wouldn't drown

But the raging sea was rising still as we struck out for the land
And she fought with all her cruelty to claim that gallant band
By St John's Point in the early dawn I dragged myself on the shore
And I cursed the sea for what she'd done and vowed to sail her never more

Ever since that night I've been on the road travelling and trying to forget
That awful night I lost all my friends I see their faces yet
And often at night when the sea is high and the rain is tearing at my skin
I hear the cries of drowning men floating over on the wind