You rambling roving Irishmen, I hope you will draw near,
These few and true verses I mean to let you hear,
It’s all about that awful wreck I’ll have you to beware,
That occurred in the coast of Ireland, in Quilty, Co. Clare.
On the fourth day of October it being 1907,
A French crew and their captain were praying to God in Heaven,
Their ship she struck upon a rock and soon she sprang a leak,
The captain raised a signal high as he was drowning in the deep.
Those brave fishermen from Quilty town knew what this signal meant,
And for the lives of human flesh, it made them discontent,
To cross the wild and stormy foam, across it did go,
Without dread or fear they gave three cheers, we’ll man our own canoes.
There was eighteen men in six canoes with Pat Boyle in the lead,
To save those sinking sailors, with him they all agreed,
They pulled and tugged with all their might, across the stormy foam,
Three miles out to that wrecked crew, three miles from house and home.
And yet they pulled with all their might, alas I must regret,
Clancy, Connors and Tom Stack their boat it got upset,
Dashing flashing like three fishes, they swam right through the deep,
Until their comrades picked them up, those heroes true and brave,
And took them in their own canoes where sailors called aloud,
You brave fishermen from Quilty town, your nation ought be proud.
They save the captain and twelve men from the sinking ship – The Leon,
And took them in their own canoes to our little isle so green,
Where beverage flowed spontaneously, like music of Irish tunes,
Just as the tunes our fathers played, the Enniskillen and Clare’s Dragons.
I now must drop my feeble pen, you see I am no poet,
It was not for gold or silver these few true lines I wrote,
But as I read of those fishermen I could not well surpass,
So help me boys and give three cheers for the men of Quilty cross.