On this date in 1934, singer, guitarist and founder of The Dubliners, Ronnie Drew is born in Dublin. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

‘The Rare Ould Times’
(Pete St John)

Raised on songs and stories,
Heroes of renown,
The passing tales and glories
That once was Dublin Town.
The hallowed halls and houses,
The haunting childrens rhymes
That once was Dublin City
In the rare ould times.

Ring a ring a rosey
As the light declines
I remember Dublin City
In the rare ould times.

My name it is Sean Dempsey,
As Dublin as can be
Born hard and late in Pimlico,
In a house that ceased to be.
By trade I was a cooper,
Lost out to redundancy.
Like my house that fell to progress,
My trade’s a memory.
And I courted Peggy Dignan,
As pretty as you please,
A rogue and child of Mary,
From the rebel Liberties.
I lost her to a student chap,
With skin as black as coal.
When he took her off to Birmingham,
She took away my soul.


The years have made me bitter,
The gargle’s dimmed me brain,
‘Cause Dublin keeps on changing,
And nothing seems the same.
The Pillar and the Met. have gone,
The Royal long since pulled down,
As the grey unyielding concrete,
Makes a city of my town.


Fare thee well sweet Anna Liffey,
I can no longer stay,
And watch the new glass cages,
That spring up along the Quay.
My mind’s too full of memories,
Too old to hear new chimes,
I’m part of what was Dublin,
In the rare ould times.


Posted by

Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.