Flight of the Earls lyrics

The Wolfe Tones

I can hear the bells of Dublin
In this lonely waiting room
And the paperboys are singin' in the rain
Not too long be fore they take us
To the airport and the noise
To get on board a trans-atlantic plane
We've got nothin' left to stay for,
We had no more left to say
And there isn't any work for us to do
So farewell you boys and girls,
Another bloody Flight of Earls
Our best asset is our best export, too

It's not murder, fear or famine
That makes us leave this time
We're not going to join McAlpine's Fusileers
We've got brains, and we've got vision,
We've got education, too!
But we just can't throw away these precious years
So we walk the streets of London,
And the streets of Baltimore
And we meet at night in several Boston bars
We're the leaders of the future
But we're far away from home
And we dream of you beneath the Irish stars


As we look on Ellis Island,
And the Lady in the Bay
And Manhattan turns to face another Sunday
We just wonder what you're doing
For to bring us all back home
As we look forward to another Monday
Because it's not the work that scares us
We don't mind an honest job
And we know things will get better once again
So a thousand times adieu,
We've got Bono and U2
And all we're missin' is the Guinness, and the rain

So switch off your new computers
'Cause the writing's on the wall
We're leaving as our fathers did before
Take a look at Dublin airport,
Or the boat that leaves North Wall
There'll be no Youth Unemployment any more

Because we're over here in Queensland,
And in parts of New South Wales
We're on the seas and airways and the trains
And if we see better days,
Those big airplanes go both ways
And we'll all be comin' home to you again!

Song Details

Liam Reilly
Liam Reilly (1955-2021)

Writer: Liam Reilly - Irish singer songwriter and member of the Irish Rock band - Bagatelle.... more.

Brief: The song was written in the 80's depicting the rise in emigration from Ireland where many Irish Men and Women had to leave the land and people they loved in order to find a job.

Flight Of The Earls: The song symbolises the flight that took place in September 1607, when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and about ninety followers, left Ulster in Ireland for mainland Europe... read more.

McAlpine's Fusiliers - gangs of Irishmen who worked in the UK for a large firm called Sir Robert McAlpine Civil Engineering LTD.
Ellis Island - a federally owned island in New York Harbor that was the busiest immigrant inspection station in the United States.
Adieu: Goodbye
Bono and U2: Bono is the lead singer from the Irish rock band - U2
Guinness: dark stout beer from Ireland
North Wall: an area east of the inner north side of Dublin, along the River Liffey that contains the entire north side of Dublin Docklands.
Queensland: One of the 6 states of Australia on the north-eastern seaboard.
New South Wales: south-eastern state of Australia directly below Queensland

The WolfeTones: included the song on several albums: Sing Out For Ireland, Millennium Celebration Album, The Anthology of Irish Song.

Category: Emigration

Covers: The Wolfe Tones (featured), Bagatelle (ft, Liam Reilly), Paddy Reilly, The Dublin City Ramblers.


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