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St Johnston & Carrigans

Songs and Poems related to St Johnston and Carrigans

The Strabane Fleet

(a song sang to the Air of Limerick is Beautiful)

Words Unknown


Come all you jolly seamen bold

That plough the raging main,

Give an ear unto my tragedy

And I'll relate the same.

Our Shamrock slowly moved off,

And I in her did go;

That very night at six o' clock

The stormy winds did blow.


Her steaming works remained untouched

For two long hours or more,

She logged and heaved most dangerously

Not very far from shore.

Her cabin windows were all broke,

There scarcely was left one.

When the Mate cries to the Captain

'Sir, we'll never reach Strabane.'


When we came to the New-bridge,

No danger did we fear;

Our captain he stood on the deck

And told me for to steer.

'Oh, it's steer your helm and port, my boy,

With your bows towards the lan',

For I think we'' have rough weather

Before we reach Strabane'.


The raging seas rolled mountains high,

No mercy from the wave;

We expected every minute

That we'd find a watery grave.

The second shock the Shamrock got

All hands were bound to cry:

'May the Lord have mercy on our souls,

For near Prehan we lie'.


We took our way to Carrigans,

No danger did we fear,

But looking towards St Johnston

No lighthouse did appear.

The raging seas rolled mountains high

And the wind was blowing strong, 

When the Mate cries to the Captain:

'Sir!  Oh, yonder's Dunalong!'

Oh!  it's Dunalong, that seaport town,

If we were landed there,

We would have the best of harbour,

And no danger might we fear.

We'll steer our course for Dunalong,

For I think it's our best plan

Or else the Shamrock might be lost from

The fleet bound for Strabane.


The wind it changed to the North-West,

And dreadful was the night,

We looked out towards Porthall,

but we could see no light.

It's 'count your men' the Captain cried,

'For I think we've lost M'Shane'.

It was a dreadful passage

in the Fleet bound for Strabane.


The crew being hearty all the way,

They sang an old sea song;

'Oh, Molly, I love your daughter -

I love no other one'.

The wind it changed to the North-East,

And then came on a squall:

All the grub we had on board

Was a bottle of castor oil.


Thank God we landed in Strabane,

No danger do we fear:

We'll drink a health to seamen bold

And brave, while we lie here.

When looking over Derry Bridge

There is nothing half so gran'

As to view the fleet that sails the deep

From Derry to Strabane.


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