Ar Fa La La Low

Traditional Sea Shanty

Audio clip

This example of "Ar fa la low" is performed by the Jolly Rogers
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Background notes

Quoted from The Irish Songbook:  This is well-known in the Irish and Scots Gaelic, at least in chorus and tune.  The English version bears little relation to the original as we first heard it, and although written in the early part of the century, it seems appropriate today.

There's lilt in this song I sing, there's laughter and love
There's song of the sea so blue and heaven above
Of reason there's none, no, and why should there be for why
As long as there fire in the blood and a light in the eye

Ar fa la low ha row ere fa la la le
Ar far la low ha row ere fal la la le
Ar far la low ha row ere fal la la le
Fa le fa low ha row ere fal la la le

The heather's ablaze with moon, the myrtle so sweet
There's a song in the air, the road a song at our feet
So step it along as light as a bird on the wing
And while we are stepping we' join our voices and sing

Ar fal la low, etc.

And whether the blood be high, lowland or no
and whether the skin be black or white as the snow
Of kith and of kin we are one be it right be it wrong
As long as our voices join the chorus of song

Ar fal la low, etc.