“Fish and Chips (Down by the Liffey Side)”


John and Mary stop at Rabiotti's for fish and chips. They walk down George's Street. Mary plays Rule Britannia on her melodeon, then "The Soldier's Song." Sunday they plan to marry "with the whole afternoon for our honeymoon Down by the Liffey's side"


The Liffey River runs about 80 miles from County Wicklow through Dublin to Dublin Bay. - BS

Peadar Kearny wrote, among other things, the Irish national anthem "The Soldier's Song" and "Whack Fol the Diddle (God Bless England)." For more on him, see the notes to "Whack Fol the Diddle (God Bless England)."

There is an interesting note in Harte, saying that most people "have a verse or two" of this, but not the whole song. And, indeed, Ben's description of the song (which I augmented) misses much of the text as given by Harte, including Mary's shift from playing "Rule Britannia" to playing "The Soldier's Song." Kearney's original text (with its not-so-subtle reference to his own most famous piece) is thus rather political, but it appears that the song as it has gone into tradition is much less so. - RBW

Cross references


  1. OLochlainn-More, pp. 249-250, "Fish and Chips" (1 text, tune referenced)
  3. ADDITIONAL: Frank Harte _Songs of Dublin_, second edition, Ossian, 1993, p. 13, "Down by the Liffey Side" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. BI, OLcM249


Author: Peadar Kearney
Earliest date: 1965 (OLochlainn-More)
Found in: Ireland