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 part of Dublin in the rare ould times.

Ring a ring o' 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 Dignam, 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 me soul.

Ring a ring o' rosey, as the light declines
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times.

The years have made me bitter,
the gargle dims 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.

Ring a ring o' rosey, as the light declines.
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times.

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 a part of what was Dublin, in the rare ould times.

Ring a ring o' rosey, as the light declines.
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times.

Ring a ring o' rosey, as the light declines.
I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times.

I remember Dublin City in the rare ould times.


Lyrics submitted by Promodo

The Rare Ould Times song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentCool song, obviously contrasting Dublan of old with what it has become.
    Rebbal Aceon March 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd I courted Peggy Dignam, 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 me soul

    Is it just me or does that sound slightly racist? It's a good thing Dave King didn't write these lyrics, or I might have stopped listening to them. Some guy named Pete St. John wrote the words.
    almaniac27on June 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentno its not racist - just a metaphor, paddy reilly's version of this song is much better.
    eringobraghon June 16, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's not racist, he's just describing the person.
    bfcobblerman08on September 07, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA song about love found and lost. Nothing racist, he lost his love to another guy, and she took away his soul. Simple
    NavySkowon December 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's not racist. Describing a person's skin color isn't racist unless there is a negative adjective in there too, and their isn'e, unless you consider "coal" degradatory...

    The song is really beautiful, it's about losing your love interest and losing the love of your ever-changing city and remembering how much better everything was in the past.
    JakeLandison May 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"The Pillar and the Met have gone, the Royal long since pulled down."
    I know "the Pillar" refers to Nelson Pillar. Any ideas what "the Met" and "the Royal" are?
    pineson May 14, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"I know "the Pillar" refers to Nelson Pillar. Any ideas what "the Met" and "the Royal" are?"

    They are all buildings in Dublin, they don't refer to people.
    jimboa18on September 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIn summary, its a song about nostalgia, and coming to grips with your life in the past and how you wish you could relive it (even the bad parts) just to find your love again. Its a song about losing your innoscence, and wondering what you could have done differntly in your life. And if there was another chance to do it all agian, taking the chance would be the best thing to do. When everything of your past is out of reach, it seems that your past, your love (and yourself) are all just a distant memory.

    I'm a part of what was Dublin, In the rare ould times. . .
    woahwoahwoahon November 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd in response to the racism thing, i think "Skin as black as coal" is just a metophore, not a real description
    woahwoahwoahon November 07, 2006   Link

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