The Dubliners – On Raglan Road

PDF File Download: The Dubliners – Raglan Road NAF Tab

Original Composer: Based on the poem by Patrick Kavanagh and made popular by The Dubliners.

Technical notes: Requires use of cross-fingering and an upper octave note. Play on an NAF in the key of D if you wish to accompany the original track.

About: Raglan Road started life as a poem titled “Dark Haired Miriam Ran Away” written by Patrick Kavanagh. When Kavanagh met Luke Kelly of the well known Irish band The Dubliners, he put the poem to the music of the traditional Irish song “The Dawning of the Day” (Fáinne Geal an Lae.)
I first came across the song when venturing into learning to play the violin, aided by Fiddlerman’s website and videos, and fell in love with the tune when I heard him play it. I didn’t get on very well with the violin, but his sheet music helped me to tab and enjoy playing it on NAF instead!

On Playing: One very commonly used cross-fingered note shouldn’t provide a problem, just mind the upper octave note. You can add lots of grace notes and ornaments to help give it a more Irish feel.

Listen to the track on YouTube:

On Raglan Road on an autumn day
I saw her first and knew
That her dark hair would weave a snare
That I might one day rue
I saw the danger and I passed
Along the enchanted way
And I said: ‘Let grief, be a fallen leaf
At the dawning of the day’

On Grafton Street in November
We tripped lightly along the ledge
Of a deep ravine where can be seen
Song text taken from
The worth of passion’s pledge
The Queen of Hearts still making tarts
And I not making hay
Oh I loved too much and by such
By such is happiness thrown away

I gave her gifts of the mind
I gave her the secret signs
That’s known to the artists who have known
The true gods of sound and stone
And word and tint did not stint
I gave her poems to say
With her own name there and her own dark hair
Like clouds over fields of May

On a quiet street where old ghosts meet
I see her walking now
Away from me so hurriedly
My reason must allow
That had I loved not as I should
A creature made of clay
When the angel woos the clay
He’d lose his wings at the dawn of day


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