Four Green Fields chords & lyrics

by Jim McCann

  • Four Green Fields was written by Tommy Makem in 1967. He was an Irish folk musician well-known for his associations with The Clancy Brothers as well as Liam Clancy of Makem and Clancy fame.
  • This version of the song is by Jim McCann from the album By Request.
  • Music: Key of G Major in 3/4 time at ~ 100 - 102 bpm (♩)
  • Song Chords: G, D, C, Em, Am, D7, Dsus2

Four Green Fields by Jim McCann

Intro: 3/4 
   |    G    |... x 6

    G    D     G                 C       G
1. What did I have___ Said the fine old wo-man
    G    D     G             C       Am          D  | Dsus2  |
   What did I have___ This proud old wo-man did say
          G     D     Em       G        C     D | Dsus2  |
   I had four green fields___ Each one was a jew-el
         G     D   Em           C       Am            D  | Dsus2  |
   But strang-ers came___ And tried to take them from me
          G     D     Em            G        C       D  | Dsus2  |
   I had fine strong sons___ They fought to save my jew-els
          C    D7        G   Em      G            D       | G  | G  | G  | G  |
   They fought and they died___ And that was my grief said she

    G    D     G               C       G
2. Long time a-go___ Said the fine old wo-man
    G    D     G            C       Am          D  | Dsus2  |
   Long time a-go___ This proud old wo-man did say
              G   D   Em        G       C       D  | Dsus2  |
   There was war and death___ Plund-er-ing and pill-age
        G    D    Em            C        Am          D  | Dsus2  |
   My child-ren starved___ By mount-ain vall-ey and sea
              G    D   Em              G         C     D  | Dsus2  |
   And their wail-ing cries___ They reached the ver-y heav-ens
       C    D7     G   Em       G               D       | G  | G  | G  | G  |
   My four green fields___ Ran red with their blood said she

    G    D      G               C       G
3. What have I now___ Said the fine old wo-man
    G    D      G            C       Am          D  | Dsus2  |
   What have I now___ This proud old wo-man did say
           G     D     Em       G       C        D  | Dsus2  |
   I have four green fields___ One of them's in bond-age
        G     D    Em            C       Am          D  | Dsus2  |
   In strang-er's hands___ Who tried to take it from me
           G    D    Em          G       C          D  | Dsus2  |
   And my sons have sons___ As brave as were their fath-ers
       C    D7     G   Em          G           D       | G  | G  |
   My four green fields____ Will bloom once a-gain said she
       C    D7     G   Em          G           D         C  |  G  |
   My four green fields____ Will bloom once a-gain said she...

G Major

Numbered Circles: Chord fingering - number inside circle indicates which finger to use
Unmarked strings: Play open
X: Don't play string
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings
R: Root Note

Right Handed Charts:

Left Handed Charts:

Notes:

  • Level Of Ease: Easy
  • Song Key: This version of the song is in the key of G major (1 sharp - F#)
  • 3/4 time: This means 3 quarter-note/ crotchet beats per bar, therefore the count is
    | 1 2 3 | or |1& 2& 3& | or in this case where you are playing a hammer-on hammer-off on the the 3rd beat of the bar | 1& 2& 3&& | etc.
  • Tempo: approximately 100 - 102 BPM.
  • The Intro | G |... x6 can be played as | G / G-h |... x 6 where you hammer on and off on the 3rd beat of each bar.
  • The same applies to the end of verses 1 & 2 where there are 4 bars of the G chord. Instead of playing | G | G | G | G | - you can play | G | G / G-h | G | G |
  • h means to hammer-on: you bring your finger(s) down on the fingerboard sharply, causing a note or chord to sound. To hammer-off is to simply lift your finger off after a hammer-on creating a small trill. In this instance, the hammer-on and hammer-off occurs on the & of the 3rd beat of the bar which is played on the C-note located on the 1st fret-string 2. (xxxx1x)
  • In this example you will count the bar as 1& 2& 3&& - the && is played in the same time as &.

    | G / G-h | is actually | G (1&)    G (2&)     G (3) hammer-on C note (&) hammer-off C note (&) |

    This means that you play G for 2 beat counts and the 3rd beat count is split in 3 so that the hammer-on-off actually occurs on the && of 3&&, with the 3 being an open G chord played with fingers 2,3 and 4 while finger 1 plays the hammer-on (C note) & hammer-off (C note).

    Play it slowly counting the beats as you go... you will hear this if you are playing with the video.
  • You don't have to play the hammer on. It provides a bit of interest and it teaches you a little more about guitar technique.
  • If you are not playing with the video, you don't have to play the 4 bars of G at the end of verses 1 & 2 - you may prefer 2 bars.
  • I have added a Dsus2 which is included in the video. Again you can just continue with a D chord or you can spice it up a bit using a Dsus4. Whichever chord you decide on, it will still sound fine.

Jim McCann

Jim McCann

Born: James McCann on the 26th October 1944 in Dublin, Ireland

Died: 5th March, 2015 (aged 70)

Occupation: Musician

Instruments: Vocals, guitar

Active Years: 1964–2015

Music Styles: Folk

Jim McCann

Logo Four Green Fields is featured on the album - By Request

Back to Irish Folk Songs

Contact Me


 RSS Icon