The Minstrel Boy chords & lyrics

by John McDermott

  • The music to The Minstrel Boy is set to the melody of an old Irish 'Air' called The Moreen, while the lyrics were written by Thomas Moore - an Irish singer, songwriter, poet and entertainer from Dublin, Ireland.
  • This version of the song by John McDermott is featured on his album Danny Boy.
  • Music: Key of E♭ Major in 4/4 time at 72 bpm (♩)
  • Chords: E♭, B♭, B♭7, B♭sus4, Cm, A♭, G7
  • Easier: Capo on 1 and play in D Major
  • Chords with Capo: D, A, A7, Asus4, Bm, G, F#7

The Minstrel Boy by John McDermott

Capo on 1 if playing with video

Intro: 4/4 |---♩|
   | D  A  G  A  | D  A  Bm  Bm  | G  A  D  D  | Asus4  A  D  D  |

        D         G          D  A   Bm              
1. The Min-strel boy to the war is gone 
            G        D          Asus4   A   D 
   In the ranks of death you'll   fi - ind him
        D          G            D  A  Bm             
   His fath-er's sword he has gird-ed on
            G          D      Asus4   A   D 
   And his wild harp slung be - hi - ind him


    Bm      G             A7        A           
   Land of Song! Said the war-rior bard
        Bm        D    F#7  Bm    F#7  Bm
   Tho' all the world  be - tra - ays thee
         D        G         D      A    Bm            
   One sword at least thy rights shall guard
         G        D        Asus4   A    D 
   One faith-ful harp shall pra - aise thee

Instr:
   |  D  -  G  |  D  -  Bm  |  G  -  D  |  A  -  D  |


        D         G            D   A     Bm                  
2. The Min-strel fell but the foe man's chain
               G         D       Asus4  A     D 
   Could not bring his proud soul  u –  un - der
        D        G           D   A    Bm             
   The harp he loved ne'er spoke a - gain
           G         D      Asus4  A     D 
   For he tore its chords a – su – un - der


        Bm       G          A7      A            
   And said no chains shall sul-y  thee
         Bm      D   F#7  Bm   F#7   Bm
   Thou soul of love and  bra – av’- ry
         D         G            D    A   Bm                 
   Thy songs were made for the pure and free
               G        D       Asus4  A    D 
   They shall nev-er  sound  in  sla - av’- ry


    Bm      G             A7        A           
   Land of Song! Said the war-rior bard
        Bm        D    F#7  Bm    F#7  Bm
   Tho' all the world  be - tra - ays thee
         D        G         D      A    Bm            
   One sword at least thy rights shall guard
         G        D         Asus4   A    D 
   One faith-ful harp shall  pra - aise thee

   
Outro:
   |  D  -  G  |  D  -  Bm  |  G  -  D  |  A  -  D  |

D Major

Fingers 1, 2, 3, 4 : Notes played
A column of 1's: Barre 1st finger over marked strings
Unmarked strings: Play open 
x: Don't play string

Right-Handed Chord Tabs   
          D                 G                 A                A7                 Bm               F#7
  e |---|-2-|---|   e |---|---|-3-|   e |---|---|---|   e |---|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|   e |-1-|---|---|
  B |---|---|-3-|   B |---|---|---|   B |---|-3-|---|   B |---|-3-|---|   B |-1-|-2-|---|   B |-1-|---|---|
  G |---|-1-|---|   G |---|---|---|   G |---|-2-|---|   G |---|---|---|   G |-1-|---|-4-|   G |-1-|-2-|---|
  D |---|---|---|   D |---|---|---|   D |---|-1-|---|   D |---|-1-|---|   D |-1-|---|-3-|   D |-1-|---|---|
  A |---|---|---|x  A |---|-1-|---|   A |---|---|---|   A |---|---|---|   A |-1-|---|---|   A |-1-|---|-3-|
  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|-2-|   E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |---|---|---|x  E |-1-|---|---| 
Frets 1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         1   2   3         2   3   4         2   3   4 

Left-Handed Chord Tabs 
       D                 G                 A                A7                 Bm               F#7
 |---|-2-|---| e   |-3-|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|---| e   |---|---|-1-| e   |---|---|-1-| e
 |-3-|---|---| B   |---|---|---| B   |---|-3-|---| B   |---|-3-|---| B   |---|-2-|-1-| B   |---|---|-1-| B
 |---|-1-|---| G   |---|---|---| G   |---|-2-|---| G   |---|---|---| G   |-4-|---|-1-| G   |---|-2-|-1-| G
 |---|---|---| D   |---|---|---| D   |---|-1-|---| D   |---|-1-|---| D   |-3-|---|-1-| D   |---|---|-1-| D
x|---|---|---| A   |---|-1-|---| A   |---|---|---| A   |---|---|---| A   |---|---|-1-| A   |-3-|---|-1-| A
x|---|---|---| E   |-2-|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E  x|---|---|---| E   |---|---|-1-| E
   3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         3   2   1         4   3   2         4   3   2 Frets
   

Notes

  • Level Of Ease: Fairly Easy with only a couple of barre chords
  • Song Key: E♭ Major... 3 flats- (B♭ E♭ A♭)
  • Song Key with capo on the 1st fret: D Major... 1 sharp - (F#)
  • In the Intro, the violin brings the band in with a note played on the 4th beat of the 1st bar. The band comes in on the second bar.
  • There are several chord changes in the 4 bars of Intro. If you find this a little hard, simply play the same chords as the 4 bars of instrumental breaks in the middle and end of the song.
  • A hyphen between 2 chords splits the bar count in half, therefore | D - G | in this song with 4 beats per bar means 2 beats on D and 2 beats on G... could also be written as | D / G / |.
  • | G A D / | means 1 beat on G, 1 beat on A, and 2 beats on D. This simile mark or repeat sign ( / ) means you repeat the previous chord in the same bar.
  • The song tends to start and stop and change tempo, but this is the nature of the song. John is a great Tenor, and sings the song beautifully.
Transposition if you want to play in the original key of E♭ Major:
Capo: Fret 1 (D Major) D A A7 Asus4 Bm G F#7
Original Key (E♭Major) E♭ B♭ B♭7 B♭sus4 Cm A♭ G7

John McDermott

  • Born: John Charles McDermott on the 25th March 1955 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  • Occupation: Singer, songwriter, record producer
  • Instruments: Vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar
  • Active Years: 1980 – present
  • Music Styles: Celtic music
  • Associations: The Irish Tenors, St. Michael's Choir School

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