When Irish Eyes Are Smiling chords & lyrics

The Heart of Irish Music - 2 versions

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling is a song that captures the essence of the Irish in every way. The lyrics were written by Chauncey Olcott & George. Graff Jr., and the music was written by Ernest R. Ball... more

2 versions: The first version of the song is performed by Mary Duff, a popular Irish singer from County Donegal, Ireland. She only sings the chorus as do most recordings because it is the most popular part of the song. The second version is by Meav Ni Mhaolchatha (original member of Celtic Woman), which includes one of the verses.

Version 1 - Mary Duff

Music: Key of G Major in 3/4 time at ~ 94 bpm (♩) with chords: G, G7, C, D, D7, A, Am, A7, E7
Featured Artist: Mary Duff from the album Time After Time
  • G: 320003
  • C: x32010
  • D7: xx0212
  • Am: x02210
  • E7: 020100 / 020130
  • G7: 320001
  • D: xx0232
  • A: x02220
  • A7: x02020 / x02223
  • chord charts below...
Mary Duff

Born: Meath, Ireland.

Occupation: Singer

Instruments: Vocals, piano

Active Years: 1987 – present

Music Styles: Country, Folk

Associationss: Daniel O'Donnell

Wikipedia: Mary Duff

Official Website: maryduff.net

Charts

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Mary Duff
           
Intro: 3/4 |  C  |  Am  |  G  |  E7  |  A7  |  D  |  G  |  Am  |   
                
     G       D        G      G7              C               G
When I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure, it’s like a morn in Spring
        C      Am       G      E7           A       A7       D   D7
In the lilt of I-rish laugh-ter___ You can hear the an-gels sing
     G        D         G    G7            C                     G
When I-rish hearts are hap-py___ All the world seems bright and gay
         C       Am       G      E7             A7         D7      G    G7
And when I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure they steal your heart a-way


Instr: |  C  |  Am  |  G  |  E7  |  A  |  A7  |  D  |  D7  |


     G        D         G    G7            C                     G
When I-rish hearts are hap-py___ All the world seems bright and gay
         C       Am       G      E7             A7         D7      G
And when I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure they steal your heart a-way...

G 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
Optional Note (4): If you don't play optional note, do play string
alt: alternative chord voicing

Right-Handed Chord Tabs  
           G                 G7                  C                  D                 D7 
    e|---|---|-3-|     e|-1-|---|---|     e|---|---|---|     e|---|-2-|---|     e|---|-3-|---|
    B|---|---|---|     B|---|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|---|---|-3-|     B|-1-|---|---|
    G|---|---|---|     G|---|---|---|     G|---|---|---|     G|---|-1-|---|     G|---|-2-|---|
    D|---|---|---|     D|---|---|---|     D|---|-2-|---|     D|---|---|---|     D|---|---|---|
    A|---|-1-|---|     A|---|-2-|---|     A|---|---|-3-|     A|---|---|---|x    A|---|---|---|x
    E|---|---|-2-|     E|---|---|-3-|     E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x
Frets  1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3

           A                 Am                  A7              A7 (alt)             E7 
    e|---|---|---|     e|---|---|---|     e|---|---|---|     e|---|---|-2-|     e|---|---|---|
    B|---|-3-|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|---|-3-|---|     B|---|-1-|---|     B|---|---|(4)|
    G|---|-2-|---|     G|---|-3-|---|     G|---|---|---|     G|---|-1-|---|     G|-1-|---|---|
    D|---|-1-|---|     D|---|-2-|---|     D|---|-1-|---|     D|---|-1-|---|     D|---|---|---|
    A|---|---|---|     A|---|---|---|     A|---|---|---|     A|---|---|---|     A|---|-2-|---|
    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|
Frets  1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3

Left-Handed Chord Tabs 
          G                 G7                  C                  D                 D7
    |-3-|---|---|e     |---|---|-1-|e     |---|---|---|e     |---|-2-|---|e     |---|-3-|---|e
    |---|---|---|B     |---|---|---|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |-1-|---|---|B     |---|---|-1-|B
    |---|---|---|G     |---|---|---|G     |---|---|---|G     |---|-1-|---|G     |---|-2-|---|G
    |---|---|---|D     |---|---|---|D     |---|-2-|---|D     |---|---|---|D     |---|---|---|D
    |---|-1-|---|A     |---|-2-|---|A     |-3-|---|---|A    x|---|---|---|A    x|---|---|---|A
    |-2-|---|---|E     |-3-|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E
      3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1   Frets
      
          A                 Am                  A7              A7 (alt)             E7
    |---|---|---|e     |---|---|---|e     |---|---|---|e     |-2-|---|---|e     |---|---|---|e
    |---|-3-|---|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |---|-3-|---|B     |---|-1-|---|B     |(4)|---|---|B
    |---|-2-|---|G     |---|-3-|---|G     |---|---|---|G     |---|-1-|---|G     |---|---|-1-|G
    |---|-1-|---|D     |---|-2-|---|D     |---|-1-|---|D     |---|-1-|---|D     |---|---|---|D
    |---|---|---|A     |---|---|---|A     |---|---|---|A     |---|---|---|A     |---|-2-|---|A
   x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E     |---|---|---|E
      3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1   Frets
   

Free Music Service Button  For all key transpositions including optional chord charts, highlight & copy the song sheet above and click on the button... more.

Version 2 - Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

Featured Artist: Méav Ní Mhaolchatha - she sings the song and includes the first verse from the original lyrics. Early recordings sing the verses, but most of the later recordings only feature the chorus. Maev is one of the few artists in the modern era to record one of the verses, and she sings it beautifully.
Music: Key of C Major in 3/4 time at ~ 48 bpm (Minim.) with chords: C, C7, F, G, G7, D7, A7, Am
  • C: x32010
  • F: xx3211 / 133211 (B)
  • G7: 320001
  • A7: x02020 / x02223
  • C7: x32310
  • G: 320003
  • D7: xx0212
  • Am: x02210
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

Born: Donnybrook, County Dublin, Ireland

Occupation: Singer

Instruments: Vocals, harp, piano

Music Styles: Celtic, Folk, Classical

Associationss: Celtic Woman, Anúna

Wikipedia: Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

Official Website: meav.ie

Charts

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha
           
Intro 3/4 |    C    |   Am   |    F    |    G7    |

              C                   
1. There's a tear in your eye___ And I'm wond-er-ing why
                                    G7
   For it ne-ver should be there at all
                                             C             A7
   With such pow'r in your smile___ Sure a stone you'd be-guile
              D7                         G    G7
   So there's nev-er a tear-drop should fall
               C
   When your sweet lilt-ing laugh-ter's___ Like some fa-iry song
                           C7          F
   And your eyes wink-le bright as can be
               D7                              G
   You should laugh all the while___ And all other times smile
            D7               G    G7
   And now smile a smile for me
  
             C       G        C      C7              F               C
Chorus: When I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure, it’s like a morn in Spring
                F               C          A7       D       D7       G   G7
        In the lilt of I-rish laugh-ter___ You can hear the an-gels sing
             C        G         C    C7            F                     C
        When I-rish hearts are hap-py___ All the world seems bright and gay
                 F       Dm       C   A7                D7         G7      C
        And when I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure they steal your heart a-way
        |   C   |   Am   |   F   |   G7   |
          (way)

             C       G        C      C7              F               C
Chorus: When I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure, it’s like a morn in Spring
                F               C          A7       D       D7       G   G7
        In the lilt of I-rish laugh-ter___ You can hear the an-gels sing
             C        G         C    C7            F                     C
        When I-rish hearts are hap-py___ All the world seems bright and gay
                 F       Dm       C   A7                D7         G7      C
        And when I-rish eyes are smil-ing___ Sure they steal your heart a-way...

C 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
barre: barre chord
alt: alternative chord voicing

Right-Handed Chord Tabs  C, C7, F, Am, G, G7, D7, A7
           C                 C7                  F              F (barre)             Am 
    e|---|---|---|     e|---|---|---|     e|-1-|---|---|     e|-1-|---|---|     e|---|---|---|
    B|-1-|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|
    G|---|---|---|     G|---|---|-4-|     G|---|-2-|---|     G|-1-|-2-|---|     G|---|-3-|---|
    D|---|-2-|---|     D|---|-2-|---|     D|---|---|-3-|     D|-1-|---|-4-|     D|---|-2-|---|
    A|---|---|-3-|     A|---|---|-3-|     A|---|---|---|x    A|-1-|---|-3-|     A|---|---|---|
    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|-1-|---|---|     E|---|---|---|x
Frets  1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3

           G                 G7                 D7                 A7                A7 (alt) 
    e|---|---|-3-|     e|-1-|---|---|     e|---|-3-|---|     e|---|---|---|     e|---|---|-2-|
    B|---|---|---|     B|---|---|---|     B|-1-|---|---|     B|---|-3-|---|     B|---|-1-|---|
    G|---|---|---|     G|---|---|---|     G|---|-2-|---|     G|---|---|---|     G|---|-1-|---|
    D|---|---|---|     D|---|---|---|     D|---|---|---|     D|---|-1-|---|     D|---|-1-|---|
    A|---|-1-|---|     A|---|-2-|---|     A|---|---|---|x    A|---|---|---|     A|---|---|---|
    E|---|---|-2-|     E|---|---|-3-|     E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x    E|---|---|---|x
Frets  1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3          1   2   3

Left-Handed Chord Tabs 
          C                 C7                  F              F (barre)             Am
    |---|---|---|e     |---|---|---|e     |---|---|-1-|e     |---|---|-1-|e     |---|---|---|e
    |---|---|-1-|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |---|---|-1-|B
    |---|---|---|G     |-4-|---|---|G     |---|-2-|---|G     |---|-2-|-1-|G     |---|-3-|---|G
    |---|-2-|---|D     |---|-2-|---|D     |-3-|---|---|D     |-4-|---|-1-|D     |---|-2-|---|D
    |-3-|---|---|A     |-3-|---|---|A    x|---|---|---|A     |-3-|---|-1-|A     |---|---|---|A
   x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E     |---|---|-1-|E    x|---|---|---|E
      3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1   Frets
      
          G                 G7                 D7                 A7                A7 (alt)
    |-3-|---|---|e     |---|---|-1-|e     |---|-3-|---|e     |---|---|---|e     |-2-|---|---|e
    |---|---|---|B     |---|---|---|B     |---|---|-1-|B     |---|-3-|---|B     |---|-1-|---|B
    |---|---|---|G     |---|---|---|G     |---|-2-|---|G     |---|---|---|G     |---|-1-|---|G
    |---|---|---|D     |---|---|---|D     |---|---|---|D     |---|-1-|---|D     |---|-1-|---|D
    |---|-1-|---|A     |---|-2-|---|A    x|---|---|---|A     |---|---|---|A     |---|---|---|A
    |-2-|---|---|E     |-3-|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E    x|---|---|---|E
      3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1          3   2   1   Frets
   

The Authors

Chauncey Olcott, George Graff, Jr. &  Ernest R. Ball A little bit about Chauncey Olcott, George Graff, Jr. and Ernest R. Ball

Chauncey Olcott was born in 1858 in Buffalo, New York. He was singer, songwriter and stage actor who sang in minstrel shows and later became a Broadway star with the help of Lillian Russel. In 1899, he wrote the song, My Wild Irish Rose for the production of A Romance of Athlone. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling was written in 1912 for the production of The Isle Of Dreams. When he retired, he moved to Monte Carlo where he later died in 1932. He was returned home where he was buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery which was located in The Bronx, New York.

George Graff, Jr. was born in 1886 in New York City. He was a songwriter and along with Chauncey Alcott, wrote the lyrics to 'When Irish Eyes Are Smiling'. He was responsible for writing many songs in collaboration with either Arthur Fields or Ernest Ball who were both noted singer/songwriters of the time. In 1973, he died at the age of 86 in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

Ernest R. Ball was born in Cleveland Ohio on 1878. His most famous music composition was When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. He was an accomplished pianist who wrote many ballads with Irish themes. He wrote many American standards, sang in vaudeville, and also accompanied other singers. He died in 1927 while on tour in Santa Ana, California. It is interesting to note that his grandson was responsible for the manufacture of Ernie Ball guitar strings.

Album: Time After Time Track listings
Back to Irish Folk Songs