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.

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 Méav Ní Mhaolchatha (original member of Celtic Woman), which includes one of the verses.

Both versions are ideal for beginners with easy chords - all charts provided below for right and left handed guitarists.

Version 1 - Mary Duff

  • Music: Key of G Major in 3/4 time at ~ 94 bpm (♩)
  • Chords: G, G7, C, D, D7, A, Am, A7, E7
Mary Duff from the album Time After Time

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
   

Version 2 - Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

Featured Artist: Méav Ní Mhaolchatha 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.

  • Music: Key of C Major in 3/4 time at ~ 48 bpm (Minim.)
  • Chords: C, C7, F, G, G7, D7, A7, Am
Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

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

Right-Handed Chord Tabs  
           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
   
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