The Fields Of Athenry chords & lyrics

by Paddy Reilly

  • The Fields Of Athenry was written by Pete St. John in the 1970's.
  • This version by Paddy Reilly is featured on the album of the same name.
  • Music: Key of E major in 4/4 time at 114 bpm (♩)
  • Song Chords: B7, E, A, C#m

Fields Of Athenry by Paddy Reilly

Intro: 4/4 |   B7  |   B7   |  E  -  A  |   E   |

         E                          A                 E   B7
1. By a lone-ly pris-on wall___ I heard a young girl call-ing
     E                 A            B7
   Mich-eal they have tak-en  you a-way
             E                 A               E                  B7
   For you stole Trev-el-yn's corn___ So the young might see the morn
                                       |  E  -  A  |    E     |
   Our pris-on ship lies wait-ing in the bay

         E    A          E                C#m
Chorus: Low  lie  the  Fields  of  Ath-en-ry
               E                   C#m             B7
        Where once we watched the small free birds fly
             E               A               E                  B7
        Our love was on the wing___ We had dreams and songs to sing 
                                                  | E  -  A  |   E    |
        It's so lone-ly 'round the Fields of Ath-en-ry

         E                          A                E     B7
2. By a lone-ly pris-on wall___ I heard a young man call - in’
    E                 A                 B7
   Noth-ing mat-ters Mar-y when you're free
                 E                A              E                    B7
   A-gainst the Fam-ine and the Crown___ I  re-belled they caught me down
                                          | E  -  A  |   E   |
   Now you must raise our child with dig-ni-ty


   |  E  |  A  |  E  | C#m  |  E   | C#m  |    B7   | B7  |
   |  E  |  A  |  E  |  B7  |  B7  |  B7  | E  - A  |  E  | 

         E                              A                   E   B7
3. By a lone-ly har-bour wall___ She watched the last star fall-in’
           E                   A               B7
   As the pris-on ship sailed out a-gainst the sky
               E                A               E               B7
   For she'll live in hope and pray___ For her love in Bot-a-ny Bay
                                             | E  -  A  |   E   |
   It's so lone-ly 'round the Fields of Ath-en-ry


   |   B7   |   B7   |   A   |   E   |

🗝️ E 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:


  • Level Of Ease: Easy. You will need to play 1 barre chord, C#m... it's a fairly easy one.
  • If you haven't learned barre chords yet, try the alternative C#m chord (alt). I have included it especially for beginners, however you must avoid the 2 bottom strings - numbers 5 & 6 - the lowest sounding fat strings. It doesn't sound as full as the barre chord as you are not leading with the root note of C# as your bass note. However, it will get you out of trouble until you learn some barre chords.
  • When reading the charts, take note of the fret numbers, as you often assume that all the charts are from frets 1 - 3, however C#m starts on the 4th fret, and finishes on the 6th fret.
  • B7 is probably the hardest amongst the list of basic guitar chords, but persevere with it because with time it becomes a very easy and natural chord to play... it will become one of your favorites.
  • Song Key: E major - 4 sharps (F# C# G# D#)
  • 4/4 time - 4 quarter-note/crotchet beats per bar. The count is | 1 2 3 4 | or | 1& 2& 3& 4& | etc.
  • 2 chords separated by a hyphen in a bar means the timing count of the bar is split evenly between the 2 chords, e.g., | E - A | means you play the E for 2 beats and the A chord for 2 beats (4/4 time).
  • The song is very straight-forward. It is one of Ireland's favorites, and after playing it a few times, you'll know why.
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