Galway Bay chords

... that dear land across the Irish sea

Composer: Arthur Nicholas Whistler Colahan

Music: F Major in 4/4/ time at ~ 54–60 bpm (♩)

Chords: F, G7, Gm7, C, C7, D7... charts below.

Chart Legend
Numbered Circles: Fingers used to play chords   O: Optional Note
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings   R: Root Note
Unmarked strings: Play open   X: Don't play string    B: Bass Note
F Major F Major D7 G7 C Major C7 Gm7 Gm7 open
F Major F Major D7 G7 C Major C7 Gm7 Gm7

Galway Bay

Song Key is highlighted - Transpose to any other key
               F     D7     G7     C7     F
 Intro: 4/4 |     -      |      |      |     |
                                          (If you)

          F                           Gm7       C7
1. If you e-ver go a-cross the sea to Ire-land
        Gm7           C7               F
   Then may-be at the clos-ing of your day
            F                 D7              G7
   You will sit and watch the moon rise o-ver Clad-dagh
       C7                             F
   And see the sun go down on Gal-way Bay

           F                              Gm7          C7
2. Just to hear a-gain the rip-ple of the trout stream 
       Gm7           C7              F
   The wo-men in the mea-dow mak-ing hay
           F             D7               G7
   Just to sit be-side a turf fire in the cab-in
       C7                                     F
   And watch the bare-foot Gos-soons at their play

           F                                    Gm7      C7 
3. For the breez-es blow-ing o'er the seas from Ire-land
       Gm7              C7               F 
   Are per-fumed by the heath-er as they blow
           F             D7                G7 
   And the wo-men in the up-lands dig-gin' pra-ties
           C7                                   F 
   Speak a lang-uage that the strang-ers do not know

           F                                     Gm7      C7
4. For the strang-ers came and tried to teach us their way 
        Gm7                 C7             F
   They scorn'd us just for be-ing what we are
            F                D7             G7
   But they might as well go chas-ing after moon-beams
      C7                            F
   Or light a pen-ny can-dle from a star

          F                                Gm7     C7
5. And if there is going to be a life here-af-ter
       Gm7           C7                    F
   And some-how I am sure there's going to be
          F             D7             G7
   I will ask my God to let me make my hea-ven
      C7                                F
   In that dear land a-cross the I-rish sea...


Galway Bay
Galway Bay

Level Of Ease: Fairly easy

|   F  -  D7   | This is the first bar of the introduction. Play the F chord for 2 beats and D7 for 2 beats.

It could have been written as |  F   /   D7   / | where the repeat sign / means you repeat the previous chord within the bar.

The 3rd & 4th line of each verse is exactly the same as the Intro.

The first line of each verse: Play F for 1 bar and the chords Gm7 and C7 for 1 bar - 2 beats on Gm7 and 2 beats on C7... the first line of each verse looks like this:
|     F     |  Gm7 - C7   |

If you are unfamiliar with the song there are a few videos you can watch:

  • Foster and Allen   This consists of 2 key changes. It starts in E Major with a key change to F Major after Verse 2, and another key change to F# Major after Verse 4.
  • Celtic Woman   Key of E♭ Major ... an alternative version from the traditional one... very well done.
  • Bing Crosby   Key of C Major
  • Use the Transposer for key changes.
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