Words and music by Mick Curry. Recorded by Christy Moore.
He was [G]Lawless by name, [C]Lawless by [G]nature,
He was trouble [C]right from the [G]start.
[Am]Hard as nails, runnin' [C]wild through the streets
He was [G]breakin' his poor mother's [D]heart.
[Am]Nature played a [D]trick on Lawless
and the [G]humour of nature is [D]cruel[G].
He grew up as we [C]all had ex[G]pected -
into a [D]dangerous [G]fool.
[G]He was a hard man, a [C]man for all [G]seasons,
He was always [D]out for a [G]fight.
He [Am]couldn't hold drink but [C]still he'd get plastered
in[G] Clark's every Saturday [D]night,
He's[Am]strip to the vest and [D]challenge the [C]best
until the [G]Guards they were called to come [D]fast,
and they'd [G]lock him away for the [C]rest of the [G]day
and let him out on the Sun[D]day for [G]Mass.
[G]Oh one night he went down
to the [C]Ringsend Re[G]gatta
where he met up with the [D]bold Dolly [G]Platts
She [Am]wasn't exactly [D]what you'd call [C]beauty,
but [G]she was the belle of our [D]flats.
A [Am]whirlwind romance and [D]Dolly took a [C]flier
with [G]Lawless she would settle [D]down
It was [G]pure coincidence [C]three months be[G]fore
there was a yankee des[C]troyer in [G]town.
[G]And the couple were blessed with [C]one of god's [G]miracles
before six [D]months had e[G]lapsed
[Am]Dolly gave birth to a [D]nine-pound black [C]baby
and [G]Lawless was fit to coll[D]apse
She [Am]swore she'd [C]never been [D]touched by a[C]nother
and [G]Lawless took her at her wo[D]rd,
and the [G]neighbours exclaimed, 'he's the [C]spit of his [G]father,
and the cuckoo is a [D]wonderful [G]bird.'
Oh now [G]Lawless stays in and looks [C]after his [G]baby
while Dolly goes [Am]out for the [G]night.
The old [Am]gossips all say she's [D]free in her [C]ways
and [G]their evil rumours ran [D]rife.
When [Am]Lawless heard this he waited for [C]Dolly
in the [G]bridge where the river runs [D]low.
No[G]one will ever know [C]what happened [G]next,
but Dolly drowned in the [C]water be[G]low.
[G]Some say he's crazy and [C]more say he's [G]evil,
everyone [D]says that he's [G]mad.
No[Am]one will defend him, [D]he was no [C]angel,
but I'll [G]tell you he wasn't all [D]bad.
They've [Am]locked him away for the[D] rest of his [C]natural
[G]never again will he [D]see
down the [G]back of Ringsend
there's a [C]lonely child [G]playing
where the Liffey flows [D]into the [G]sea.