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Feature Chauncey Olcott When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Irish life and culture is filled with countless famous songs. 

From classics like Dirty Old Town, Black Velvet Band and Danny Boy, to modern anthems like Beautiful Day, Fairytale of New York and Zombies, the Emerald Isle is constantly filled to bursting with music.

However, for many in the Irish diaspora around the world, When Irish Eyes Are Smiling holds particularly dear.

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling History

The song was first published in 1912, written by the Americans Chauncey Olcott and George Graff Jr., as a little ode to the 32 counties we know and love so well. 

It went on to become hugely popular with hundreds of recordings released over the last century. Famous names including the likes of Bing Crosby, The Wolfe Tones and Daniel O’Donnell, have all given the song their own spin.

At one point, in 1985, the song was even covered by USA President Ronald Reagan and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney! You can watch that small piece of history below. 

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling Lyrics

If you want to sing along then check out the lyrics below:


When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure 'tis like a morn in spring.

In the lilt of Irish laughter, you can hear the angels sing.

When Irish hearts are happy, all the world seems bright and gay,

And When Irish Eyes Are Smiling, sure, they steal your heart away.

Verse 1:

There's a tear in your eye and I'm wondering why,

For it never should be there at all.

With such power in your smile, sure a stone you'd beguile,

So there's never a teardrop should fall,

When your sweet lilting laughter's like some fairy song

And your eyes twinkle bright as can be.

You should laugh all the while and all other times smile,

And now smile a smile for me.


Verse 2:

For your smile is a part of the love in your heart,

And it makes even sunshine more bright.

Like the linnet's sweet song, crooning all the day long.

Comes your laughter so tender and bright.

For the springtime of youth is the sweetest of all,

There is ne'er a real care or regret.

And while springtime is ours, throughout all of youth's hours,

Let us smile each chance we get.



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