Big Strong Man Chords & Tabs
Wolfe Tones Chords & Tabs
Big Strong Man (Sylvest) - Traditional Irish Drinking Song
This is a classic Irish crowd participation song and a lot of fun to sing
along to. Crowd participation parts are in CAPITOL letters.
A7 D A
Have you heard about the big strong man he lives in a caravan. Have you
heard about the Tommy Gibbons fight oh Lord what a hell of a fight. Well,
you can take all the heavyweights you got (WHAT'S HE GOT?) we got a lad
who will beat the whole lot. He used to ring the bells in the belfry now
he's going to fight Jack Dempsey.
He was me brother Sylvest (WHAT'S HE GOT?) He's got a row of forty medals
on his chest (BIG CHEST) He killed fifty vermin in the west he knows no
rest. Big of the man (HELL'S FIRE) don't push (JUST SHOVE) plenty of room
for you and me. He's got an arm like a leg (LADIES LEG) and a punch that
would sink a battleship (BIG SHIP) it takes all the army and the navy to
put the wind up Sylvest.
[ Tab from: http://www.guitartabs.cc/tabs/w/wolfe_tones/big_strong_man_crd_ver_2.html ]
Well, He thought he'd take a trip to Italy and he thought that he'd go by
sea. He jumped off the harbour in New York and he swam like a man from
Cork. He saw the Lusitania in distress; (WHAT'D HE DO?) He put the
Lusitania on his chest (BIG CHEST) then he drank all the water in the sea
and he walked all the way to Italy.
He thought he'd take a trip to old Japan and they called out the whole
brass band. He played every instrument they got; Like a lad sure he beat
the whole lot. Now the old church bells will ring (HELLS BELLS) and the
old church choir will sing (SINGY SONGY), They all turned out to say
farewell, To my big brother Sylvest.
This song was made famous all over the world through the Irish in the
British army. It has been performed and recorded by numerous Irish bands
like the Wolfe Tones and the Jolly Beggarmen.
Although I've seen this song in a couple of Irish books with the chords in
D and G (including the Wolfe Tones Song Book Volume 1), the Jolly
Beggarmen in their classic "All The Best Irish Drinking Songs" and The
Wolfe Tones on "Live Alive Oh" play this song in A and D. I have always
been partial to the Jolly Beggarmen's version on "All The Best Irish
Drinking Songs". Although in this version, they updated the song with
George Foreman instead of Jack Dempsey. I like the more classical Jack
Over the years, we have played this song at many a family gathering.
Traditionally, the fight mentioned in the first verse is the "Jeffery
Johnston fight". We changed the fight to the "Tommy Gibbons fight". Tommy
Gibbons was our grandfather and fought Jack Dempsey for the World
Heavyweight Championship in 1923. To me, this compliments Jack Dempsey
mentioned in the first verse since our Irish grandfather had a connection
to him. Of course, I'm partial. More information about the Dempsey/Gibbons
fight is available on our web site at www.tmgps.com.
Good Luck and Have Fun!