Tiger at Dublin Zoo

Up In The Zoological Gardens

Dublin Zoo

Name, if you can, any zoo which has inspired a popular song. Here’s a clue: it’s located in Dublin.

Start with the song’s seriously excellent advice – “if you’ve any money, go up to the park and view the Zoological Gardens.”

“We went out there to see the zoo.
We saw the lion and the kangaroo.
There was he-males and she-males of every hue,
Up in the Zoological Gardens.”

Dublin Zoo is one of the one of the world’s most delightful collections of he-males and she-males. The animals are kept in natural enclosures amidst what it is probably the most beautifully planted and compelling 66 acres in Ireland.

So desirable is the location that every seven years the people of Ireland vote to see who gets to be the nearest neighbour. The winner of this ballot takes up residence next door in Áras an Uachtaráin, the home of the President of Ireland.

Kids and zoos are a natural fit, but as the tune makes clear, grownups find the place even more intriguing.

“We went up there on our honeymoon.
Says she to me ‘If you don't come soon
I'll have to get in with the hairy baboon’
Up in the Zoological Gardens.”

What are you waiting for? Dump the kids, grab your partner, and view the Zoological Gardens.

“Says she to me ‘It's seven o'clock
And time for me to be changin' me frock
For I long to see the old cockatoo’
Up in the Zoological Gardens.”

“Says she to me ‘Me lovely Jack
Sure I'd love a ride on the elephant's back
If you don't get out of that I'll give you such a crack’
Up in the Zoological Gardens.”

“Oh, thunder and lightning is no lark
When Dublin City is in the dark.
So if you've any money go up to the park
And view the Zoological Gardens.”

Listen to a clip of the Dubliners singing this song.

By Scott Simons