Category Archives: Leinster

Darling Old Stick

My name is bold Morgan McCarthy from Trim,
My relations all died except one brother Jim;
He is gone a-sojering out to Cow Bull,
I dare say he’s laid low with a kick in the skull.
But let him be dead or be living
A prayer for his corpse I’ll be giving,
To send him soon home or to heaven,
For he left me his darlin’ stick.

If that stick had a tongue it could tell you some tales,
How it battered the countenances of the O’Neil’s;
It made bits of skull fly about in the air,
And it’s been the promoter of fun at each fair.
For I swear by the toenail of Moses
It has often broke bridges of noses
Of the faction that dared to oppose us –
It’s the darlin’ kippeen of a stick.

The last time I used it ‘twas on Patrick’s Day,
Larry Fagan and I got into a shilley;
We went on a spree to the fair of Athboy,
Where I danced, and when done, I kissed Kate McEvoy.
Then her sweetheart went out for his cousin,
And by Jabers! He brought in a dozen;
A doldhrum they would have knocked us in
It I hadn’t the taste of a stick.

War was the word when the factions came in,
And, to pummel us well, they peeled off their skin;
Like a Hercules there I stood for the attack,
And the first that came up I sent on his back.
Then I shoved out the eye of Pat Clancy,
(for he once humbugged sister Nancy);
in the meantime poor Kate took a fancy
to myself and a bit of a tick.

I smathered her sweetheart until he was black,
She then tipped me the wink – we were off in a crack;
We went to a house t’other end of the town,
And we cheered up our spirits by letting some down.
When I got her snug into a corner
And the whiskey beginning to warm her;
She told me her sweetheart was an informer,
Oh, ‘twas then I said prayers for my stick.

We got whiskificated to such a degree,
For support my poor Kate had to lean against me;
I promised to see her safe to her abode,
By the tarnal, we fell clean in the mud on the road.
We were roused by the magistrate’s order
Before we could get a toe further –
Surrounded by peelers for murther,
Was myself and my innocent stick.

When the trial came on, Kate swore to the fact
That before |I set to I was decently whacked;
And the Judge had a little more feeling than sense –
He said what I done was in my defence.
But one chap swore again me, named Carey,
(Though that night he was in Tipperary);
He’d swear a coal porter was a canary
To transport myself and my stick.

When I was acquitted I leaped from the dock,
And the gay fellows all round me did flock;
I’d a pain in my shoulder, I shook hands so often,
For the boys all imagined I’d see my own coffin.
I went and bought a gold ring, sir,
And Kate to the priest I did bring, sir;
So next night you come, I will sing, sir,
The adventure of my and my stick

Pat of Mullingar

They may talk of Flying Childers, and the speed of Harkaway,
Till the fancy it bewilders, as you list to what they say;
But for real bone and beauty, though to travel far and near,
The fastest mare you’ll find belongs to Pat of Mullingar.

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

She was bred in Connemara, and brought up in Castlemaine,
She won cups at the Curragh, the finest baste on all the plain;
All the countries and conveyances she has been buckled to,
She lost an eye at Limerick and an ear at Waterloo

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

If a friend you wish to find, sir, I’ll go wherever you want,
I’ll drive you out of your mind, sir, or a little way beyont;
Like an arrow through the air if you’ll step upon the car,
You’ll ride behind the little mare of Pat of Mullingar.

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

To Dallymount or Kingstown, if the place you wish to see,
I’ll drive you to the Strawberry beds, it’s all the same to me:
To Donnybrook, whose ancient air is famed for love or war,
Or, if you have time to spare, we’ll go to Mullingar

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

When on the road we’re going, the other Carmen try
(without the darlin’ knowing) to pass her on the sly;
Her one ear points up to the sky, she tucks her haunches in,
Then shows the lads how she can fly as I sit still and grin.

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

Then should yez want a car, sirs, I hope you’ll not forget
Poor Pat of Mullingar, sirs, and his darlin’ little pet;
She’s as gentle as the dove, sirs, her speed you can’t deny,
And there’s no blind side about her, tho’ she hasn’t got an eye.

She can trot along, jog along, drag a jaunting car,
No day’s so long, when you set along with Pat of Mullingar.

Ninety Eight by Dr. John Thomas Campion

In the old marble town of Kilkenny,
With its abbeys, cathedrals and halls,
Where the Norman bell rings out at nightfall,
And the relics of gray crumbling walls
Show traces of Celt and Saxon
In bastions, and towers, and keeps,
And graveyards and tombs tell the living
Where glory or holiness sleeps;
Where the Nuncio brought the Pope’s blessing,
And money and arms to boot,

While Owen was wild to be plucking
The English clan up by the root;
Where regicide Oliver revelled,
With his Puritan Ironside horde,
And cut down both marble and monarchy,
Grimly and grave with the sword.
There, in that old town of history,
England in famed ‘Ninety-Eight
Was busy with gallows and yeomen
Propounding the laws of the State.

They were hanging a young lad – a rebel –
On a gibbet before the old jail,
And they marked his weak, spirit to falter,
And his white face to quiver and quail;
And he spoke of his mother, whose dwelling
Was but a short distance away –
A poor, lorn, heartbroken widow –
And he her whole solace and stay.
“Bring her here,” cried the chief of the yeomen;
“A lingering chance let us give
To this spawn of a rebel to babble
And by her sage counsel to live.”

And quick a red trooper went trotting
From the town to the poor cabin door,
And he found the old lone woman sitting
And spinning upon the bare floor.
“Your son is in trouble, old damsel!
They have him within in the town,
And he wishes to see you, so bustle,
And put on your tucker and gown.”
The old woman stopped from her spinning,
With a frown on her deep wrinkled brow:
“I know how it is, cursed yeoman!
I am ready – I’ll go with you now!”

He seized her, enraged, by the shoulder,
And lifting her up on his steed,
Struck spurs, and they rode to the city,
Right aheadd, and with clattering speed.
They stopped at the foot of the, gallows,
And the mother confronted her son,
And she hugged his young heart to her bosom,
And kissed his face pallid and wan. .
And as the rope dangled before her,
She held the loop fast in her hand –
For though her proud soul was unblenching,
Her frail limbs were failing to stand.

And when the raw yeomen came crowding
To. witness the harrowing scene,
The brave mother flushed to the forehead,
And spoke with the air of a queen:
“My son, they are going to hang you
For loving your faith and your home.
And they called me to urge you and save you,
And in God’s name I’ve answered and come.
They murdered your father before you,
And I knelt on the red reeking sod,
And watcheed his hot blood steaming upward
To call down the vengeance of God.”

“No traitor was, he to his country –
No blot did he leave to his name –
And I always could pray at his cold grave –
Oh! the priest could kneel there without shame.”
“To hell with your priests and your rebels,”
The captain cried out with a yell,
whilst from the tall tower in the temple
Rang out the sweet Angelus bell.
Blessed Mother,” appealed the poor widow,
“Look down on my child and on me.”
“Blessed mother,” sneered out the vile yeoman,
“Tell your son to confess and be free.”

“Never, never – he’ll die like his father –
My boy, give your life to the Lord, –
But of treason to Ireland, mavourneen,
Never speak one dishonouring word.”
His white cheek flushed up at her speaking,
His heart bounded up at her call,
And his hushed spirit seemed, at awaking,
To scorn death, yeomen and all.
“I’ll die, and I’ll be no informer –
My kin I will never disgrace,
And when God lets me see my poor father,
I can lovingly look in his face.”

“You’ll see him in hell,” cried the yeoman,
As he flung the sad widow away –
And the youth in a moment was strangling
In the broad eye of shuddering day.
“Give the gallows a passenger outside.”
A tall Hessian spluttered aloud,
As he drove a huge nail in the timber ,
‘Mid the curses and cries of the crowd.
Then, seizing the poor bereaved mother,
He passed his broad belt round her throat,
Whilst her groaning was lost in the drum-beat
And her shrieks in the shrill bugle note.
And mother and son were left choking,
For this, cries the patriot brave –
Whilst angels looked down on the murder
And devils were wrangling beneath.

For this, cries the exile defiant –
For this, cries the patriot brave –
For this, cries the lonely survivor
O’er many a horror-marked grave –
For this, cry the priest and the peasant,
The student, the lover, the lost,
The stalwart who pride in their vigour,
The frail as they give up the ghost-
For this, we curse~Saxon dominion,
And join in the world-wide cry
That wails up to Heaven for vengeance,
Through every blue gate in the sky!

Written by by Dr. John Thomas Campion.

The Sack of Baltimore by Thomas Osborne Davis

The summer sun is falling soft o’er Carbery’s hundred isles
The summer sun is gleaming still through Gabriel’s rough defiles
Old Inisherkin’s crumbled fane looks like a moulting bird,
And in a calm and sleepy swell the ocean tide is heard.
The hookers lie upon the beach; the children cease their play;
The gossips leave the little inn; the households kneel to pray;
And full of love, and peace, and rest – it’s daily labour o’er –
Upon that cosy creek there lay the town of Baltimore.

A deeper rest, a starry trance, has come with midnight there;
No sound except that throbbing wave, in earth, or sea, or air.
The massive capes and ruined towers seemconscious of the calm;
The fibrous sod and stunted trees are breathing heavy balm.
So still the night, these two long barques round Dunashad that glide
Might trust their oars – methinks not few – against the ebbing tide.
Oh! Some sweet mission of true love must urge them to the shore:
They bring some lover to his bride, who sighs in Baltimore!

All, asleep within each roof along that rocky street,
And these must be the lover’s friends with gently gliding feet –
A stifled gasp! A dreamy noise! “the roof is in a flame!”
From out their beds, and to their doors, rush maid, and sire, and dame,
And meet upon the threshold stone the gleaming sabre’s fall,
And o’er each black and bearded face the white or crimson shawl;
The yell of “Allah” breaks abover the prayer, and shriek, and roar –
Oh! Blessed God! The Algerine is lord of Baltimore.

Then flung the youth his naked hand against the shearing sword;
Then sprung the mother on the brand with which her son was gored;
Then sunk the gransire on the floor, his grand-babes clutching wild;
Then fled the maiden moaning faint, and nestled with the child,
But see, yon pirate strangled lies, and crushed with splashing heel,
While o’er him in an Irish hand, there sweeps his Syrian steel:
Though virtue sink, and courage fail, and miser’s yield their store,
There’s one hearth well avenged in the sack of Baltimore!

Mid-summer morn, in woodland nigh, the birds began to sing;
They see not how the milking maids – deserted in the spring!
Mid-summer day – this gallant rides from distant Bandon’s town;
These hookers crossed from stormy Skull, that skiff from Affadown:
They only found the smoking walls, that neighbour’s blood besprent,
And on the strewed and trampled beach awhile they wildly went;
Then dashed to sea, and passed Cape Cléire, and saw five leagues before
The pirate galleys vanishing that ravished Baltimore

Oh! Some must tug the galley’s oar, and some must tend the steed;
This boy will bear a Sheik’s chibouk, and that a Bey’s jerreed.
Oh! Some are in the arsenals, by beauteous Dardanelles;
And some are in the caravan to Mecca’s sandy dells.
The maid that Bandon gallant sought is chosen for the Dey:
She’s safe – he’s dead – she stabbed him in the Midst of his serai;
And when, to die a death of fire, that noble maid they bore,

She only smiled – O’Driscoll’s child – she thought of Baltimore

‘Tis two long years since sunk the town beneath that bloody band,
And all around its trampled hearths a larger concourse stands,
Where, high upon a gallows tree, a yelling wretch is seen –
‘Tis Hackett of Dungarvan, he who steered the Algerine!
He fell amid a sudden shout, with scarce a passing prayer,
For he had slain the kith and kin of many a hundred there;
Some muttered of MacMurchadh, who brought the Norman o’er;
Some cursed him with Iscariot that day in Baltimore.

Rocky Road to Dublin

In the merry month of June, when first from home I started,
And left the girls alone, sad and broken hearted,
Shook hands with father dear, kissed my darling mother,
Drank a pint of beer, my tears and grief to smother;
Then off to reap the corn, and leave where I was born.
I cut a stout black-thorn to banish ghost or goblin ;
With a pair of brand new brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs –
Sure I frightened all the dogs on the rocky road to Dublin

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

The steam coach was at hand, the driver said he’d cheap ones,
But sure the luggage van was too much for my ha’pence,
For England I was bound, it would never do to balk it,
For every step of the road, bedad! says I, I’ll walk it.
I did not sigh or moan until I saw Athlone.
A pain in my shin bone, it set my heart a-bubbling ;
And fearing the big cannon, looking o’er the Shannon,
I very quickly ran on the rocky road to Dublin

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

In Mullingar, that night, I rested limbs so weary,
Started by daylight, with spirits light and airy ;
Took a drop of the pure, to keep my spirits from sinking,
That’s always an Irishman’s cure, whenever he’s troubled with thinking.
To see the lassies smile, laughing all the while
At my comical style, my heart set a-bubbling,
They axed if I was hired, the wages I required,
Until I was almost tired of the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

In Dublin next arrived, I thought it was a pity
To be so soon derived of a view of that fine city;
‘Twas then I took a stroll, all among the quality,
My bundle then was a stole in a neat locality,
Something crossed my mind, thinks I, “I’ll look behind”
No bundle could I find upon my stick a-wobbling.
Inquiring for the rogue, they said my Connaught brogue,
It wasn’t much in vogue on the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

A coachman raised his hand as if myself was wanting,
I went up to a stand, full of cars for jaunting ;
“Step up my boy!” says he ; “Ah, ah! that I will with pleasure,”
“and to the strawberry beds, I’ll drive you at your leisure.”
“A strawberry bed?” says I, “faith, that would be too high! On one of straw I’ll lie, and the berries won’t be troubling;”
He drove me out as far, upon an outside car,
Faith! Such jolting never wor on the rocky road to Dublin

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

I soon got out of that, my spirits never failing,
I landed on the quay, just as the ship was sailing,
The captain at me roared, swore that no room had he,
But when I leaped on board, they a cabin found for Paddy.
Down among the pigs I played such rummy rigs,
Danced some hearty jigs, with water round me bubbling,
But when off Holyhead, I wished that I was dead,
Or safely put in bed, on the rocky road to Dublin.

For it is the rocky road, here’s the road to Dublin ;
Here’s the rocky road, now fire away to Dublin!

The boys in Liverpool, when on the dock I landed,
Called myself a fool, I could no longer stand it ;
My blood began to boil, my temper I was losing,
And poor old Erin’s Isle, they all began abusing.
“Hurrah! My boys,” says I, my shillelagh I let fly,
Some Galway boys were by, they saw I was a hobble in ;
Then with a loud hurrah! They joined me in the fray.
Faugh-a-ballagh! Clear the way for the rocky road to Dublin.

The Fox Hunt

The first morning of March in the year ’33
There was frolic and fun in our own country:
The King’s county hunt over meadows and rocks
Most nobly set out in the search of a fox.
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

When they started bold Reynard he faced Tullamore,
Through arklow and Wicklow along the sea-shore;
There he brisked up his brush with a laugh and says he
“‘Tis mighty refreshing this breeze from the sea.”
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

With the hounds at his heels every inch of the way,
He led us by sunset right into Roscrea.
There he ran up a chimney and out of the top,
The rogue he cried out for the hunters to stop
From their loud harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

“‘Twas a long thirsty stretch since we left the sea-shore,
but lads, here you’ve gallons of claret galore;
myself will make free just to slip out of view,
and take a small pull at my own mountain dew,”
So no more hullabaloo!
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

One hundred and twenty sportsmen went down
And sought him from Ballyland through Ballyboyne;
We swore that we’d watch him the length of the night.
So Reynard, sly Reynard, lay hid till the light.
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

But the hills the re-echoed right early next morn
With the cry of the hounds and the call of the horn,
And in spite of his action, his craft and his skill,
Our fine fox was taken on top of the hill.
Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

When Reynard he knew that his death was so nigh,
For pen, ink and paper he called with a sigh;
And all his dear wishes on earth to fulfil,
With these few dying words he declared his last will,
While we ceased Hullahoo! harkaway! hullaloo! harkaway!
Hullahoo! harkaway boys! away, harkaway!

Here’s to you, Mr. Casey, my Curraghmore estate,
And to you, young O’Brien, my money and plate,
And to you, Thomas Dennihy, my whip, spurs and cap.”
And of what he made mention they found it no blank,
For he gave them a check on the National Bank.

The Carlow Maid

In Carlow town there lived a maid,
More sweet that flowers at daybreak;
Their vows contending lovers paid,
But none of marriage dared speak;
Still with a sigh,
‘Twas ‘O! I die
Each day my passion stronger.’
When sprightly Nancy then did say,
‘You’ll die, dear sir, the Irish way
To live a little longer.’

At length, grown jealous, Venus cries,
‘This pride’s beyond all bearing,’
And quickly sent Mars from the skies,
In form of Captain Daring;
Then, with a sigh,
‘Twas ‘O! I die’
The god found passion stronger,
As sprightly Nancy then did say,
‘You’ll die, dear sir, the Irish way
To live a little longer.’

Like hero bold, well armed, he pressed,
And quickly saw by Nancy,
The snow was thawed within her breast;
The soldier caught her fancy;
With downcast eye
She heaved a sigh,
She found her passion stronger,
And sprightly Nancy then did say,
‘I’ll die, myself, the Irish way,
To live a little longer!’

The Galtee Mountain Boy by Christy Moore

I joined the Flying Column in 1916
In Cork with Seán Moylan, Tipperary with Dan Breen
Arrested by Free Staters and sentenced for to die
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy
We crossed pleasant valleys and over the hilltops green
Where we met with Dinny Lacey, Seán Hogan and Dan Breen
Seán Moylan and his gallant band they kept the flag flying high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy

We crossed the Dublin mountains we were rebels on the run
Though hunted night and morning we were outlawed but free men
We tracked the Wicklow mountains as the sun was shining high
Farewell to Tipperary said the Galtee Mountain Boy

I’m bidding farewell to old Clonmel that I never more will see
And to the Galtee mountains that oft times sheltered me
To the men who fought for liberty and died without a sigh
May the cause be ne’er forgotten said the Galtee Mountain Boy

Written by Christy Moore.

The Ferryman

All the little boats are gone
From the breast of Anna Liffey
And the ferrymen are stranded on the quay
The Dublin docks are dying
And a way of life is gone
And Molly it was part of you and me

Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

‘Twas the only job I knew
It was hard but never lonely
The Liffey Ferry made a man of me
Now it’s gone without a whisper
Forgotten even now
Sure it’s over Molly over can’t you see

Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

Well now I spin my yarns
And spend my days in talking
I hear them whisper Charley’s on the dole
But Molly we’re still living
And Darling we’re still young
And the river never ruled my heart or soul

Where the strawberry beds
Sweep down to the Liffey
You’ll kiss away the worries from my brow
I love you well today
And I’ll love you more tomorrow
If you ever loved me Molly love me now

Erin Go Bragh or a Row in the Town

I’ll tell you a story of a row in the town,
When the Green Flag went up and the Crown rag came down,
‘Twas the neatest and sweetest thing ever you saw,
And they played the best games played in Erin Go Bragh.

One of our comrades was down at Ringsend,
For the honour of Ireland to hold and defend,
He had no veteran soldiers but volunteers raw,
Playing sweet Mauser music for Erin Go Bragh.

Now here’s to Pat Pearse and our comrades who died
Tom Clark, MacDonagh, MacDiarmada, McBride,
And here’s to James Connolly who gave one hurrah,
And placed the machine guns for Erin Go Bragh.

One brave English captain was ranting that day,
Saying, “Give me one hour and I’ll blow you away,”
But a big Mauser bullet got stuck in his craw,
And he died of lead poisoning in Erin Go Bragh.

Bould Ceannt and his comrades like lions at bay,
From the South Dublin Union poured death and dismay,
And what was their horror when the Englishmen saw
All the dead khaki soldiers in Erin Go Bragh.

Now here’s to old Dublin, and here’s to her renown,
In the long generation her fame will go down,
And our children will tell how their forefathers saw,
The red blaze of freedom in Erin Go Bragh.