Category Archives: Places

The Sleeping Monk of Innisfallen

Written by T. Crofton Croker.

Above all the islands in the lakes of Killarney give me Innisfallen, “sweet Innisfallen” as Tom Moore, the poet, described it. It is indeed a fairy island, although I have no fairy story to tell you about it; and if I had, these are such unbelieving times that people only smile at my fairy stories, and doubt them.

However, none will doubt that a monastery once stood upon Innisfallen Island, for its ruins may still be seen. Centuries ago the monks of Innisfallen were popular, pious, and learned, and if you saw them coming along the road you didn’t hop inside the fence to avoid them for they were the best of company at all times. In short they weren’t the kind of men to preach hellfire and damnation in your terrified car every time they saw you. And out of all the monks you could not pick a merrier soul than Father Cuddy who could sing a good song, tell a droll story, and play flute and fiddle as though he had been reared in a bandmaster’s house.

On one occasion the monastery ran out of wine, and Father Cuddy was ordered to go at once to Muckross Abbey for a supply, because a monastery without wine is like an ark without Noah or a pair of golden gates without Saint Peter, or the Mona Lisa without her smile. With the morning’s light he was seen rowing his little boat across the crimson waters of the lake towards the peninsula of Muckross, and that was the last sight the Innisfallen community got of Father Cuddy, for he never returned to them.

At Muckross Abbey Father Cuddy was welcomed like an archangel, which he probably is today, for his fame had travelled before him, and after giving the monks all the news from Innisfallen and singing a few songs for the students he set out for home with a promise that the wine would be sent the following morning. What with the beauty of the scenery, the heat of the sun, the humming ol the bees, and the warm handshakes of friends, he felt a, happy as a Mayboy and he opened his mouth wide and began to sing:
“Tirra-lirra, tirra-lirra, tirra-lirra lee.” Suddenly he stopped singing and listened as a beautiful bird-voice warbled among the trees to his left hand. Father Cuddy knew his songbirds, blackbird, thrush, lark, siskin, linnet, goldfinch, but this was far superior. Louder and sweeter grew the song until it possessed the wood, and the whole world glowed and throbbed with its music. Know-ing that the music was not of this world, Father Cuddy fell on his knees and began to pray. When the music stopped – he looked about him, and the more he looked the more he wondered dLt the alteration which appeared in the face of the country. The hills bore the same majestic outline, and the lake spread itself beneath his view in the same tranquil manner and studded with the same number of islands; but every smaller feature in the landscape was strangely altered. What had been naked rocks were now clothed with holly and arbutus. Whole woods had disappeared, and waste places had become cultivated fields; and to complete the enchantment the very season itself seemed changed. In the rosy dawn of a summer’s day he had left the monastery of Innisfallen, and now he felt in every sight and sound the dreariness of winter. The hard ground was covered with withered leaves; icicles hung from leafiess branches; and he felt his fingers numbed from the nipping frost. Father Cuddy wondered greatly at the sudden transformation, and when he got up he saw that his knees had worn deep grooves in the stone he had knelt on. He decided to return in haste to Innisfallen and report these mysterious events to his superiors who might be able to explain them to his satisfaction. When he reached the gate of the monastery a stranger dressed in queer unmonkish garments occupied the porter’s place.

“Has the wine arrived safely, my good man?” Father Cuddy asked him. “Wine!” the fellow said. “What wine are you talking about?”
“Why, wine for the monks of Innisfallen, of course. 1 left this island yesterday morning for Muckross to order it. why is the place so quiet anyway. Is there a retreat in progress?”
“The day of monks and retreats in Innisfallen is over,” the stranger said. “The fathershave been suppressed, and the Abbey lands were granted in August last to Robert Collan by Lady Elizabeth, Queen of England. And if you were here yesterday I’d have seen you for you are by no means a small man. And if you stay here any longer you are likely to loose your head for monks are not popular with our new masters.”
“I tell you Iwas here yesterday, man,” the astonished monk persisted. “I am Father Cuddy of Innisfallen. Now, sir, do you know me?”
“I do not know you, but there is a story told of Father Cuddy who disappeared from Innisfallen one morning, and was drowned in the lake very likely. But all that happened two hundred years ago.”
Suddenly Father Cuddy recalled the wonderful unearthly music of the singing bird in the forest, and he realised he had taken part in a miracle. His heart was heavy within him as he walked away from the strange quietness of the monastery. The world he know had been swept away, and all his friends and brethren were dead. Avoiding the towns he managed to arrive safely in the port of Dingle where he was put on board a ship sailing for the friendly land of Spain. And in a monastery in Malaga the good man quietly wore out the remainder of his days.

The stone impressed with the mark of Father Cuddy’s knees may be seen to this day. Should any persons doubt my story let them go to Killarney where Clough na Cuddy – Cuddy’s Stone -as it is called remains in Lord Kenmare’s park, an indisputable evidence of the fact. Spillane, the bugle-man, will be able to point it out to them, as he did so to me.

The Maid of Ballyhaunis

My Mary dear! For thee I die,
O! place thy hand, in mine, love –
My fathers here were chieftains high,
Then to my plaints incline, love.
O! Plaited-hair! That now we were
In wedlock’s hand united
For maiden mine, in grief I’ll pine,
Until our vows are plighted!

Thou, Rowan-bloom, since thus I rove,
All worn and faint to greet thee,
Come to these arms, my constant love,
With love as true to meet me!
Alas! My head – it’s wits are fled,
I’ve failed in filial duty –
My sire did say, “Shun, shun, for aye,
That Ballyhaunis beauty!”

But thy Cailín Bán I marked one day,
Where the blooms of the bean-field cluster,
Thy bosom white like ocean’s spray,
Thy cheek like rowan-fruit’s lustre,
Thy tones that shame the wild birds fame
Which sing in the summer weather –
And O! I sigh that thou, love, and I
Steal! Not from this world together!

If with thy lover thou depart
To the land of Ships my fair love,
No weary pain of head or heart,
Shall haunt our slumbers there, love –
O! haste away, ere cold death’s prey,
My soul from thee withdrawn is;
And my hope’s reward, the churchyard sward,
In the town of Ballyhaunis

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.

Pat Pat and the Pig

Written by J. E. Carpenter.

Twas near Limerick town lived bould Paddy O’Linn,
No boy a shillelagh could so nately spin;
But och! Down his throat, when the whiskey he’d tossed,
Sly Paddy oft found things before they were lost.
From the cabin of widdy O’Connor one day,
A fat little pig, as pigs will, got astray;
Says Pat, “You’re blind drunk, it’s my feelin’s you shock;”
Then he fell o’er the pig, as he gave him a knock;
“Och, piggy,” says he, “’tis good manners you need;
It’s myself you’ve near kilt, you disgrace to your breed.
But my bacon you’ve saved, so to give you your due,
It’s cured you shall be – I’ll make bacon of you.”

The grunter Pat cured, and soon put out of sight,
But the ghost of that pig haunted Pat day and night;
So at last to his riv’rence he went and confessed,
Having that on his mind that he couldn’t digest.
“Och, Pat!” said the priest, “only think of the day
When the widdy shall charge you with stealing away
The pig she looked to for paying her rint.”
“Och, murder!” says Pat, “it’s of that I repint,
And so, if you plaze absolution to say,
It’s a blessed thirteen that I’m willing to pay,
Or I’ll marry the widdy to make her atone;
Since ’twas her flesh I took, I’ll be bone of her bone.”

“You know that can’t be – you would cheat me O’Linn,
To compound a felony’s surely a sin;
And as to repintance, sure what will you say,
When the widdy accuses you at the last day?”
Says Pat, “Will your riv’rence answer me true,
When that time it shall come will the pig be there too?”
“He will,” said the priest, “all your guilt to make plain,
Cheek by jowl with the pig you will stand once again.”
“Then,” says Pat, “it’s all right, absolution or not,
For when that time comes I, an answer have got,
As the pig will be there, I have only to say,
‘Take your dirty ould pig’ – so, your riv’rence good day”

Lanigan’s Ball

In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan
Battered away ’till he hadn’t a pound.
His father died and made him a man again,
Left him a farm and ten acres of ground!
He gave a grand party to friends and relations
Who hadn’t forgot him when sent to the wall;
And if you just listen, I’ll make your eyes glisten
With the rows and the ructions of Lanigan’s Ball

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

Myself, of course, got free invitations
For all the nice boys and girls I’d ask,
And in less than a minute the friends and relations
Were dancing away like bees round a cask.
Miss O’Hara, the nice little milliner,
Tipped me the wink to give her a call,
And soon I arrived with Timothy Glenniher
Just in time for Lanigan’s Ball.

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

There was lashins of punch, and wine for the ladies,
Potatoes and cakes and bacon and tay,
The Nolans and Doolans and all the O’Gradys,
Were courtin’ the girls and dancin’ away.
Songs there were as plenty as water
From “The Harp that once thro’ Tara’s Ould Hall”
To “Sweet Nelly Gray” and “The Ratcatcher’s Daughter”
All singing together at Lanigan’s Ball.

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

They were startin’ all sorts of nonsensical dances
Turning around in a nate whirligig:
But Julia and I soon scatthered their fancies,
And tipped them the twist of a rale Irish jig.
Och mavrone! ‘Twas she that as glad o’ me,
We danced ’till we thought the ceilin’ would fall.

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

The boys were all merry, the girls were all hearty
Dancin’ away in couples and groups
When an accident happened – young Terence McCarty
He put his right foot through Miss Halloran’s hoops.
The creature she fainted and cried “Millia Murther!”
She called all her friends and gathered them all.
Ned Carmody swore he’s not stir a step further
But have satisfaction at Lanigan’s Ball.

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

In the midst of the row, Miss Kerrigan fainted –
Her cheeks all the while – were as red as the rose –
Some of the ladies declareed she was painted
She took a small drop of potheen I suppose.
Her lover, Ned Morgan, so pow’rful and able,
When he saw his dear colleen stretched out by the wall,
He tore the left leg from under the table
And smashed all the china at Lanigan’s Ball.

Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Six long months doin’ nothin’ at all,
Six long months I spent in Dublin,
Learnin’ to dance for Lanigans’ Ball.
I stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and I stepped and I stepped in again,
Learin’ to dance for Lanigan’s Ball.

Oh boys, there was ructions –
Myself got a lick from big Phelim McHugh,
But I soon replied to his kind introductions,
And kicked up a terrible hullabaloo.
Old Shamus, the piper, had like to be strangled.
They squeezed up his pipes, chanters, bellows and all;
The girls in their ribbons, they got all entangled,
And that put an end to Lanigan’s Ball.

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.

Mary of Tralee

Och hone! And is it true then that my love is coming back again?
And will his face like sunshine come to glad my cottage door?
‘Tis then the clouds will wear away and never will look black again,
For he’s written me a letter and we soon shall meet once more
He tells me he has gold in tore, but oh! he tells me something more,
He says tho’ we’ve been parted he has still been true to me;
And I’ve to him been faithful too, and will my dream at last come true?
Perhaps it’s in a coach and four he’s coming back from sea he’s coming back to me,
And he’s welcome as the sunshine to Mary of Tralee.

Och, hone! When Terry went away, it’s little we’d between us then,
We pledged our hearst, ’twas nothing else that we had got to pledge;
A heart of stone I’m sure it would have melted to have seen us then,
But the only stones that saw us were the cold ones ‘neath the hedge;
But now a lady he’ll make me, and Terry Lord Lieutenant be,
And won’t we keep a pig or two, if that should be the case!
But in spite of all his gold in store, if we but meet to part no more,
I’d give up every penny jist to see his darlin’ face,
For, he’s comin’ back to me,
And he’s welcome as the sunshine to Mary of Tralee.

Och, Terry, and I knew it, will become a great and mighty man,
There never was his equal, as I told him long ago;
He only had one failing, that he often was a flighty man,
But sure that was the whiskey, and not Terry’s self, you know.
But now that he has wiser grown, the whiskey p’r’haps he’ll let alone.
And if the boy for spirit lacks, he’ll find enough in me;
For when I ride in all my state, and he a Duke or Magistrate,
Sure not a pair more illigant in Dublin town you’ll see.
For he’s coming back to me,
And he’s welcome as the sunshine to Mary of Tralee.

Petticoat Lane

When to Dublin I came from the sweet County Down,
I called on a friend for to show me the town;
He brought me thro’ streets, lanes and alleys so grand,
Till my brogues were almost wore and I scarcely could stand.
He showed me fine houses, were built up so high,
And a man made of stone almost up to the sky,
But the names of them places went out of my brain,
Show him up to the college in Petticoat lane!

Chorus:
Ri tu ral, ru ral, ri tu ral, ru ral le

Convenient to Petticoat Lane there is a place,
And as we walked through it we couldn’t get peace ;
The shops were all full of fine clothes, black and blue,
But the fellows outside nearly tore me in two.
One dragged me this way to get a good freize,
Another had corduroy breeches my size;
But one chap bawls out, when I wouldn’t remain,
Show him up to the College in Petticoat Lane!

Chorus

We got loose from this spot, myself and my friend,
I couldn’t do less than a teaster to spend ;
But we spied boys and girls in a laughable group,
Sitting cross-legged and they licking up soup.
Says I: “Are these what you call your poor house recruits?”
Ax the divil! says one and his bowl at me shoots ;
They roared with pleasure, while I roared with pain,
Arrah, Paddy, you’re welcome to Petticoat Lane!

Chorus

My friend thought to drag me away by the sleeve,
When a tartar dropped over my head an old sieve ;
I turned for to strike her, but got in the eye
A plaster of what they call mutton pie.
I kept groping about, like a man that was blind,
‘Till I caught hould of somebody coming behind ;
I prayed that I might get the strength of a Cain,
To be able to whale him in Petticoat Lane.

I walloped away, and I got walloped too,
While all sorts of ructions were raised by the crew ;
You could swear it was raining brick-bats and stones,
‘Till I heard my antagonist giving some groans.
Run and be d…….d to you! some one did cry,
Sure I can’t for the mutton that’s stuck in my eye ;
I was led through the crowd, and heard somebody saying,
There’s a Peeler most killed in Petticoat Lane.

Chorus

These words like a thunderbold fell on my ear,
So I scooped all the fat from my eye pretty clear ;
My friends told the crowd that was ’round to be mute,
While we slipped to a house called “The Sign of the Boot,”
There I called for a sup, and we both took a seat,
Two or three that had backed us came in for a treat ;
When reckoning was called for, my pocket’s were clean,
For pounds, shillings, and pence were in Petticoat Lane.

Chorus

The reckoning it came to a hog and a groat,
For which the landlord took a lend of my coat ;
I started without, still cursing the town,
Says he: “You have killed C.106 –
Arrah, be aisy sir, I want none of your tricks!”
But the sergeant and twenty more swore it was plain
That I was the bully of Petticoat Lane.

Chorus

They all swarmed about me like flies on a cask,
But to prison to take me was no easy task ;
When I got there I was charged with the crime,
‘Twas my own brother Darby I bate all the time.
When he seen me he let out a thundering curse,
On the day that he first went to join in the force ;
He released my ould coat and he got me off clean,
To go home and say prayers for sweet Petticoat Lane.