The Turfman From Ardee

Foreword by Vince Hearns
“When I was a young lad I often heard this song sung on the Walton’s Programme on a Saturday on Radio Éireann, I cannot remember who the singer was. Waltons published the lyrics in their series “Sing an Irish Song” No 10 “Merry Moments” and they attribute its composition to a Patrick Akins. I certainly remember when Margaret Barry recorded it in 1965, indeed I have a copy of the recording her lyrics are somewhat different. I give the Walton’s version here.”

For sake of health I took a walk last week at early dawn,
I met a jolly turf man as I slowly walked along,
The greatest conversation passed between himself and me
And soon I got acquainted with the turfman from Ardee.

We chatted very freely as we jogged along the road,
He said my ass is tired and I’d like to sell his load,
For I got no refreshments since I left home you see,
And I’m wearied out with travelling said the turfman from Ardee.

Your cart is wracked and worn friend, your ass is very old,
It must be twenty summers since that animal was foaled
Yoked to a cart where I was born, September ‘forty three
And carried for the midwife says the turfman from Ardee

I often do abuse my ass with this old hazel rod,
But never yet did I permit poor Jack to go unshod
The harness now upon his back was made by John McGee
And he’s dead this four and forty years says the turfman from Ardee.

I own my cart now, has been made out of the best of wood,
I do believe it was in use in the time of Noah’s flood
Its axle never wanted grease say one year out of three.
It’s a real old Carrick axle said the turfman from Ardee.

We talked about our country and how we were oppressed
The men we sent to parliament have got our wrongs addressed
I have no faith in members now or nothing else you see
But led by bloomin’ humbugs, said the turfman from Ardee.

Just then a female voice called out, which I knew very well,
Politely asking this old man the load of turf to sell
I shook that stately hand of his and bowed respectfully
In hope to meet some future day, the turfman from Ardee.

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