Songs our Mothers sang

The Calabar
Come all ye dry-land sailors and listen to my song,
It has only forty verses, so I won't detain you long.
It's all about the history of this here British tar
Who sailed as a man before the mast on board of the Calabar.

Our vessel ploughed the waters of the Strabane Canal,
Being under close-reefed topsails, for the glass foretold a squall,
It was nor'east of the shipyard we were beating in the surf.
On our way to the Carrigans Harbour with a cargo of good black turf.

The Calabar was a clipper flat, copper-fastened fore and aft,
Her rudder stuck out far behind, her wheel was a great big shaft,
With half a gale to swell each sail, she'd make two knots an hour,
Being the smartest craft on the whole canal, though only one horse-power.

Our captain was a strapping youth, his height was four feet two,
His eyes were black, his nose was red, his cheeks a Prussian blue,
He wore a leather medal that he'd won at the China war,
And his wife was pilot and passenger cook aboard of the Calabar.

We started with a fav'ring gale, the weather being sublime
But just right under Derry Bridge, where you can't pass two at a time,
We were struck amidships by a scow that gave us a serious check,
For it stove in the larboard paddle box and shattered the hurricane deck.

Next day we ran short of buttermilk---it was all the captain's fault---
So the crew were laid up with scurvy, for the herrings were terrible salt.
Our coloured cook said the meat was done, there wasn't a bap on the shelf;
"Then we'll eat the soap," the captain cried, "let no man wash

While hugging the shore near Sandy Brown's, a very dangerous part,
We ran bow on to a bank of mud that wasn't marked down on the chart,
Then to keep the vessel from sinking and save each precious life,
We heaved the cargo overboard, including the captain's wife.

Then all became confusion while the stormy wind did blow,
Our bo'sun slipped on an orange peel and fell in the hold below,
"A pirate ship," our captain cried, "and on us she does gain;
When next I go to Strabane, my boys, by Jove I'll go by train."

We got our arms all ready to meet the coming foe,
Our grappling irons, boarding pikes and Armstrong guns also
"Turn on full speed," the captain said, "for we are sorely pressed,"
But the engineer replied from the bank, "The horse is doing his

Oh, thick and fast the heroes fell, in streams the blood was spilt,
Great numbers fell before they were touched, to make sure they
wouldn't be kilt,
At last when the enemy struck her flag, her crew being laid on their backs,
We found she was another scow with a cargo of cobbler's wax.


You landsmen all on you I call
You heroes stout and brave
That are inclined to cross the seas
Your homelands now to leave
Come join with Captain Coulston
That hero stout and bold
Who fought his way all on the sea
And never was controlled

We sailed away from Liverpool
The weather being fine
Bound for New York City boys
It was our chief's design
We being all Irish emigrants
The truth to you I'll tell
Who in distress our homes had left
And to Ireland bid farewell
On the evening of the 25th
our captain he did cry
Clear away the deck me boys
For a strange sail I do spy
And all you Irish emigrants
Awake now from your sleep
For in a few more hours me boys
You'll be slumbering in the deep
For a pirate ship is a-coming down
Just from the Western Sea
For to rob us of our property
Going to Amerikay

Oh the pirate ship came up to us
And ordered us to stand
Your gold and precious cargo
This moment I demand
Your gold and precious cargo
Resign to me this day
For one living soul you'll never bring
Unto Amerikay

Then up and spoke our captain
With voice both loud and bold
Saying we will slumber in the deep
Before we'll be controlled
Before that we'll surrender
Our property to thee
We'll fight like Irish hearts of oaks
And gain the victory

So the battle it commenced
And the firing did begin
They wounded the captain's mate
And killed two of his men
But our Irish boys were valiant and bold
And our canons loud did roar
And we killed ten of the pirate men
And turned them overboard
Oh the cries of women and children
As in the hold they lay
And our captain and his gallant crew
They showed an Irish play
The captain's wife she came on deck
Saying I'll soon end this strife
And with a pistol ball she took
The pirate captain's life

And it's to conclude and finish
The truth I'll tell to you
Oh we never lost a single man
Excepting one ore two
And the pirate ship surrendered
Just at the break of day
And we brought her as a prisoner
Unto Amerikay


I wish I was in Carrickfergus, only for nights in Ballygrant,
I would swim over the deepest ocean, only for nights in Ballygrant.
But the sea is wide and I can’t swim over, nor have I the wings to fly.
If I could find me a handsome boatsman, to ferry me over to my love and die.

Now in Kilkenny, it is reported, they’ve marble stones as black as ink,
With gold and silver I would transport her, but I’ll sing no more now ‘till I get a drink. I’m drunk today, but then I’m seldom sober, a handsome rover from town to town. Ah, but I’m sick now, my days are over, come all ye young lads and lay me down.


The October winds lament around the castle of Dromore
Yet peace is in her lofty halls, my loving treasure store
Though autumn leaves may droop and die, a bud of spring are you

Sing hushabye loo, low loo, low lan
Hushabye loo, low loo

Dread spirits all of black water, Clan Owen's wild banshee
Bring no ill wind to him nor us, my helpless babe and me
And Holy Mary pitying us to Heaven for grace doth sue

Take time to thrive, my ray of hope, in the garden of Dromore
Take heed, young eaglet, till thy wings are feathered fit to soar
A little rest and then the world is full of work to do
A little rest and then the world is full of work to do


Champion At Drivin' Em Crazy
I am a bold Irishman, Murphy's me name.
I'm known as a piper and fiddler of fame.
Tin whistlin's me forte, on the flute I'm the same
At the squeeze-box there's none can me equal.
I whistle for breakfast, and pipe for me tea
I play me ould flute twenty-five hours a day.
And I can't understand why so many folk say
I'm champion at drivin' 'em crazy.

Well, I once had a sweetheart, so fair and divine
She said that she loved me, I thought she was mine.
She'd the shape of a fiddle and her hair was so fine
For bowstrings you'd sure find no better.
She told me forever her love would endure;
She asked me to kiss her, me answer was, " Sure.
And why not? It's good practice for my embouchure!"
I'm champion at drivin' 'em crazy.

Well, this lass was persistent and her efforts soon led
To a room in a pub with a big double bed
And she said," Do you know it is time we were wed? "
I said, " Is that a reel or a hornpipe? "
Well I took off my clothes and down on the bed sat
Says she, " Won't your whistle go longer than that?"
I said, "What takes your fancy, is it F or B-flat? "
I'm champion at drivin' 'em crazy.

Well, a little while after, she says to me, "Pat,
I think that your whistlin' is making me fat."
And, a few months being over, she up and begat
A wee fellow, the image of me.
Well, at three weeks of age he could lilt a few tunes;
At a month he was batterin' on bodhran and bones.
And now he's the master of chanter and drones
He'll be champion at drivin' 'em crazy.

Well me wife she soon left us, and all in due course
For "musical cruelty" she got her divorce,
And despite all our vows of "for better or worse,"
I'm left all alone with the baby.
Well, he's Ireland's best piper by quite a long chalk;
His fiddling's unequaled from Sligo to Cork,
And, as soon as he learns how to walk and to talk
He'll be champion at drivin' 'em crazy.


To Strabane last Thursday I was walking
And quite early in the day,
I overheard two neighbours talking
Just before me on the way;
On the times they were- discussing,
Wealthy people and their greed,
Farmers that had full and plenty,
All applying for the charity seed.

cho: There's lots of food and prospects good,
Plenty of crops, my boys , don't fret,
Providence provides for all,
We never died in winter yet.

The people say near Ballintra,
When times were good, Richmond proved their cause;
Walter Black, the people say,
Got more than a strong horse could draw.
He got a ton of good potatoes,
And for them he had no need,
Believe me now, it's true you'll find,
You'll see a row about the seed.

Great distress was in the west,
Disraeli got a dreadful scare,
The land of Connaught, depend upon it,
It was near to be civil war;
Gladstone now will quell the row
And I hope next year there will be no need;
Believe me now, it's true you'll find
You'll see a row about the seed.

Now and then you will find men
If the land was full from north to south
And a double price for their produce
That poverty's still in their mouth.


The City of Baltimore
Come all ye true-born lrishmen, a story I will tell,
Concerning Denis McCarthy, in Liverpool town did dwell.
'Twas down the northern docks one day he happened for to stay;
On a western ocean steamboat he stowed himself away.

After four long days and four long nights in the chain locker he
was found,
The lrish lad was stowed away, leaving his native ground .
The lrish lad was stowed awag, leaving his native shore,
On board of a western ocean boat, The City of Baltimore.

The mate he came up on the deck, and to the crew did say:
"Where is that lrish son of a gun who stowed himself away?"
"I'm here," says bold McCarthy, "and as I've said hefore,
I'll fight any man that's fore or aft The City of Baltimore."

The mate, he being a cowardly man, before him wouldn't stand;
McCarthy, being a smart man, 'twas at the mate he ran.
McCarthy, being a smart man, this bucko he did lower,
And he stretched him senseless on the deck of the City of

The second mate and the bosun came to the mate's relief;
McCarthy with his capstan bar he soon made them retreat.
His Irish blood began to boil and he like a lion did roar,
Saying, "Skin and hair will fly this day on The City of

The captain was a Scotchman, McDonald was his name;
When he had seen what McCarthy done, right for'ard then he came.
"Well done," he cried, "my gallant boy. I'll give you three cheers
You fought your way right fore and aft on the City of Baltimore!"


Clancy Lowered the Boom
Now Clancy was a peaceful man, if you know what I mean.
The cops picked up the pieces after Clancy left the scene.
He never looked for trouble, that’s a fact you can assume.
But never-the-less, when trouble would press,
Clancy lowered the boom!

Oh, that Clancy! Oh, that Clancy!
Whenever they got his Irish up,
Clancy lowered the boom!

O’Leary was a fighting man, they all knew he was tough.
He strutted ‘round the neighbourhood, a-shootin’ off his guff.
He picked a fight with Clancy, then and there he sealed his doom.
Before you could shout “O’Leary, look out!”
Clancy lowered the boom!

Clancy left the barber shop with tonic on his hair,
He walked into the poolroom and he met O’Reilly there.
O’Reilly said “For goodness sakes, now do I smell perfume?”
Before you could stack your cue in the rack,
Clancy lowered the boom!

Mulrooney walked into the bar and ordered up a round.
He left his drink to telephone, and Clancy drank it down.
Mulrooney said “Who drunk me drink? I’ll lay him in his tomb!”
Before you could pat the top of your hat,
Clancy lowered the boom!

O’Houlihan delivered ice to Misses Clancy’s flat.
He’d always linger for a while, to talk of this and that.
One day he kissed her just as Clancy walked into the room.
Before you could say the time of day,
Clancy lowered the boom!

The neighbours all turned out for Kat O’Grady’s weddin’ night.
McDoogle said “Let’s have some fun - I think I’ll start a fight!”
He wrecked the hall, then kissed the bride and pulverised the groom
Then quick as a wink, before you could think,
Clancy lowered the boom!


When, on Ramillies' bloody field,
The baffled French were forced to yield,
The victor Saxon backward reeled
Before the charge of Clare's dragoons.
The flags we conquered in that fray,
Look lone in Ypres' choir, they say,
We'll win them company today,
Or bravely die like CIare's dragoons.

Viva la, for Ireland's wrong!
Viva la, for Ireland's right!
Viva la, in battle throng,
For a Spanish steed and sabre bright!

Another Clare is here to lead,
The worthy son of such a breed
The French expect some famous deed,
When Clare leads on his bold dragoons.
Our colonel comes from Brian's race,
His wounds are in his breast and face,
The bearna baoghil is still his place,
The foremost of his bold dragoon,

Viva la, the new brigade!
Viva la, the old one too!
Viva la, the rose shall fade
And the shamrock shine forever new!

Oh! comrades, think how Ireland pines,
Her exiled lords, her rifled shrines,
Her dearest hope, the ordered lines,
And bursting charge of Clare's dragoons.
Then fling your green flag to the sky,
Be "Limerick!" your battle-cry,,
And charge, till blood floats fetlock-high
Around the track of Clare's dragoons.

Viva la, the new brigade!
Viva la, the old one too!
Viva la, the rose shall fade
And the shamrock shine forever new!


You may travel far far from your own native land,
Far away o'er the mountains, far a-way o'er the foam,
But of all the fine places that I've ever been
Sure there's none can compare with the cliffs of Doneen.

Take a view o'er the mountains, fine sights you'll see there
You'll see the high rocky mountains o'er the west coast of Clare
Oh the town af Kilkee and Kilrush can be seen
From the high rocky slopes round the cliffs of Doneen.

It's a nice place to be on a fine summer's day
Watching all the wild flowers that ne'er do decay
Oh the hares and lofty pheasants are plain to be seen
Making homes for their young round the cliffs of Doneen.

Fare thee well to Doneen, fare thee well for a while
And to all the kind people I'm leaving behind
To the streams and the meadows where late I have been
And the high rocky slopes round the cliffs of Doneen.

Cockles and Mussels
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty,
‘Twas there I first met My sweet Molly Malone.
She drove her wheel-barrow thro’ streets broad and narrow,
Crying “Cockles and Mussels, a-live, a-live o!”
A-live, alive-o! A-live, a-live o!
Crying “Cockles and Mussels, a-live, a-live o!”

She was a fishing-monger, and that was no wonder,
For so was her father and mother before.
They drove their wheel-barrows thro’ streets broad and narrow,
Crying “Cockles and Mussels, a-live, a-live o!”

She died of the fever, and nothing could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molloy Malone.
But her ghost drives a barrow thro’ streets broad and narrow,
Crying “Cockles and Mussels” a-live, a-live o”.


Cod Liver Ile
I'm a young married man that is tired in life,
Ten years I've been wed to a sickly wife;
She does nothing all day but sit down and cry,
A-wishing to God that she could die.

A friend of me own came to see me one day
And said that me wife was a-fadin' away.
He afterwards told me that she would get strong
If I got her a bottle from Doctor Dearjohn.

I bought her one bottle, 'twas just for to try,
And the way that she drank it you'd swear she was dry,
I bought her another which vanished the same,
Till I think she's got cod liver ile on the brain.


"Oh, doctor, oh, doctor, oh, dear Doctor John,
Your cod liver ile is so pure and so strong
I'm afraid to me life I'll go down in the sile
If me wife don't quit drinking your cod liver ile."

She likes it so much that there is no doubt
Me wife she got fat and terrible stout,
And when she got stout, of course, she got strong,
And then I got jealous of Doctor Dearjohn.

Me house it resembles a big doctor's shop
With bottles and bottles and bottles on top,
And then in the morning when the kettle does bile
I'll swear it be singing of cod liver ile.


Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream? With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream. did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?


Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not, and our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.

Did you ever take potato cake in a basket to the school,
Tucked underneath your arm with your book, your slate and rule?
And when the teacher wasn't looking sure a great big bite you'd take, of the creamy flavoured buttered soft and seet potato cake.


Did you ever go a-courting as the evening sun went down, and the moon began a-peeping from behind the Hill o'Down?
As you wandered down the boreen where the leprechaun was seen, and you whispered loving phrases to your little fair colleen

Yes you did, so you did, so did she and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not, and our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.


Oh, come by the hills to the land where fancy is free.
Stand where the peaks meet the sky and the loughs meet the sea,
Where rivers run clear, bracken is gold in the sun;
Ah, the cares of tomorrow can wait till this day is done.

Oh, come by the hills to the land where life is a song.
Stand where the birds fill the air with their joy all day long,
Where the trees sway in time, even the wind sings in tune;
Ah, the cares of tomorrow can wait till this day is done.

Oh, come by the hills to the land where legend remains.
The stories of old fill the heart and may yet come again,
Where the past has been lost, the future is still to be won;
Ah, the cares of tomorrow can wait till this day is done.

Oh, come by the hills to the land where fancy is free.
Stand where the peaks meet the sky and the loughs meet the sea,
Where rivers run clear, bracken is gold in the sun;
Ah, the cares of tomorrow can wait till this day is done.


In our army we're the best
From the north, south east or west
The best of boys are following the drum.
We are mighty hard to bate,
I may say without concate,
Faith the enemy are welcome when they come.
Be they Russiand, French or Dutch
Sure it doesn't matter much,
We're the boys to give 'em sugar in their tay
For we're the Connaght Rangers,
The lads to face all dangers,
Fallaballah, fallaballah, Clear the way!

You may talk about your guards boys
Your lancers and hussars boys
Your fusiliers and royal artillery (without the guns)
The girls we drive'em crazy, the foe we beat them easy
The rangers from old Connaght, yaarrr, the land across the sea!

Now allow me here to state,
It is counted quite a trate,
In old Ireland just for fight for friendship's sake
To crack your neighbor's head,
Or maybe your own instead.
Faith 'tis just the fun and glory of a wake
So you see all Irish boys are accustomed to such noise
It's as natural as drinking whiskey neat.
For there's none among them all, from Kingston to Donegal,
Like the gallant Connaght Ranger on his beat.


T'was Bonaparte who said as the Frenchmen on he led
Marshall Soult, be them the Rangers do you know?
Faith says Soult, there's no mistake, to our heels we'd better take
I think it's time for you and I to go.
When the colleens hear their step, it makes their hearts to leap
Aaargh, jewels will ye wist till Parrick's day?
For they are the Connaght Rangers, the boys that fear no dangers
And they're the lads that always take the sway.


Now you haven't far to search, for the lads who best can march
The lads that never fear the longest day,
Faith you easily will know, their dashing step will show
Tis the Connaght boys who always lead the way.
If me words perhaps you doubt, come and join 'em on a route
I'm thinkin' you'll not find it quite a treat;
You'll see them in the van, you may catch them if you can
Faith you'll have to travel fast or you'll be late.



Now as I was a-walking down by the sea shore
Where the wind it did whistle and the waves they did roar
There I heard a fair maid make a terrible sound
Like the wind and the waves that did echo around

Ch: Crying "Ohh.. my love is gone
He's the youth I adore
He's gone and I never shall see him no more"

She'd a voice like a nightingale, skin like a dove
And the song that she sang it was all about love
When I asked her to marry me, marry me please
But the answer she gave: "My love's drowned in the seas"

I said I had gold and I'd silver beside
On a coach and six horses with me she could ride
She said: "I'll not marry nor yet prove a wife
I'll be constant a true all the days I'll have life"

Then she flung her arms wide and she took a great leap
From the cliffs that were high to the billows so deep
Saying: "The rocks of the ocean shall be my death bed
And the shrimps of the sea shall swim over my head"

And now every night at six bells they appear
When the moon is shining and the stars they are clear
These two constant lovers with each other's charms
Rolling over and over in each other's arms


Come single belle and beau, unto me pay attention,
Don't ever fall in love, it's the divil's own invention,
For once I fell in love with a damsel most bewitchin',
Miss Henrietta Bell, down in Captain Kelly's kitchen.

With my toora loora la, my toora loora laddy,
With my toora loora la, toora loora laddy.

At the age of seventeen, I was 'prenticed to a grocer,
Not far from Stephen's Green, where Miss Bell for tea would go, sir,
Her manners were so free, she set me heart a-twitchin',
She invited me to tea, down in Captain Kelly's kitchen.

Next Sunday bein' the day we were to have the flare-up,
I dressed myself quite gay, an' I frizzed and oiled my hair up,
The Captain had no wife, he had gone out a-fishin',
So we kicked up high life, below-stairs in the kitchen.

Just as the clock struck six we sat down to the table,
She served me tea and cakes --- I ate while I was able,
I ate cakes, drank punch and tea, till my side had got a stitch in,
And the hours flew quick away, while coortin' in the kitchen.

With my arms around her waist, I kissed ---she hinted marriage,
To the door in dreadful haste came Captain Kelly's carriage!
Her looks told me full well that moment she was wishin',
That I'd get out to Hell, or somewhere far from the kitchen.

She flew up off my knees, full seven feet or higher,
And over heads and heels, threw me slap into the fire,
My new Repealers coat, that I'd bought from Mrs. Stichen,
With a thirty-shilling note, went to blazes in the kitchen.

I grieved to see my duds, all besmeared with smoke and ashes,
When a tub of dirty suds, right in my face she dashes.
As I lay on the floor, still the water she kept pitchin',
Till the footman broke the door, and marched into the kitchen.

When the Captain came downstairs, and seen my situation,
In spite of all my prayers I was marched off to the station,
For me they'd take no bail, tho' to get home I was itchin',
And I had to tell the tale of how I got into the kitchen.

I said she did invite me, but she gave a flat denial,
For assault she did indict me, and I was sent for trial.
She swore I robbed the house, in spite of all her screechin',
And I got six months hard, for my coortin' in the kitchen.


Weren't we the rare oul' stock? Spent the evenin' gettin' locked
In the Ace of Hearts where the high stools were engaging,
Over the Butt Bridge, down by the dock
The boat she sailed at five o'clock
"Hurry, boys," said Whack, or before we're there we'll all be back
Carry him if you can, The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.

Before we reached the Alexander Base; The ding dong we did surely raise
In the bar of the ship we had great sport, as the boat she sailed out of
the port
Landed up in the Douglas Head; Enquired for a vacant bed.
The dining room we soon got shown by a decent woman up the road.
'Lads, ate it if you can, The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.

Next morning we went for a ramble round; Viewed the sights of Douglas Town
Then we went tor a mighty session, in a pub they call Dick Darbies.
We must have been drunk by half-past three; To sober up we went swimmin' in
the sea
Back to the digs for the spruce up, and while waitin' for the fry
We all drew up our plan; The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.

That night we went to the Texas Bar; Came back down by horse and car.
Met Big Jim and all went in to drink some wine in Yate's.
The Liverpool Judies, it was said, were all to be found in the Douglas Head
McShane was there in his suit and shirt, Them foreign girls he was tryin'
to flirt
Sayin' "Here girls, I'm your man," The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.

Whacker fancied his good looks; On an Isle of Man woman he was struck.
But a Liverpool lad was by her side. And he throwin'the jar into her.'
Whacker thought he'd take a chance; He asked the quare one out to dance.
Around the floor they stepped it out, And to Whack it was no bother.
Everythin' was goin' to plan; The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man woman fancied Whack; Your man stood there till his mates
came back
Whack! they all whacked into Whack, and Whack was whacked out on his back.
The police force arrived as well, Banjoed a couple of them as well,
Landed up in the Douglas jail, until the Dublin boat did sail,
Deported every man, The Crack was Ninety in the Isle of Man.


Craigie Hill
It being in spring and the small birds they were singing
Down by a shady arbour I carelessly did stray
Where the thrushes they were warbling
The violets they were charming
For to view two lovers talking a while I did delay

She said, "My dear, don't leave me all for another season
Though fortune may be pleasing I'll go along with you
I'll give up friends and relations and quit this Irish nation
And to the bonnie Bann banks forever I'll bid adieu"

He said, "My dear, don't grieve me or yet annoy my patience
You know I love you dearly although I'm going away
I'm going to some foreign nation to purchase a plantation
For to comfort us hereafter all in America.

The landlords and their agents, their bailiffs and their beagles
The land of our forefathers we're forced for to give o'er
And we're sailing on the ocean for honor and promotion
And we're parting with our sweethearts, it's them we do adore

If you were in your bed lying and thinking of dying
One sight of the bonny Bann banks, your sorrows you'd give o'er
And if your were but one hour all in her shady bower
Pleasure would surround you, You'd think on death no more

So fare thee well, sweet Craigie Hill, where ofttimes I have roved in
I never thought in my childhood days I'd part you any more
But we're sailing on the ocean for honour and promotion
And the bonny boat's sailing way down by Doorin shore

In Bristol did a merchant dwell
He courted a girl and he loved her well
And all he craved in his delight
Was to lay with her one night

To me rye whack fol the diddle I gee oh
To me rye whack fol the diddle I gee oh

As this young maid on her bed she lay
A-thinking on the tricks on him she'd play
And in his way she put a chair
And on the chair placed crockery ware

As this young man come in the dark
A-thinking to find his own sweetheart
He hit his toe against a chair
Upsetting all of the crockery ware
The old woman ran downstairs in a fright
And there she called for a light
She said, "you villain, what brought you here
A-breaking all of the crockery ware?"

He said, "Old woman don't look so cross
I missed my way and I fear I'm lost
I missed my way and I do declare
I broke me shin on your crockery ware"

As this young maid on her bed she lay
A-laughing at the tricks on him she played
She said, "Young man, don't look so queer
And pay me mother for the crockery ware"

The police were sent for right away
And, sure enough, I had to pay
A dollar for the broken chair
And one pound ten for her crockery ware

So come all you rakes and rambling sports
That goes a courting in the dark
Don't hit your toe against a chair
Or else you'll suffer for your crockery ware.


Come Irishmen both young and stern
With adventure in your soul
There are better ways to spend your days
Than in working down a hole

I was tall and true, all of 6 foot 2
But they broke me across the back
By a name I'm known and it's not my own
They call me Crooked Jack

The ganger's blue-eyed boy was I
Big Jack could do no wrong
And the reason simply was because
I could work hard hours and long

I've seen men old before their time
Their faces drawn and gray
I never thought so soon would mine
Be lined the self same way

I've cursed the day that I went away
To work on the hydro dams
For sweat and tears or hopes and fears
Bound up in shuttering jams

They say that honest toil is good
For the spirit and the soul
But believe me boys it's for sweat and blood
That they want you down a hole


The Croppie Boy
Good men and true in this house who dwell,
To a stranger buichall* I bid ye tell
Is the priest at home, or may he be seen
I would speak a word with Father Green.

"The priest's at home and he may be seen,
'Tis aisy speakin' with Father Green
But you must wait while I go and see
If the holy father alone may be."

The lad has knelt to tell his sins
"In Nomine Deo" the youth begins,
At "Mea Culpa" he beats his breast
And in broken murmurs he speaks the rest.

I cursed three times since last Easter day,
At mass-time once I went to play
I passed the church yard one day in haste
And forgot to pray for my mother's rest.

At the siege of Ross did my father fall,
And at Gory my loving brothers all.
I alone am left of my name and race
I shall go to Wexford to take their place.

I bear no hate 'gainst no living thing
But I love my country above the King
Now, Father, bless me and let me go
To die, if God hath ordained it so.

The priest said naught, but a rustling noise
Made the boy look up in wild surmise;
The robes were gone, and in scarlet there
Stood a yeoman captain with fiery glare.

With fiery glare and with fury hoarse,
Instead of a blessing he breath'd a curse
" 'Twas a good thought, boy, to come here and shrive
For this one last hour's your time to live."

"On yonder river three tenders float,
Your priest's on one if he isn't shot
We hold this house for our lord, the King
And the men say, Aye! May all traitors swing."

At Geneva Valley the young man died,
And at Passage there was his body laid
Good people who live in peace and joy
Breathe a prayer, shed a tear for the Croppie boy.


Cruiskeen Lawn
Let the farmer praise his grounds, let the hunter praise his hounds,
And the shepherd his sweet scented lawn;
But I, more blest than they, spend each happy night and day
With my charmin' little cruiskeen lawn, lawn, lawn
Oh, my charmin little cruiskeen lawn.

CHO: Gra-ma-chree ma-cruiskeen, slainte geal mavoorneen
Gra-machree a cool-in bawn, bawn, bawn,
Oh! gramachree a coolin bawn

Immortal and divine, great Bacchus, god of wine
Create me by adoption your son.
In hopes that you'll comply, THat my glass shall ne'er run dry
Nor my smilin' little etc.

And when grim Death appears, in a few but pleasant years,
To tell me that my glass has run,
I'll say, "Begone, you knave! For great Bacchus gave me leave
To take another etc.


O who is out there knocking the ditches down
O who is out there knocking the ditches down
O who is out there knocking the ditches down
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla

Cunnla dear, don't come any nearer me
Cunnla dear, don't come any nearer me
Cunnla dear, don't come any nearer me
Maybe I shouldn't, says Cunnla

Who is that down there knocking the window frame
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla

Who is that down there raking the fire for me
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla

Who is that down there tickling the toes off me
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla

Who is that down there taking the clothes off me
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla

Whos is that down there climbing on top of me
Oh me dear, it's Cunnla


Oh the winter it has passed
And the summer's come at last
The small birds are singing in the trees
And their little hearts are glad
ah, but mine is very sad
Since my true love is far away from me
And straight I will repair
To the Curragh of Kildare
For it's there I'll finds tidings of my dear
Oh the rose upon the briar
And the clouds that float so high
Bring joy to the linnet and the bee
And their little hearts are blessed
But mine can know no rest
Since my true love is far away from me
All you who are in love
Aye and cannot it remove
I pity the pain that you endure
For experience lets me know
That your hearts are filled with woe
It's a woe that no mortal can cure

This site is currently under construction and will be added to on a regular basis