Alfred Perceval Graves.

Songs of Irish wit and humour online

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When my heart you so beguiled ?
Why did you skedaddle from me and the child ?
Why, Johnny, I hardly knew ye !
With your guns, &c.

' Where are the legs with which you run ?

Hurroo ! Hurroo !
Where are the legs with which you run ?

Hurroo ! Hurroo !
Where are the legs with which you run,

When you went to carry a gun

Indeed, your dancing days are done !
Faith, Johnny, I hardly knew ye !
With your guns, &c.

' It grieved my heart to see you sail,

Hurroo ! hurroo !
It grieved my heart to see you sail,

Hurroo ! hurroo !
It grieved my heart to see you sail,
When from my heart you took leg bail
Like a cod you're now doubled up head and tail.
Faith, Johnny, I hardly knew ye !
With your guns, &c.


1 I'm happy for to see you home,

Hurroo I Hurroo !
I'm happy for to see you home,.
All from the island of Ceylon,
So low in flesh, so high in bone,
Faith, Johnny, I hardly knew ye !
With your guns, &c.'



j|)) EAUING, belling, dancing, drinking,

Breaking windows, damning, sinking, 1
Ever raking, never thinking,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

Spending faster than it comes,
Beating waiters, bailiffs, duns,
Bacchus's true begotten sons,

Live the rakes of Mallow.

One time nought but claret drinking,
Then like politicians thinking
To raise the sinking funds when sinking,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

1 To ' sink ' was, eighty years ago, a stronger term than to
* damn. ' It implied sending the victim lower down than hell.


When at home with dadda dying,
Still for Mallow water crying ;
But where there's good claret plying,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

Living short, but merry lives ;
Going where the devil drives ;
Having sweethearts but no wives,
Live the rakes of Mallow.

Racking tenants, stewards teasing,
Swiftly spending, slowly raising,
Wishing to spend all their days in
Raking as at Mallow.

Then, to end this raking life,
They get sober, take a wife,
Ever after live in strife,

And wish again for Mallow.



fERRY Mahony, arrah, my jewel ! come let us be
off to the fair,

For the Donovans all in their glory most cer-
tainly mean to be there ;
Say they, ' The whole Mahony faction we'll banish

7 em out clear and clean.'

But it never was yet in their breeches their bullaboo
words to maintain.

There's Darby to head us, and Barney, as civil a man

as yet spoke,
'Twould make your mouth water to see him just giving

a bit of a stroke.
There's Corney, the bandy-legged tailor, a boy of the

true sort of stuff,
Who'd fight though the black blood was flowing like

butter-milk out of his buff.


There's broken-nosed Bat from the mountain last

week he burst out of jail
And Murty the beautiful Tory, who'd scorn in a row

to turn tail ;
Bloody Bill will be there like a darling and Jerry

och ! let him alone,
For giving his blackthorn a flourish, or lifting a lump

of a stone !

And Tim, who'd served in the militia, has his bayonet

stuck on a pole ;
Foxy Dick has his scythe in good order a neat sort

of tool on the whole ;
A cudgel I see is your weapon, and never I knew it

to fail ;
But I think that a man is more handy who rights, as

I do, with a flail.

We muster a hundred shillelahs, all handled by ile-

gant men,
Who battered the Donovans often, and now will go

do it again :
To-day we will teach them some manners, and show

that) in spite of their talk,
We still, like our fathers before us, are surely the

cocks of the walk*


After cutting out work for the sexton by smashing a

dozen or so,
We'll quit in the utmost of splendour, and down to

Peg Slattery's go ;
In gallons we'll wash down the battle, and drink to

the next merry day,
When mustering again in a body we all shall go

leathering away.



) ET Bacchus's sons be not dismayed,

But join with me each jovial blade ;
Come booze and sing and lend your aid
To help me with the chorus :

Instead of Spa we'll drink brown ale,
And pay the reckoning on the nail,
No man for debt shall go to gaol
From Garryowen in glory !

We are the boys that take delight in
Smashing the Limerick lamps when lighting,
Through the streets like sporters fighting,
And bearing all before us.
Instead of Spa, &c.

We'll break windows, we'll break doors,
The watch knock down by threes and fours;


Then let the doctors work their cures
And tinker up our bruises.

Instead of Spa, &c. ,

We'll beat the bailiffs, out of fun,
We'll make the mayor and sheriffs run :
We are the boys no man dares dun,
If he regards a whole skin.
Instead of Spa, &c.

Our hearts, so stout, have got us fame,
For soon 'tis known from whence we came ;
Where'er we go they dread the name
Of Garryowen in glory.

Instead of Spa, &c.

Johnny ConnelPs tall and straight,
And in his limbs he is complete ;
He'll pitch a bar of any weight
From Garryowen to Thomond Gate.
Instead of Spa, &c.

Garryowen is gone to wrack,
Since Johnny Connell went to Cork,
Though Darby O'Brien leapt over the dock,
In spite of all the soldiers.
Instead of Spa, &c.



nine years ago and me diggin' some land,
Two brogues on my feet and a spade in my


Says I to myself, ' Tis a pity to see
Such a dashing young blade diggin 5 turf in Tralee.'
Wid my brogues so well greased and
My face 'twas so dirty.

So I butthered my brogues and shook hands wid my


And I off to the fair, like a dashing young blade ;
I there met a sergeant, who axed me to list.
' Arrah, sergeant,' says I, ' will ye tip me the fist.'
Wid rcy brogues, &c.



He gave me a shillin', he said he'd no more ;
When I'd get to Head Quarters I'd get half a score.
' Head Quarters,' says I, < arrah, sergeant, good-bye ;
I'm not going to be quartered I'm in dread I might
die. 7
With my brogues, &c,

1 Arrah, Paddy, be aisy, why can't you abide ;
Head Quarters is the place where we all do reside.'
I soon found his meaning and went wid good grace
To take up my quarters in that royal place.
Wid my brogues, &c.

Then up comes the Captain, a man of great fame,
He axed me my county, I told him my name ;
Then up wid my story and told him agin
That my father and mother were two Kerry men,
Wid my brogues, &c.

Then up comes the Colonel to give me his thanks,
He bade me take arms and fall into the ranks.
4 Arrah, Colonel, achree, won't you lave me alone,
Don't you see that I've arms and legs of my own ? '
Wid my brogues, &c.

The first thing they gave me it was a red coat,
Wid a great strap of leather to tie up my throat ;


They gave me a quare thing, I axed 'em c What's that ? '
And they told me it was a cockade for my hat.
Wid my brogues, &c.

The next thing they gave me it was a great gun,
Wid powder and trigger and on her my thumb ;
An' first she spit fire and then she spit smoke,
Wid a noise then like thunder my shoulder she broke.
Wid my brogues, &c.

The first place they sent me was ever so far
In a quare thing they said was the King's Man o' War ;
Three sticks in the middle, and on her a sheet,
And she walked on the water widout any feet.
Wid my brogues, &c.

We fought many battles wid pretty good luck
At Vinegar Hill and at Ballinamuck,
The balls and the powder they all were so hot
I sneaked round behind them in dread of bein' shot.
Wid my brogues, &c.

Now war is all over and peace is come in,
I'm paid all my wages, and God save the King !
I'm nine years in glory, and glad it's not ten,
And now I am back diggin' praties agin.

Wid my brogues so well greased and

My face just as dirty.


M 2


fN the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan
Battered away till he hadn't a pound,
His father he 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'll just listen, I'll make your eyes glisten
With the rows and the ructions of 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.


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

All singing together at 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 was glad o' me :

We danced till we thought the ceilin' would fall
(For I spent three weeks in Burke's Academy

Learning a step 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'd not stir a step further,

But have satisfaction at 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 declared 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

He tore the left leg from under the table,

And smashed all the china at Lanigan's ball.

Oh, boys, there was the 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, bellows, chanters, and

The girls in their ribbons they all got entangled,

And that put an end to Lanigan's ball.




, H, sweet Kitty Neil, rise up from that wheel
Your neat little foot will be weary from

spinning ;
Come trip down with me to the sycamore-tree,

Half the parish is there and the dance is beginning.
The sun has gone down, but the full harvest moon

Shines sweetly and cool on the dew- whitened valley ;
While all the air rings with the soft loving things,
Each little bird sings in the green shaded valley.'

With a blush and a smile, Kitty rose up the while,
Her eyes in the glass, as she bound her hair, glanc-
ing ;

'Tis hard to refuse, when a young lover sues,
So she couldn't but choose to go off to the dancing.

And now on the green the glad groups are seen,
Each gay-hearted lad with the lass of his choosing ;


And Pat without fail leads out sweet Kitty Neil,
Somehow, when he asked, she ne'er thought of re-

Now Felix Magee puts his pipes to his knee,

And with flourish so free sets each couple in motion ;
With a cheer and a bound the lads patter the ground,

The maids move around just like swans on the

Cheeks bright as the rose, feet light as the doe's,

Now coyly retiring, now boldly advancing,
Search the world all around from the sky to the ground,

No such sight can be found as an Irish lass dancing.

Sweet Kate ! who could view your bright eyes of deep

Beaming humidly through their dark lashes so


Your fair-turned arm, heaving breast, rounded form,
Nor feel his heart warm and his pulses throb wildly ?
Young Pat feels his heart, as he gazes, depart,

Subdued by the smart of such painful yet sweet

love ;

The sight leaves his eye, as he cries, with a sigh,
' Dance light, for my heart it lies under your feet,

love ! '



ELLOW the moonlight to shine is beginning ;
Close by the window young Eileen is spin-
ning ;

Bent o'er the fire her blind grandmother, sitting,
Is crooning and moaning, and drowsily knitting :
c Eileen achora, I hear some one tapping.'
' 'Tis the ivy, dear mother, against the glass flapping.'
1 Eileen, I surely hear some one sighing.'
1 'Tis the sound, mother dear, of the summer wind


Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's

stirring ;

Sprightly and lightly and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.


'What's that noise that I hear at the window, I

wonder ? '

* Tis the little birds chirping the holly-bush under.'
' What makes you be shoving and moving your stool


And singing all wrong the old song of the Coolun ? '
There's a form at the casement the form of her true

And he whispers, with face bent, ' I'm waiting for you


Get up on the stool, through the lattice step lightly ;
We'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining


Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,
Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's

stirring ;

Sprightly and lightly and airily ringing,
Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

The maid shakes her hand, on her lip lays her fingers,
Steals up from the seat longs to go, and yet lingers ;
A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother,
Puts one foot on the stool, spins the wheel with the


Lazily, easily, swings now the wheel round,
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's round ;


Noiseless and light to the lattice above her
The maid steps, then leaps to the arms of her lover.
Slower and slower and slower the wheel swings ;
Lower and lower and lower the reel rings ;
Ere the reel and the wheel stopped their ringing

and moving,

Through the grove the young lovers by moonlight
are roving




k ING me a song,

Shiel, Shiel

As my foot on the reel
Goes guidin' the wheel

For I keep better time
To a musical rhyme,
Than without/

' No doubt

But, Roseen, yourself start a tune
For I've heard
How a bird

That sings by the light of the moon,
Away over the ocean,
Once took up a notion,


The vain little elf, that he'd fly
To Ireland itself on the sly,
And prove all the songs of our sky
Wid the tone
Of his own

Could never at all at all vie
And he thought himself surely the best,
And 'twas true for him p'r'aps of the rest ;
But we've all understood,
Meetin' you in the wood,
As you warbled " The Land of the West,"
He should say,
He'd no chance

Wid you.
So away
Into France
He flew.'

' Behave, Shiel,
Yerra, don't you feel
How your blarneyin' talk is delayin' my reel ;

If you won't sing a song,

As I'm spinnin' along,
Be off for you're idlin' myself and the wheel.'

' Is it so ?
O ! Vo!

If off I should go
Widout that I make you the music, machree


Down here,
My dear,
From this seat
At your feet,
I'll up wid the song that's the dearest to me.'


Show me a sight

Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it.

O ! No !

Nothing you'll show,
Aquals her sittin' and .takin' a twirl at it.

Look at her there,

Night in her hair
The blue ray of day from her eye laughin' out on us !

Faix, an' a foot,

Perfect of cut,
Peepin' to put an end to all doubt in us

That there's a sight

Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it.

O ! No !

Nothin' you'll show,
Aquals her sittin' an' takin' a twirl at it.


See ! the lamb's wool

Turns coarse an' dull
By them soft, beautiful, weeshy white hands of her.

Down goes her heel,

Roun' runs the wheel,
Purrin' vvid pleasure to take the commands of her.

Then show me a sight

Bates for delight
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it.

O ! No !

Nothin' you'll show
Aquals her sittin' an' takin' a twirl at it.

Talk of Three Fates,

Seated on seats,
Spmnin' and shearin' away till they've done for me,

You may want three

For your massacree,
But one fate for me, boys, and only the one for me :


Isn't that fate,

Pictured complate
An ould Irish wheel wid a young Irish girl at it ?

O ! No!

Nothin' you'll show
Aquals her sittin' an' takin' a twirl at it.



k H, my name it is Darby the Blast !

n My country is Ireland all over ;

My religion is never to fast,

But live, as I wander, in clover ;
To make fun for myself every day,

The ladies to please when I'm able,
The boys to amuse as I play,

And make the jug dance off my table,
Oh, success to the chanter, my dear !

Your eyes on each side you may cast,
But there isn't a house that is near you

But they're glad to have Darby the Blast,
And they'll tell ye 'tis he that can cheer you.


Oh, 'tis he can put life in a feast !

What music lies under his knuckle,
As he plays ' Will I send for the Priest ? '

Or a jig they call ' Cover the Buckle ! '
Oh, good luck to the chanter, your sowl !

But give me an audience in rags,

They're ilegant people for listening ;
Tis they that can humour the bags

As I rise a fine tune at a christening.
There's many a wedding I make

Where they never get further nor sighing, '
And when I performed at a wake,

The corpse looked delighted at dying.
Oh, success to the chanter, your sowl


N 2


! there's not a trade that's going,

Worth showing,

Or knowing,
Like that from glory growing

For a bowld sojer boy !
When right or left we go,
Sure you know,
Friend or foe
Will have the hand or toe
From a bowld sojer boy !

There's not a town we march thro',
But the ladies, looking arch thro'
The window-panes, will search thro'
The ranks to find their joy ;


While up the street,

Each girl you meet,

With look so sly,

Will cry, ' My eye !

Oh, isn't he a darling, the bowld sojer boy ? '

But when we get the rout,
How they pout,
And they shout,
While to the right about

Goes the bowld sojer boy ;
Oh, 'tis then that ladies fair,
In despair,
Tear their hair,
1 But the divil a one I care,'

Says the bowld sojer boy !
For the world is all before us,
Where the landladies adore us,
And ne'er refuse to score us,

But chalk us up with joy ;
We taste her tap
We tear her cap
1 Oh ! that's the chap
For me ! '
Says she,
' Oh ! isn't he a darling, the bowld sojer boy ! '


' Then come along with me,
And you'll see
How happy you will be

With your bowld sojer boy ;
Faith ! if you're up to fun,
With me run :
'Twill be done
In the snapping of a gun,'

Says the bowld sojer boy ;
' And 'tis then that without scandal,
Myself will proudly dandle
The little farthing candle

Of our mutual flame, my joy ;
May his light shine
As bright as mine,
Till in the line
He'll blaze,
And raise
The glory of his corps, like a bowld sojer boy ! '




ITTLE cowboy, what have you heard,

Up on the lonely rath's green mound ?

Only the plaintive yellow-bird

Singing in sultry fields around?
Chary, chary, chary, chee-e !
Only the grasshopper and the bee ?

'Tip-tap, rip-rap,

Tick-a-tack-too !
Scarlet leather sewn together,

This will make a shoe.
Left, right, pull it tight,

Summer days are warm ;
Underground in winter,

Laughing at the storm ! '


Lay your ear close to the hill :

Do you not catch the tiny clamour,
Busy click of an elfin hammer,

Voice of the Leprecaun singing shrill
As he merrily plies his trade ?

He's a span
And a quarter in height :

Get him in sight, hold him fast,
And you're a made
Man !

You watch your cattle the summer day,
Sup on potatoes, sleep in the hay ;
How should you like to roll in your carnage
And look for a duchess's daughter in marriage ?
Seize the shoemaker, so you may !
f Big boots a hunting,
Sandals in the hall,
White for a wedding-feast,

And pink for a ball :
This way, that way,

So we make a shoe,
Getting rich every stitch,

Tick- tack -too ! '

Nine-and-ninety treasure crocks,
This keen miser-fairy hath,


Hid in mountain, wood, and rocks,
Ruin and round-tower, cave and rath,
And where the cormorants build ;
From times of old

Guarded by him ;
Each of them filled
Full to the brim
With gold !

I caught him at work one day myself,

In the castle-ditch where the foxglove grows ;
A wrinkled, wizened, and bearded elf,
Spectacles stuck on the top of his nose,
Silver buckles to his hose,
Leather apron, shoe in his lap ;
1 Rip-rap, tip-tap,
Tick-tack-too !
A grig stepped upon my cap,

Away the moth flew.
Buskins for a fairy prince,

Brogues for his son,
Pay me well, pay me well,

When the job's done. 3
The rogue was mine beyond a doubt,
I stared at him ; he stared at me !
1 Servant, sir ! ' i Humph ! ' said he,
And pulled a snuff-box out.


He took a long pinch, looked better pleased,

The queer little Leprecaun ;
Offered the box with a whimsical grace,
Pouf ! he flung the dust in my face,
And, while I sneezed,
Was gone !



fHE 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

Most nobly set out in the search of a fox.

Hullahoo ! harkaway ! hullahoo ! harkaway !
Hullahoo ! harkaway, boys ! away, harkaway !

When they started bold Reynard he faced Tullamore,
Through Wicklow and Arklow along the sea-shore ;
There he brisked up his brush with a laugh, and, says

' Tis mighty refreshing this breeze from the sea,'

Hullahoo ! harkaway ! &c.

With the hounds at his heels every inch of the way,
He led us by sunset right into Roscrea


Here he ran up a chimney and out of the top,

The rogue he cried out for the hunters to stop

From their loud harkaway ! &c.

4 Twas a long thirsty stretch since we left the sea-

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, 7
So no more hullahoo ! &c.

One hundred and twenty good 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 ! &c.

But the hills they 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 ! &c.

W T hen 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 harkaway ! &c.


' 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


For no leap was so cross that you'd look for a gap/
And of what he made mention they found it no


For he gave them a cheque on the National


ARK that bears me through foam and squall,

You in the storm are my castle- wall ;
Though the sea should redden from bottom to


From tiller to mast she takes no drop.
On the tide top, the tide top,
Wherry aroon, my land and store !
On the tide top, the tide top,
She is the boat can sail go-leor \

She dresses herself, and goes gliding on,
Like a dame in her robes of the Indian lawn ;
For God has blessed her, gunnel and wale :
And oh ! if you saw her stretch out to the gale,
On the tide top, &c.


Whillan, ahoy ! old heart of stone,
Stooping so black o'er the beach alone,
Answer me well on the bursting brine
Saw you ever a bark like mine ?
On the tide top, &c.

Says Whillan, l Since first I was made of stone,

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