Boys of the Cross

I am one of those jolly young lads from the Cross
I'm fond of amusement as well as a glass
With a thirst I can't quench and a heart that is free
Sure everything else plays the devil with me
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

On the fifteenth of August of this present year
Tis a day I'll remember some time, never fear
To far-off Guaganbarra we went on a day
With the boys of the village light-hearted and gay
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

On that holiday morning just after first Mass
We started away on our trip from the Cross
Two handsome long cars that were hired for the day
Were waiting there ready to take us away
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

We had Buckleys and Haleys and Sullivans too
A Leary, a Connell, a Roche and a Drew
Such a crowd of McCarthys I neer saw before
And the Cronins were counted by the dozen or more
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

We had girls as well all dressed up nice and neat
For to make our enjoyment entirely complete
Sure we paid for them all without pairing a taste
And the worth of our money rubbed out of their waist
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

To sweet Ballingeary at first we drew near
When we moistened our lips with a pint of good beer
We drove off again just as fleet as a fawn
And about one o'clock we rolled into Guagan
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

[The people came running to see us in scores
Some ran to the windows and more to the doors
Said some, Who are those who are dressed up so swell?
Said others, They're grandees from Williams Hotel
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee]

We were cold, tired and thirsty when the horses did stop
And each one was smacking his lips for a drop
We jumped from our cars and our band we struck up
And we marched in a body straight into a pub
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

Some went boating all day in the lakes near at hand
Whilst others went drinking till they couldn't stand
We thought we'd see sights that would dazzle our eyes
O the devil a bit only mountains and skies
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

We started for home then before twould get late
The horses were going at the devil's own rate
I thought that they surely would fall on the road
Before they could carry such a drunken old load
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

Cornelius O'Connell lost his new Sunday cap
Dan Buckley when seeing it jumped out in a hop
The lads wouldn't wait for the cap was too far
So he ran half a mile to catch on to his car
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

We were half the time standing on each other's toes
Dan Murphy thanks God that he still has his nose
He was met with an elbow with such a bad thud
On my soul, lads, he lost half a gallon of blood
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

When we reached Ballingeary we looked for some bread
But boxes of biscuits they gave us instead
The stomach being empty by each mother's son
We finished twelve boxes before we were done
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

But no porter the owner had in his hotel
But a bad brand of stout that had failed him to sell
And in order to cheat us, the clever old coon,
Good porter was hid in his private back room
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

We arrived at the Cross when our day it was oer
And we filled ourselves up with the porter once more
We recovered our senses next morning at dawn
And that put an end to our trip to Guagan
Rally ra fol the da rally rex fol the dee

The Kilnamartra Exile

I am a lonely exile who left my own dear nation
For to seek a situation in a land across the foam
I sailed away from Erin, bound for the land of liberty
And for years I have been a stranger in my own dear Irish home
Where once I lived contentedly, the friends I loved surrounded me
Care nor grief never troubled me nor made my heart feel sore
But now my days are over and I'm parted from my countrie
And Kilnamartra's homely face my eyes will see no more

I travelled to Columbia all toil and danger scorning
From its furthest eastern border way westward to the deep
The broad extensive cotton fields and the plains of Alabama
The mines of lone Montana and the Rockies wild and steep
I hunted for prosperity but still it has eluded me
Black misfortune followed me, no matter where I would roam
And ofttimes in my anguish I cursed the fate that parted me
From the comrades of my boyhood and my own dear Irish home

Twas there my heart felt happy until I took the notion
For to go across the ocean from the land that gave me birth
But sorrow's dark and dismal cloud never cast its shadow over me
For I knew of pleasure only whilst I lived on Irish earth
Love of money tempted me far from my cabin home to flee
And go across the raging sea in search of golden store
I sailed away from Erin, bound for the land of liberty
And bade my friends in Ireland adieu for evermore

Sweet boyish recollections they ever fondly bond me
To the friends I left behind me far oer the raging foam
The sound of merry voices keep rushing through my memory
In my heart I'm sadly thinking I neer will see them more
The friends that once delighted me in fancy dreams I still can see
Around the cabin fire with me when our daily toil was oer
But until my days are over and death has come and taken me
I fondly will remember thee, dear land that I adore


Come all you fellow countrymen of every rank and station
And listen to this oration that has yet remained untold
You'll hear of foreign countries and truthful calculation
And of my vast experience the truth I will unfold
You'll hear how my dismunity prevailed on a community
So take this opportunity of listening unto me
You'll hear of foreign countries and truthful calculations
And of my few relations and the charming spot, Lanlee

I went to see the world's range when only 16 years of age
A steerage passage I engaged in a ship called Iron Joe
We started off from Dublin's wall, being outward bound for the Transvaal
I had a friend from (?) and one from Donnybrook
Our noble ship had scarcely steamed when unto me sad memories beamed
I thought of my dear parents and their loving company
I thought of my two brothers and our love for one another
And of our greyhaired mother on the road to fair Lanlee

We landed safe and suddenly in a British State Cape Colony
In search of manual labor I rambled near and far
I worked the Yukon River among Hottentots and Kafirs
A time with the grandmaster in the isle of Zanzibar
A Dutchman who was in health's decline he heard of cures in Palestine
Persuaded me with im combine and on with him to go
We journeyed on through Hindustan along the River Ganges
To the ancient order of Hebrew and the ruins of Jericho
The Lebanon's mountains' mighty peaks were like Magillicuddy's Reeks
And from their summit we could see the lakes of Galilee
Likewise the River Jordan and the country round Sumeria
But still it sounds contrary that the fairest was Lanlee

The doleful time it soon drew nigh when my faithful Dutchman friend and I
Were about to part and say goodbye perhaps to meet no more
I stood forlorn on the quay as the ship that bore him sailed away
That memory in my heart will stay till life's long days are oer
In Palestine I made some coin and heard of San Francisco's mines
And to invest my capital I thought it a good idee
But often meditation told me stop my speculation
And go home for recreation to my home in sweet Lanlee

But Providence it ruled my ways and conscience-bound I did obey
I stepped on board and sailed away when my friend did me forsake
I landed in Francisco when the trees were sweetly blossoming
But on that very evening there was a great earthquake
I was in bed and sleeping sound, I woke to find things moving round
And after that I heard no sound, no pain affected me
When I awoke next morning I recovered consciousness
I wrote to all my neighbors and my friends in Gleann Liath

I told them in my letter how I lost my situation
And kept on relating how misfortune made me roam
And if their generosity would help my transportation
All on earth I wanted now was if I could go home
They sent the cash to pay my way without disaster or delay
We landed safe in Queenstown Quay on board a (?)
And after an excursion of four long hours' duration
We reached the little station on the road to fair Lanlee

As I approached the terminal I viewed with consternation
The mighty congregation that assembled in the rain
I thought some other gentleman of worldly estimation
To their eager expectation was coming in by train
But as I viewed each friendly face of friend and neighbor, old-time mates
Had assembled there in thousands with a welcome home for me
They shouted with elation till they shook with their vibration
The surrounding elevations on the road to fair Lanlee

So now I live contentedly amongst my grand old neighbors
Endowed with all the capers of gandeur and delight
I chose among the multitude a fine old Irish creature
To prove my admiration she is now my darling wife
And when we meet on Sunday noon, the cozy spot, the top of Coombe
The song and story will allume the heart of you and me
And there amongst a multitude of fine old Irish neighbors
I'm never tired of praising that charming spot, Lanlee

Griffinstown Hill

The battle it was over on Griffinstown Hill
And a great cry of victory was heard loud and shrill
The soldiers they were routed and the rebels pursued
As far as the green fields and the woods of (?)

By a sycamore tree on a pine-covered hill
A young Irish rebel lay bleeding there still
The pale moon it was shining brightly down from the sky
And it cast its pale rays where our young hero did lie

Then slowly he lifted his (?) head
And to his loyal comrades around him he said:
My life is fast ending, sure it can't be long more
Until all earthly troubles for me will be oer

Take this note to my father, who lies sick in his bed
And tell him that the son of his bosom is dead
Tell to Kathleen O'Donovan, my affectionate wife
That I love her in death as I have loved her in life

Tell to Erin my country, that patriotic isle
For her I have lived and for her I now die
I hope we'll have great men for to die for her still
Like the rebel who was shot out in Griffinstown Hill

The Stolen Paintings

Now you heard about those paintings that were taken up near Dublin
For six long days the whole affait the Garda force was troublin
Every garda of distinction and all (?) of acclamation
They were taken for a special course up to a Dublin station

Agus gheobhai (?) an cruiscĢn is bĢodh sČ l·n

They were given all the details there and issued with descriptions
And guaranteed that from our ports there would be no deflections
They combed the country up and down from Blessington to Limerick
And when interviewed they said, I s'pose they're still in the Republic


Ah but in West Cork we had two guards, though not considered cutey
They were left there in Ross Carbery to attend to routine duty
Two unassuming officers, lighthearted, gay and airy
They were Garda Will Criodan and Sergeant Pat O'Leary


Now these guards got information but their message could be plainer
Just in Glendore was kept a bull who was a bold Sinn Feiner
They went to Hayes's rented house, a woman there did greet them
But she said she never kept a bull for she would never need him


Well the garda nudged the sarge outside and the sergeant looked at Criodan
Saying, I know we're both suspicious but suspicion's in our breedin
Whilst I know the top detectives are now searching coastal waters
There is something in our woman here--I'd like to try her quarters


Well they searched the house that evening and they found three wanted paintings
Bejaypers now, says Criodan, Sarge that must improve our ratings
They walked around the house outside, sure nothing could be finer
When they found the other sixteen gems in Hayes's Morris Minor


Well they rang the Chief Commissioner and they told him of their findings
The condition of the painting and where they were in hiding
Glendore, said the Commissioner, tisn't on my maps at all, men
Yarrah, look again, says Criodan, sure tis here near Unionhall then


So here's a health to these two guards, long life and success to them
They mightn't be detectives but they surely know these women
I hope they'll get promotion and be honored by our nation
Sure I'd like to see them president in some kind of collation


The Bold Thady Quill

You maids of Duhallow who're anxious for courting
A word of advice I will give unto ye
Go down to Banteer to the athletic races
And hand in your name to the club committee
But do not arrange any part of your program
Till a carriage you see coming over the hill
A-flying through the valleys and glens of Kilcorney
The Mulgeary sportsman, the bold Thady Quill

For rambling, for roving, for football or sporting
For emptying black porter as fast as you'd fill
In all your days roving you'd find none so jovial
As the Mulgeary sportsman, the bold Thady Quill

At the great hurling match between Cork and Tipperary
Twas played in the park by the banks of the Lee
Our own darling boys, being afraid of being beaten
They sent for bold Thady to Ballynagree
He hurled the ball right and left in their faces
And showed the Tipperary boys courage and skill
When they touched on their lines he would manfully brave them
And the papers were filled with the praise of Thade Quill


At a Cork exhibition there was a fair lady
Whose fortune exceeded a million or more
But a bad constitution had ruined her completely
And medical treatment had failed oer and oer
Yarrah mama, says she, sure I know what will cure me
Of this awful disease that is liable to kill
Give over your doctors and medical treatment
I'd rather one squeeze from the bold Thady Quill



O father dear, I ofttimes hear you speak of Erin¼s isle
Her lofty scenes and valleys' greens, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a lovely land wherein a prince might dwell
O why did you abandon it? the reason to me tell

O son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
Till a blight came over all my crops, my sheep and cattle died
My rent and taxes were to pay, I could not them redeem
And that¼s, my boy, a reason why I left old Skibbereen

Tis well I do remember the year of '98
When I arose with Erin's boys to battle for our fate
We were hunted through the mountains like a traitor to the queen
And that¼s, my boy, a reason why I left old Skibbereen

Tis well I do remember the bleak December day
The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
They set our roof on fire, with cursĖd English spleen
And that¼s another reason why I left old Skibbereen

Your mother, too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground
She fainted in her anguish at the desolation round
She never spoke but passed away from life to mortal dream
She found a quiet resting place in the abbey near Skibbereen

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame
I could not leave you to your friends, you bore my father¼s name
I wrapped you in my cŪta mŪr at the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh and I bade goodbye to dear old Skibbereen

But father dear, the day will come when in answer to the call
All Irish men for freedom's sake will rally one and all
I¼ll be the man to lead the van beneath our flag of green
And loud and high we will raise the cry, Revenge for Skibbereen

The Boys of Kilmichael

Whilst we honor in song and in story
The memory of Pearse and MacBride
Whose fame is illumined in story
With martyrs who long since have died
Forget not the boys of Kilmichael
Who feared not the might of the foe
The day that they marched into battle
They laid all the Black and Tans low

So here's to the boys of Kilmichael
Those brave men so gallant and true
Who fought neath the green flag of Erin
To conquer the Red, White and Blue

On the 28th day of November
The Tans left the town of Macroom
They were armed (?)
Which led them right into their doom
They were on their way to Dunmanway
Who never expected to stall
When they met with the boys of the column
Which made a clean sweep of them all


The sun to the west it was sinking
Twas the eve of a cold winter's day
When the Tans we were wearily waiting
Rolled into the spot where they lay
And over the hill rang the echo
The sound of each rifle and gun
The blaze from the lorries gave tidings
That the boys of Kilmichael had won


The lorries were ours before twilight
And high over Dunmanway town
Our banners in triumph are waving
To show that the Tans had gone down
We gathered their rifles and bayonets
And then left that glen so obscure
And never drew reins till we halted
At the faraway camp of Granure


Ballyshannon Lane

In '96 when the moon did fix its beams over Scullabogue
When the planet Mars and the twinkling stars they denoted where each rogue
Of Saxon birth had bit the earth where Cromwell's crew were slain
When the yeomen fled and left their dead in Ballyshannon Lane

I paused a while beside a stile in a churchyard in Courthoyle
Twas a night in June and the silvery moon oer each rebel's grave shone pale
Scenes of '98 which I'll now relate rushed through my youthful brain
I prayed for the dead and through Raheen sped to Ballyshannon Lane

I crossed the moors by the forge doors wherein they laid the pike
The night was fine, no mist or wind blew over hill or dyke
By Jack Keating's gate where I chanced to wait my thoughts drove me insane
For the yeomen crew a youth they slew in Ballyshannon Lane

My mother, may God rest her soul, she showed me where he fell
Out across those lands where Doyle's house stands he fought so brave and well
From beyond Kehoe's he chased his foes and many is the Hessian that was slain
Till six bayonets pressed through his fine young breast in Ballyshannon Lane

In Keating's Lawn at the morning's dawn and the house it was all in flames
I grieve to tell my three uncles fell, that's Martin, John and James
And as my Aunt Kate stood by the gate herself and her child were slain
My teeth still cringe for to have revenge for Ballyshannon Lane

This was the song my mother sang unto my youthful ears
Whilst down her cheeks for weeks and weeks coursed hot and scalding tears
My brother Mike forged me a pike for to take to the hills again
And in Ireland's need I am here to bleed for Ballyshannon Lane


With the terrible weapons of modern times, we all have a craze for peace
And people are hoping for friendly talks and that bitterness would cease
And I often wonder to myself, Will there ever be peace on earth?
Will mankind ever sit down in peace like folks round a friendly hearth?
There's no use in talking of nations' crimes, nations are only people
And religion is more than chimes that are wafted from steeple to steeple
Yes, faith needs the seal of charity, for ourselves we can prove it true
But we'll have to stop and listen to the next man's point of view
It wasn't so long since I spoke like that in the forge below in the town
And Bob the blacksmith looked at me with his terrible frightening frown
Begod, says he, you speak the truth, tis a pity old Brian wasn't here
I'd like him to hear what you have said--and the rest of the boys raised a cheer
Now, I must tell you about this old Brian, he came here when the Dwyers had to go
He took over their cottage, himself and his dog, moving around rather slow
We'd see him traversing the roads round the place and always the dog at his feet
A small little bit of a mongrel he was, he looked at it as if starving for meat
Well, we hated old Brian but we pitied the dog and tis often we threw him some meat
But the poor little devil would whimper with longing, just whimper, would stay at his feet
And old Brian wouldn't look to the right or the left, you'd think that we folk were dirt
He'd leave us behind him, we'd look at each other, God knows we all felt quite hurt
Nobody knew how he managed at all, for he never went into our shops
He grew a few things in the acre he had, for the rest he was living in slops
Now, twas just about that time the trouble began, there were sheep found dead in the hill
And for those with experience twas easy to see that some dog was beginning to kill
Night followed night and the killing went on, the people were getting afraid
Twas a crisis they'd faced in the past and action could not be delayed
So suspicion was pointed on Brian's mongrel dog as the killer, and everyone knew it
The proof was the fact that he wouldn't accept the nice bits o meat that we threw it
So we went to the cottage and called out old Brian with our threatening, angry and sore
But we came back again in an uglier mood, for he just wouldn't open the door
The following night we met in the forge, the blacksmith stood there on the floor
Saying, Old Brian wouldn't talk to poor people like us, old Brian wouldn't open his door
Begod, boys, enough, and I'm shooting the dog, I'll put an end to the killing
I'll go there tonight and I'll go by myself, that's if none of you fellas are willing
Twas an eerie old scene as we went to the cottage and called at old Brian to come out
There wasn't an answer, the blacksmith walked up and burst the door in with one clout
Inside, there was darkness, no light on the wall, not even the glow of a log
But old Brian sitting back in his chair on the hearth, and there at his feet was the dog
The man didn't look, but the dog looked around and gave a little bark
And whimpered in fear as rough hands picked him up and took him out there in the dark
There was only one shot, the end it was quick, the mongrel dog died without pain
So we went back to town and we had a few drinks, for our sheep they were safe once again
But the following night the killer was out, ravaging sheep on the hill
We caught him at last, twas the blacksmith's own collie, caught on the act of the kill
Whilst down at the cottage a lonely old man sat motionless there on the grate
Nursing the sorrows that broke his old heart, nursing the seedlings of hate
Why didn't we look for the motives he had, the motives behind the man's pride
Or should we have guessed that the poor man was blind and the small mongrel dog was his guide?
Ah I understand now how much bitterness starts, as old Brian left his cottage behind
With his sightless old eyes he was blind, deaf and dumb, as he went to the home for the blind

The Rose of Moray

Once I loved a maiden so gentle and kind
As fair as the roses in June
Each night as we parted the moon seemed to smile
On me and my loved one so true
But how proud was I, as folks passing by
Would gaze upon me and my may
And O for her beauty, her sweetness and charm
We called her the Rose of Moray
We called her the Rose of Moray

Soon came the day when I wandered away
From my sweetheart the rose of the dell
but somebody told me her love was untrue
That she loved another as well
She vowed she was faithful but pleaded in vain
For jealousy then held its sway
I bade goodbye with a tear in her eye
And I lost the Rose of Moray
And I lost the Rose of Moray

Many years then went by and I found twas a lie
My sweetheart had always been true
My heart for her yearned, so once more I returned
And planned a sweet dream for us two
Back home once again I searched, but in vain
My sweetheart had faded away
There's a little green grave where the wild willows wave
And there sleeps the Rose of Moray
And there sleeps the Rose of Moray

So now you have learned why no more I'll return
Again to the scene of my love
Alone I will roam through the world all alone
And pray to my maker above
That He will forgive and still let me live
To repent as I go on my way
Though death do us part, she is still in my heart
I still love the Rose of Moray
I still love the Rose of Moray


Away, away in the blue hills gay a lovely village stands
Where the wild Atlantic's sparkling foam rolls over the shimmering sand
It is Ballyheige, famed Ballyheige that nestles by the tide
Tis the home of genial Irish hearts and the tourist's joy and pride

O but what is it that makes this scene so beautiful and gay?
Tis your weatherbeaten Kerry Head that guards your rocky bay
Like a giant of old you stand so bold for to fight the Atlantic foam
Whilst underneath your craggy rocks the hungry sea fowl roam

How pleasant tis when evening comes to stroll along your shore
You can hear the seagull's piercing scream or the raging billow's roar
You could view the sandhills ever green or the seaweed fresh and brown
On the rocks that stretch unto the west as the evening sun goes down

O Ballyheige, famed Ballyheige, I will always think on thee
My thoughts will always ramble back to that village by the sea
And if eer I roam to an exile home I will think on thee with pride
And please God I'll soon return unto my home in Ballyheige

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