The Mad Lady And Me

Jimmy McCarthy

Among the walls and ruins,
Of the horrid civic stone,
I walked without a lover,
For my older bones.

The sun was strong and going down,
It was a dreamlike day,
It’s there I met the trinity,
It’s there I heard them say.

And she said bye bye Mama,
Goodbye brother John,
Fare thee well ye Shandon bells,
Ring on, ring on.

She leaned and leaned much closer,
And she hugged them all goodbye,
Her mother said “Don’t go my love”,
We all must by and by,
A drunken tongue said “leave her off”,
She’ll drive us all crazy,
She turned around and saw my face,
And both of us was she.


Up on to the limestone wall,
And down the level steps,
She threw herself into the stream,
With a splash and no regrets,
Sidestroke swimming midstream,
Throwing kisses to the crowd,
And everything was silent,
And the sky had not one cloud.


We were swimming out in the sunset,
We were swimming out to sea,
Swimming down by the opera house,
The Mad Lady and Me.

The Night Before Larry Was Stretched

From Andy Rynne (Incomplete)

The night before Larry was stretched the boys they all paid him a visit
A bait in their bags too they fetched and they sweat in their gobs till they riz it
For Larry was ever the lad if a boy was condemned to the squeezer
Would fence all the duds that he had to treat an auld friend to the sneezer
And moisten his gob before he died

The boys they came crowding in fast they drew all their stools round about him
Six glimps of the porter were placed for he wouldn’t be well waked without them
When one of us asked would he die without having duly repented
Sez Larry that’s all in my eye and first by the clergy invented
To gain a fat bit for themselves

Then I’m sorry poor Larry sez I to see you in this situation
And blister my limbs if I lie I’d have soon it had been my own station
A chalk on the back of the neck is all that Jack Catch cares to give you
And mind such trifles a feck for why should the likes of them grieve you
And now boys come tip us the deck

The cards being called for they played till Larry found one of them cheatin
Quick he made a hard rap at his head for this lad was easily beaten
So you’ll cheat me because I’m in grief be the Jasus if that be your reason
I’ll have you to know you damn thief that your crack and your jokes out of season
And I’ll throttle your knob with me fist

They clergyman came with his book and spoke to him so neat and so civil
Larry tipped him the Kilmanham look and tossed his big wig to the divil
Then Larry he raised up his head and taking a sup from the bottle
He cried like a baby and said the rope will soon round my neck throttle
To squeeze my poor windpipe to death

So moving these last words he spoke we all vented our tears on a shower
For my part I thought my heart broke to see him cut down like a flower
On his travels we watched him next day and the hangman I thought I could kill him
But Larry not one word did say until he came to King William
When his collar grew horribly white

When he came to the gallows at last he was tucked up so neat and so pretty
The rumblers jogged him off his feet and he died with his face to the city
He kicked too but that was all pride for soon you could see ’twas all over
Soon after the rope was untied and at dark we waked him in clover
And sent him to take his ground sweat

The Old Man’s Song

Ian Campbell

At the turning of the century I was a lad of five
My father went to fight the Boers, he never came back alive
My mother had to bring us up no charity did she seek
She rubbed and scrubbed and scraped along on seven-and-six a week

At the age of twelve I left my school and went to get a job
With growing kids my ma could do with the extra couple of bob
I knew that longer schooling would have stood me better stead
But you can’t afford refinement when you’re struggling for your bread

When the Great War started I did not hesitate
I took the royal shilling and went to do my bit
We fought in blood and sweat and mud three years or thereabouts
Till I copped some gas in Flanders and was invalided out

When the war was over and we’d settled with the Hun
We went back to Civvy Street we thought the fighting done
We sought to earn our wages but we were out of luck
Soon we found we had to fight for the right to go to work

In ’26 the General Strike found me upon the street
By then I had a wife and kids their needs I had to meet
The brave new world was coming and the brotherhood of man
But when the strike was over we were back where we began

I struggled through the thirties out of work now and again
I saw the Blackshirts marching and the things they did in Spain
I brought me kids up decent and thought them wrong from right
But Hitler was the man who came and taught them how to fight

Me daughter was a land girl she got married to a Yank
My son he got a medal for stopping one of Rommel’s tanks
He was wounded near the end of the war and convalesced in Rome
He married and Eyetie nurse and never bothered to come home

Me daughter writes me every week a cheerful little note
About the coloured telly and the other things she’s got
She’s got a son a likely lad he’s just turned twenty-one
Now I hear he’s been called up to fight in Vietnam

Now we’re on the pension and it doesn’t go too far
Not much to show for a life that’s been like one long bloody war
When I think of all the wasted lives it makes me want to cry
I don’t know how we’ll change things but by Christ we’ll have to try

The Old Triangle

Brendan Behan

A hungry feeling came o’er me stealing and the mice were squealing in my prison cell
And the Auld triangle went jingle jangle all along the banks of the royal canal
To start the morning the screw was bawling get up ye bowsie and clean your cell
The screw was peeping Skinner Mac was sleeping and he was dreaming of his girl Sal
In the female prison there lie seventy women and it’s in there with them that I’d like to dwell
The moon was shining the sun declining Skinner Mac was pining in his prison cell
And the Auld triangle went jingle jangle all along the banks of the royal canal

The Other Side

Christy Moore

Where John paints in Caribbean colours
And Tyrone boys dream of loving on the strand
Flowers heaped in gesture on the courthouse steps in Kerry
And we trampled on the outstretched hand
Roman posters on the wall outside the graveyard
“No Divorce” is all they say
I saw a little sister of Mercy
Invoke the wrath of God on polling day.

Oh the Island, where Tyrone boys dream of loving on the strand
Oh the Island, where we trampled on the outstretched hand.

The lady sends squaddies on the water
Geordie don’t be afraid to die
In blackened face he dreams of his darling bairns and hinny
On the watchtower overlooking aughnacloy
In Long Kesh the Tyrone Boys are dreaming
Of making love upon the strand some day
On the news came a mid-Atlantic accent
Plastic bullet has taken Julie Livingstone away

The King he came to see his people
And he took a soldier by the hand
Eyes averted from the Gloucester Diamond
To comfort those who occupy the land
High above the clouds a promised heaven
On the street a confused and homeless child
While men in black declare a social order
Frightened women sail to the other side

All the young ones are leaving the Island
Out the door, down the steps, around the side,
Unwanted they file through departure lounges
Like deportees dispersing far and wide
In the distance there’s cricket in Cloughjordan
The gentle clack of croquet on the lawn
As our children shackled by illegal status
Hold their heads down behind the Brooklyn wall

The People Own MP

Bruce Scott

How many more must die now how many must we lose
Before the island people their own destiny can choose
From immortal Robert Emmet to Bobby Sands MP
Who was given thirty thousand votes while in captivity

No more he’ll hear the lark’s sweet notes upon the Ulster air
Or gaze upon the snowflake to calm his deep despair
Before he went on hunger strike young Bobby did compose
The Rhythm of Time, The Weeping Wind and The Sleeping Rose

He was a poet and a soldier he died courageously
And we gave him thirty thousand votes he was the peoples own MP

Thomas Ashe gave everything in 1917
The Lord Mayor of Cork McSwiney died freedom to obtain
Never a one of all our dead died more courageously
Than Bobby Sands from Twinbrook the people’s own MP

Forever we’ll remember him that man who died in pain
That his country north and south be united once again
To mourn him is to organise and build a movement strong
With ballot box and armalite with music and with song

The Pipers Path

Lal Waterson/Chris Collins

Down the Pipers path we followed the Winters sun
On its frosty ride or Autumns frosty pride
And the piper by my side took his tunes from Winters mouth
And played them back to the racing clouds

Through waves of copper trees we followed the purple trees
Past the speckled hen and the seaweed men
On down through the bay of soft weather days
That led us back to the racing ways

Wind and weather they told us all be done
All together they sang us a Winters song
And the piper by my side took his tunes from Winters mouth
And played them back to the racing clouds

The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes

Trad Arr C. Moore

I am a bold undaunted fox that never yet was trapped or caught.
Me rent, rates and taxes I was willin’ for to pay.
I made me name in fine good land between Tipperary and Knocklong
Where my forefathers lived and died three thousand years ago.

I lived as happy as King Saul and loved me neighbours one and all,
I had no animosity for either friend nor foe,
Then I was of late betrayed by one who was a fool I know.
He told me I should leave the place and show me face no more.

The day that he evicted me, it’s then I knew that I should flee.
Late one night I took his life and left him lying low.
He fell victim to a shot, his agency was soon forgot.
From that day on they’re searchin’ for farmer Michael Hayes.

Soon there was a great lookout by land and sea myself to rout
From Dublin Quay to Belfast along the ragin’ sea.
By telegraph they did insert a great reward for my arrest,
Me figure, size and form, me name without mistake.

They broke their brogues a thousand pairs this great reward for to obtain;
Still their search was all in vain for farmer Michael Hayes.
They searched Tipperary o’er and o’er, the cornfields near Galtymore;
They then went into Wexford town but did not long delay.

Through Ballyhale and Stranemore, they searched the woods as they went on.
It’s they were hungry wet and cold before the break of day.
You may roam the world both far and near but never such a tale you’ll hear
Of a fox to get away so clear as I did from them hounds.

They searched the rocks, the gulfs, the quays, the ships, the liners in the bays,
The ferryboats and steamers as they were goin’ to sea
Around the coast they made a steer from Poolbeg lighthouse to Cape Clear,
Killarney town and sweet Tralee; they then crossed into Clare.

When they landed on the shore they searched Kilrush from tip to toe.
They searched the baths at sweet Lisdoon, likewise Milltown Malbay.
Galway bein’ a place of fame, they thought ’twas there I might remain,
Still their search was all in vain for I gave them all leg bail.

They searched the train at Oranmore as she was leavin’ for Athlone,
Every wagon, car and coach they met along the road.
Connemara being remote, they thought ’twas there I might resort;
As they were gettin’ weary they resolved to try Mayo.

In Ballaghaderreen they has to rest until the hounds they were refreshed.
They then went on to Westport and searched it high and low.
Through Castlebar they made a trot when they heard I was in Castlerock,
Still they were deluded where I lodged the night before.

In Swinford town as I lay down, I heard a dreadful cry of hounds
Which filled me with the notion to retaliate my chase.
Being weary from the road, I took a drink at half past four
Which filled me heart with strength and speed when the hounds were gettin’ slow.

As the moon began to shine I thought I’d make a foreign clime,
Leave them all to search away for farmer Michael Hayes.
To Dublin town I made my way and then to Cobh and Amerikay;
Now I’m in the land of liberty and a fig for all my foes.

more info

This is not complete but it’s all I can recall this morning. There are a few good verses about the chase through south Leinster.  I’m striving to get this song back into the set, it was a Planxty classic in the late 70s.  Its on the album “After The Break” on the Tara label.  This version is an amalgam of different versions and, if memory serves me, the melody we used came from John Lyons from Tradaree. After the lengthy chase the song ends rather abruptly. I suspect one of two things. Either there’s a verse missing or else the writers flow was interrupted by the realisation that it was opening time 

The Scariff Martyrs

From Mrs. Murphy of Tulla, Co. Clare

The dreadful news through Ireland has spread from shore to shore
Such a deed no living man has ever heard before
The deeds of Cromwell in his time I’m sure no worse could do
Than them Black and Tans that murdered those four youths in Killaloe

Three of the four were on the run and searched for all around
Until with this brave Egan in Williamstown was found
They questioned him and tortured him but to his comrades he proved true
And because he would not tell their whereabouts he was shot in Killaloe

On the twelfth day of November the day that they were found
Sold and traced through Galway to that house near Williamstown
They never got a fighting chance but were captured while asleep
And the way that they ill-treated them would cause your blood to creep

The hackled them both hands and feet with twines they could not break
And brought them down to Killaloe by steamer on the lake
Without clergy judge or jury on the bridge they shot them down
And their blood flowed with the Shannon convenient to the town

After three days of perseverance their bodies they let go
And ten pm the funeral passed through Ogonnolloe
They were kept in Scariff chapel for two nights and a day
Now in that place of rest they lie, kind people for them pray

If you were at the funeral it was an awful sight
To see four hundred clergymen and they all dressed up in white
Such a sight as these four martyrs in one grave was never seen
They died to save the flag of love the orange white and green

Now that they are dead and gone I hope in peace they’ll rest
Like all young Irish martyrs, forever among the blessed
The day will come when all will know who sold their lives away
Of young McMahon and Rogers, brave Egan and Kildea

The Song Of Wandering Aonghus

W.B. Yeats

I went down to the Hazelwood
Because a fire was in my head
I cut and peeled a hazel wand
And hooked a berry to a thread
And when white moths were on the wing
And moth like stars were flickering out
I put the berry in a stream
And hooked a little silver trout

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame
But something rustled on the floor
And someone called me by my name
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded in the brightening air

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands
I will find out where she has gone
And kiss her lips and hold her hands
And walk among long dappled grass
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon
The golden apples of the sun.

The Two Conneeleys

Christy Moore/Wally Page

Hear the Atlantic seethe and swell
And hear the lonely chapel bell
God save their souls and mind them well
Tomas and Sean Conneeley

Yesterday at half past four
They pushed their currach from the shore
One took the net while one took the oar
The two fishermen Conneeley

From Connor’s fort and from Synge’s chair
Towards Inis Mor and Inis Iarr
They scour the sea in silent prayer
As they go searching for their neighbours

Dia Diobh a beirt iascari brea
Nach mbeidh ar ais ar barr an tra
Go mbeidh sibh sona sasta ar neamh
Tomas agus Sean O’Conghaile

Draw the seaweed up the hill
And sow potatoes in the drill
Try to understand God’s will
And the loss of the two Conneeleys

Hear the Atlantic seethe and swell
And hear the lonely chapel bell
God save their souls and mind them well
Tomas and Sean Conneeley

The Yellow Bittern

Rory Dall O’Cahain

The Yellow Bittern that never broke out on a drinking bout,he might as well have done.

For his bones are thrown on a naked stone where he lived alone like a hermit monk

Oh Yellow Bittern I pity your case, tho they say that a drunk like myself is cursed.

I was sober for a while,now I’ll drink and I’ll be wise,for fear that I might die in the end of thirst.

It is not for the common bird that I would mourn.The Blackbird,The Corncrake,The Heron or The Crane.

But for the Bittern,that shy and lonesome bird who lives in the quiet of a lone bog drain.

Oh Had I known you were so near your death, with my breath held in I’d have run to you.

‘Til a crack in the ice on your frozen water hole, would stir your heart to life anew.


Oh My darling she tells me do not drink any more or your life it will be over in a little while.

But I told her it was the drink gave me health and strength and could lengthen my road for manys the mile.

See that bird there of the long smooth neck who has got his death from the thirst at last,

Come soothe my soul,Come fill my bowl, For I’ll get no more drink when my life is past.

more info

Andy Rynne taught me this in the back of Mick Currans van halfway between Ffrenchypark and Tulsk when the Prosperous Brigade of The Irish Balladsingers Army were on our way to manouevers in Boyle all set to muster on the square when the poteen was taken.We captured a number of enemy wrens in Mrs Grehans hostelry whereupon we took tham to an appointed carriage at a quiet siding in Boyle station and gave them a jolly good de-briefing before bursting into an arousing version of”The night before Larry was stretched”


I sung this once against  the drone of Liam O’Flynns pipes.

They Never Came Home (Stardust Song)

Christy Moore

St. Valentine’s day comes around once a year,
All our thought turn to love as the day it draws near,
When sweethearts and darlings, husbands and wives,
Pledge love and devotion for the rest of their lives.
As day turns to evening soon nighttime does fall,
Young people preparing for the Valentine’s Ball,
As the night rings with laughter some people still mourn
The 48 children who never came home.


Have we forgotten the suffering and pain
the survivors and victims of the fire in Artane,
the mothers and fathers forever to mourn
the 48 children who never came home.

Down to the Stardust they all made their way
The bouncers stood back as they lined up to pay
The records are spinning there’s dancing as well
Just how the fire started sure no one can tell.
In a matter of seconds confusion did reign
The room was in darkness fire exits were chained
The firefighters wept for they could not hide,
Their anger and sorrow for those left inside.


All around the city the bad news it spread
There’s a fire in the Stardust there’s 48 dead
Hundreds of children are injured and maimed
And all just because the fire exits were chained.
Our leaders were shocked, grim statements were made
They shed tears in the graveyard as the bodies were laid
The victims have waited in vain for 4 years
It seems like our leaders shed crocodile tears.


Half a million was spent on solicitor’s fees,
A fortune to the owner and his family
It’s hard to believe not one penny came
To the working class people who suffered the pain.
Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to years
Our laws favour the rich or so it appears
A woman still waits for her lads to come home
Injustice breeds anger and that’s what’s been done.


more info

Provided by a helpful individual & posted from the US outside Irish jurisdiction.This song was withdrawn from the shelves shortly after it was released due to a High Court decision. The Stardust case may well have been Sub Judice at the time. I remember clearly when this tragedy occurred – someone I know was injured in the fire.

Three Drunken Maidens


There were three drunken maidens
Come from the Isle of Wight
They drunk from Monday morning
Nor stopped till Saturday night
When Saturday night would come me boys,
They wouldn’t then go out
And these three drunken maidens,
They pushed the jug about.

Then in comes bouncing Sally,
Her cheeks as red as blooms
Move up me jolly sisters,
And give young Sally some room
Then I will be your equal
Before the night is out
And these four drunken maidens,
They pushed the jug about.

There’s woodcock and pheasant,
There’s partridge and hare
There’s all sorts of dainties,
No scarcity was there
There’s forty quarts of beer, me boys,
They fairly drunk them out rose
And these four drunken maidens,
They pushed the jug about.

And up comes the landlord,
He’s asking for his pay
It is a forty pound bill, me boys
These gobs have got to pay
That’s ten pounds apiece, me boys,
But still they wouldn’t go out
These four drunken maidens,
They pushed the jug about.

Oh where are your feather hats,
Your mantles rich and fine
They all got swallowed up, me lads,
In tankards of good wine
And where are your maidenheads,
You maidens frisk and gay
We left them in the alehouse,
We drank them clean away

Tiles and Slabs

Nigel Rolfe / Christy Moore   

A country artist making tiles
Whilst on a grave slab sleeps a son
G                            F
Wet clay dug from the earth, wet stones covering the ground
G                               F
Earth that buried another woman died, dead and gone
G                      F
Left a torn lonely boy trying to reconfirm
G            F
Trying to reconnect
G                              C
Trying to know himself and to contact the country
G                              C
Trying to know himself and to contact the country

G                 F
Whilst the artist celebrates
G            F
Connects and confirms
G            F
Contacts the country
G     F
Knows herself
G         C
Tiles and slabs
C         G
Woman and son
Take away
Take a gun
G                  C7
Blow away the blow-in
The blow-in

G                         F
Kill the mother, kill the child in yourself
Kill the pain
G                                   F
Kill the father and the son and the holy ghost
Kill the pain

G                           F             G
Violence from an inner rage buried in the country
G                           F             G
Violence from an inner rage buried in the country

Tim Evans

Ewan McColl

Tim Evans was a prisoner down in his prison cell
And those who read about his crime condemned his soul to hell

Go down you murderers go down

For the killing of his own dear wife and murder of his child
The jury found him guilty and the hanging judge he smiled

Tim Evans walked around the yard and the screws they walked behind
He saw the sky above the wall but he knew no peace of mind

The screws they came to his cell and they hammered on his door
Get up you dirty murderer the screws at him did roar

The governor came to his cell with the chaplain by his side
Saying your appeal has been turned down prepare yourself to die

They took Tim Evans to the place where the hangman did prepare
They tied the rope around his neck with the knot behind his ear

A thousand lags were screaming and banging on their doors
Tim Evans didn’t hear them he was dead forever more

They sent Tim Evans to the drop for a crime he did not do
Dr. Christie was the murderer, the judge and jury too.

Time Has Come

Christy Moore/Donal Lunny

The time has come to part, my love,
I must go away
I leave you now, my darling girl,
No longer can I stay.

My heart like yours is breaking
Together we’ll prove strong
The road I take will show the world
The suffering that goes on.

The gentle clasp that holds my hand
Must loosen and let go
Please help me through the door
Though instinct tells you no.

Our vow it is eternal
And will bring you dreadful pain
But if our demands aren’t recognised
Don’t call me back again.

How their sorrow touched us all
In those final days
When it was the time she held the door
And touched his sallow face.

The flame he lit by leaving
Is still burning strong
By the lights it’s plain to see
The suffering still goes on.

The time has come to part, my love
I must go away
I leave you now, my darling girl,
No longer can I stay.

Tippin’ It Up To Nancy / Marrowbones


Oh, there’s been a woman in our town, a woman you ought know well
She dearly loved her husband and another man twice as well


With me right finnickineerio, me tip finnick a wall
With me right finnickineerio, We’re tipping it up to Nancy

She went down to the chemist shop some remedies for to buy,
Have you anything in your chemist shop to make me old man blind?

“Give him eggs and marrowbones and make him suck them all,
Before he has the last one sucked, he won’t see you at all.”

She gave him eggs and marrowbones and made him suck them all,
Before he had the last one sucked, he couldn’t see her at all.

If in this world I cannot see, here I cannot stay.
I’d drown myself; “Come on,” says she, “and I’ll show you the way”
She led him to the river, she led him to the brim
But sly enough of Martin, it was him that shoved her in.

She swam through the river, she swam through the brine
“Oh Martin, dear Martin. Don’t leave me behind.”

“Oh Martin, dear Martin. Don’t leave me behind.”
“Yerra shut up outa that ye silly aul fool, ye know poor Martin is blind”

There’s nine in me family and none of them is my own,
I wish that each and every man would come and claim his own.

Trip To Jerusalem

Joe Dolan

I’m a stranger here from Ireland shore
I’ve been on the road six months or more
Hiking, working, travelling in style
I’m a vagabond from Eireann’s Isle
Sunburnt thumb stuck up in the air
Many’s the lift from here to there
I’m cars buses vans and trains
In the punishing heat and the snow and the rain

Whack fol de diddle fol de diro de
Whack fol de diddle fol de dayro
Oh Mrs Dolan
Your son he isn’t working

Came from Dublin to Jerusalem town
Had a drink or two on the journey down
At a railway station called Gare Du Nord
I missed my train through gargling hard
Three days later in Napoli
On a Turkish boat I sailed to sea
Slept in a hot hole down below
Travelling tourist class you know

It was in the Gulf of Aqaba
I met some Paddies and we had a fleadh
Danced through the streets of Eilat town
Sang Sean South Of Garryowen
I was travelling I don’t know
You pack your gear get up and go
Leave the rest for another bout
I could damn well do with a Pint of Stout

One Last Cold Kiss

Gail Collins and Felix Pappalardi

Two island swans, mated for life,
And his faithful heart would not consider any other wife.
For three years peaceful joy midst the rushes of the pond,
Proud and gentle was the loving of the last two island swans.

Their love was like a circle, no beginning and no end,
With his lady by his side a treasure and best friend.
The pond was all so peaceful in the rising of the sun,
Young and free at the island breeze their life had just begun.

‘Til a dread day in November when the searing cold did start,
Stalked the hunter with his bow and put an arrow through her heart.
Husband come to my side let your feathers warm my pain,
For I feel I will not spend another day with you again.

And the cold winds blow,
He was brave but he’s laid low.
By her body in the isle of mist,
I saw him give her one last cold kiss, one last cold kiss.

Of swans the people talk of only one in this days tide,
Through they brought him twenty ladies he would take no other bride.
They say he will not move from the place where she did fall,
Once so proud he’s beaten now and he will not rise at all.

Two Island Swans

See One Last Cold Kiss


Tyrone Boys

Christy Moore

where  John Hinde paints in Carribbean colours

Tyrone Boys dream of lovin on the strand

flowers  heaped in gesture on the courthouse steps in Tralee

as the law trampled on Joanne’s hand

Roman posters on the wall of Rathmore graveyard

No Divorce is all they say

I saw a little sister of mercy

invoke the wrath of god on polling day


When the pope came here to meet his people

he knelt and kissed the holy ground

diverted from the Gloucester Diamond

where good people had built a holy shrine

high above the clouds a promised heaven

on the street a confused and homeless child

while men in black declare social order

frightened women sail to the other side


Far away from The Island where Tyrone Boys dream of lovin on the strand

far away from the Island where the law trambles on Joanna’s hand


Thatcher sent young squaddies o’er the water

Geordie dont be afraid to die

in blackened face he dreams of his darlin bairns and hinny

on the watchtower overlooking Aughnacloy

In Long Kesh young Ulstermen are dreaming

of making love upon the strand some day

on the downtown news comes a mid-Atlantic accent

Karen Livingstone has been blown away.


A body slips quietly through the rushes

Mountcharles surveys the battlefield

the silk clad pompadour who played sun city

hears little of the corpse amongst the reeds

the mist comes swirling off the mountain

the children have forgotten how to play

death train sneaks across the island

deadly poisen bound for Killala Bay


All the young ones are leaving the Island

out the door down the steps around the side

unwanted they file through departure lounges

like deportees dispersing far and wide

back home theres cricket in Cloughjordan

the gentle clack of croquet on the lawn

our children shackled by illegal status

hold their heads down behind the Brooklyn wall

Unfinished Revolution

Peter Cadle

From the health centre porch she looks to the North
Where Nicaragua’s enemies hide
Polio crippled and maimed before things were changed
Slowly they’re turning the tide
In the twilight she stands, with a rifle in hand
And a memory of what used to be
Now she’s part of the unfinished revolution

Feudal landlords they’ve known seen overthrown
Afghanistan comes into view
Learning to read and to write is part of the fight
But for her it’s something that’s new
Down all of the years ashamed of her tears
Imprisoned behind a black veil
Now she’s part of the unfinished revolution

Soldiers kicked down the door, called her a whore
While he lingered in Castlereagh
Internment tore them apart, brought her to the heart
of resistance in Belfast today
Her struggle is long, it’s hard to be strong
She’s determined deep down inside
To be part of the unfinished revolution.

She holds the key to the unfinished revolution.

Unquiet Grave

From Frank Lunny Junior

Cold blows the wind o’er my true love’s grave
Soft fall the drops of rain
I never had but the one true love
In the cold clay she lies slain

I’ll do as much for my true love
As any young man may
And I will lie upon her grave
For twelve months and a day

The twelve months and a day being o’er
A voice came from the deep
Saying who is that who sits upon my grave
And disturbs me from my sleep

‘Tis me ‘Tis me your ever true love
Who sits upon your grave
All I seek is a kiss from your cold lips
One kiss is all I crave

You crave one kiss from my cold lips
But my breath is earthly strong
Take one kiss from my cold clay lips
And your life will not be long

Go sit in yonder garden green
Where once we used to walk
The sweetest flower that ever grew
Has withered to a stalk

The stalk it withered decayed and died
So must our love decay
You must seek contentment my love
Till death takes you away

Van Dieman’s Land

From Mike Waterson

Me and three more went out one night into Squire Noble’s park
We were hoping we might catch some game the night been proven dark
It being out sad misfortune they captured us with speed
And brought us down to Warwick Gaol did cause our hearts to bleed

Young men all be aware lest you be drawn into a snare
Young men all be aware lest you be drawn into a snare

It was about the fifth of March me boys at the court we did appear
Like Job we stood with patience our sentence to hear
Without jury bail nor witness our case it did go hard
Our sentence was for fourteen years straight away being sent on board

The ship that bore us from the land the Speedwell was her name
For full five months and upwards we ploughed the raging main
We saw no land nor harbour I tell you its no lie
All around us one black ocean, above us one blue sky

About the fifth of August tis then we made the land
At five o’clock next morning they tied us hand to hand
To see our fellow sufferance filled my heart with woe
For there’s some chained to the harrow and the others to the plough

To see our fellow sufferance it filled me with despair
For they’d leather smocks and lindsey shorts and their feet and hands were bare
They tied them up two by two like horses in a dray
And the driver he stood over them with his Malacca cane

There was a female prisoner, Rosanna was her name
For sixteen years a convict from Wolverhampton came
She often told her tale of love when she was young at home
But now it’s rattling of the chains in a foreign land to roam

Come all of you young poaching lads and a warning take from me
Mark you well the story that I tell and guard your destiny
Its all about transported lads as you may understand
And the hardships we did undergo going to Van Dieman’s Land


Christy Moore

In the broad daylight of a Summer’s day,
On the Cork to Dublin motorway.
Suddenly the singing birds,
Were startled in their song.
In the quiet of that moment,
Our world went out of kilter.
In that split second,
Veronica was gone.

But you will never silence her,
Your story will be written,
Her spirit won’t rest easy,
Until her job is done.
With fists and boots you broke her bones,
You gunned her down at home,
But as soon as she was able,
She faced you once again.

You who made the phone call,
And you who took the message down,
You who hired the hit men,
And you who hatched the plan,
You who drew the money down,
And you who paid it over,
You who remain silent,
You are guilty, every one.


Veronica, Veronica, Veronica, warrior woman,
Veronica, Veronica, Veronica, I offer you this song.

Victor Jara

Arlo Guthrie/A. Mitchell

Victor Jara of Chile lived like a shooting star
He fought for the people of Chile with his songs and his guitar
His hands were gentle and his hands were strong

Victor Jara was a peasant boy barely six years old
He sat upon his father’s plough and watched the earth unfold

When the neighbours had a wedding or one of their children died
His mother sang all night to them with Victor by her side

He grew up to be a fighter stood against what was wrong
He learned of peoples grief and joy and turned it into song

He sang for the copper miners and those who farmed the land
He sang for the factory workers who knew Victor was their man

He campaigned for Allende canvassed night and day
Singing take hold of your brother’s hand the future starts today

When Pinochet seized Chile they arrested Victor then –
They caged him in the stadium with 5000 frightened men

Victor picked up his guitar his voice resounded strong
And he sang for his comrades till the guards cut short his song

They broke the bones in both his hands and beat him on the head
Tortured him with electric wires then they shot him dead

Victor Jara of Chile lived like a shooting star
He fought for the people of Chile with his songs and his guitar
His hands were gentle and his hands were strong

Viva la Quinta Brigada

Christy Moore        

C              G                C
Ten years before I saw the light of morning
C                         F
A comradeship of heroes was laid
F                              G
From every corner of the world came sailing
G     F             C
The Fifth International Brigade

They came to stand beside the Spanish people
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco’s allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan’s men came from the other side

Even the olives were bleeding
As the battle for Madrid it thundered on
Truth and love against the force of evil
Brotherhood against the fascist clan


C              F
Viva la Quinta Brigada
F                 G                     C
“No Pasaran”, the pledge that made them fight
C                 C/B            Am
“Adelante” is the cry around the hillside
F          G             C
Let us all remember them tonight

Bob Hilliard was a Church of Ireland pastor
Form Killarney across the Pyrenees he came
From Derry came a brave young Christian Brother
Side by side they fought and died in Spain

Tommy Woods age seventeen died in Cordoba
With Na Fianna he learned to hold his gun
From Dublin to the Villa del Rio
Where he fought and died beneath the blazing sun


Many Irishmen heard the call of Franco
Joined Hitler and Mussolini too
Propaganda from the pulpit and newspapers
Helped O’Duffy to enlist his crew

The word came from Maynooth, “support the Nazis”
The men of cloth failed again
When the Bishops blessed the Blueshirts in Dun Laoghaire
As they sailed beneath the swastika to Spain


This song is a tribute to Frank Ryan
Kit Conway and Dinny Coady too
Peter Daly, Charlie Regan and Hugh Bonar
Though many died I can but name a few

Danny Boyle, Blaser-Brown  and Charlie Donnelly
Liam Tumilson and Jim Straney from the Falls
Jack Nalty, Tommy Patton and Frank Conroy
Jim Foley, Tony Fox and Dick O’Neill



Johnny Duhan

G      D      C               G
I am a sailor,you’re my first mate
D            C           D
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
C             D          C              G
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
D          C             G
For the hearts treasure together we set sail.

G               D           C               G
With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
D               C               D
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
C           D           C            G
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
D         C              G
Working together we learned how to cope.


Bm         C         Bm        C
Life is an ocean and love is a boat
Am         C         D
In troubled water that keeps us afloat
C           D                Bm          C
When we started the voyage,there was just me and you
Am        D    G
Now gathered round us we have our own crew.

G        D             C         G
Together we’re in this relationship
D        C              D
We built it with care to last the whole trip
C          D           C             G
Our true destination’s not marked on any charts
D            C             G
We’re navigating to the shores of the heart.


Wave Up To The Shore

Barry Moore

A daffodil is born and rises in the spring
It opens out its beauty to hear the cricket sing
But as quick as it does grow it decays away so soon
Before the summer sunshine has reached its golden noon

A stream it does rise in the mountains so tall
It swells into a river as gently it does fall
It meanders to country through city and through town
And in the boundless ocean the river it is drowned

On the seas the winds do rage and the waves grow so high
As they turn into white horses leaping towards the sky
But soon the waves grow gentle no longer do they roar
As they make their lonesome passageway up to the pebble shore

If I were like a daffodil so fair upon the ground
Or like a gentle river with its sweet and mellow sound
Like a wave up to the shore like a river into the sea
I’d lay down in my resting place contented I would be

Welcome To The Cabaret

Christy Moore

How’s it going there everybody?
You’re very welcome to this evening’s cabaret
I want to thank you for the trouble you’re after taking
To come and hear me play
I know the effort that you make and all the trouble that you have to take
When you decide you’re gonna go and see a show
Your wife says Oh not Christy Moore, we’ve seen him loads of times before
And we’re going to miss Gay Byrne on the Late Late Show

Well there’s people here upon my word from every corner of the world
Portarlington Portlaoise and Tullamore
From Two Mile House and Poulaphouca
From Blacktrench Cutbush and Boolea
Such a crowd I’ve never seen before

Well you are welcome welcome everyone
Special branch you’re on the run
Fine Gael, Fianna Fail or Sinn Fein
When the elections are all over
We’ll all be pushing up clover
And everyone in the graveyard votes the same

My belly thought my throat was cut
And all the restaurants were shut as I was driving out through Kinnegad
So I drove on to Mother Hubbard’s where I saw a swarm of truckers
And I said to myself this place doesn’t look too bad
In came a 40ft lorry leaking lines of slurry
And the king of the road jumped down and he said to me
Hey John, don’t I know your face
Are you Paddy Reilly or Brendan Grace?
Are you Mary Black or Freddy White says he

Wait til I tell you what happened to me today
I was coming up the dual carriageway
Half a mile the far side on Naas
The Irish Army, they were all over the place
So I pulled in and rolled my window down
The saighdiuiri they surrounded my car I thought it was the third world war
Some of the boys were throwin Shi’ite shapes
I said brigadier general what appears to be the trouble
He said “Don’t forget your shovel”
Have you any auld autographs or tapes?
I do.. what about the leb?

Well Below the Valley

Traditonal With New Words By Christy Moore

Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

A gentleman was passing by
And he asked for a drink as he was dry
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

My cup is full up to the brim
And if I were to stoop I might fall in
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If your true love was passing by
You’d fill him a drink if he was dry
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

She swore by grass, she swore by corn
Her true love had never been born
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

He said to her you’re swearing wrong
Six fine children you’ve had born
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If you be a man of noble fame
You’ll tell to me the father of them
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

There’s one of them by your brother John
At the well below the valley-o
One of them by your Uncle Don
At the well below the valley-o
Two of them by your father dear
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If you be a man of noble fame
You’ll tell to me what did happen to them
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

There’s one of them buried beneath the tree
At the well below the valley-o
Another two buried beneath the stone
At the well below the valley-o
Two of them outside the graveyard wall
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

If you be a man of noble fame
You’ll tell to me what will happen myself
At the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

You’ll be seven years a-ringing a bell
At the well below the valley-o
And seven years a-burning in hell
At the well below the valley-o

I’ll be seven years a-ringing a bell
But the Lord above may save my soul
From burning in hell at the well below the valley-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o
Green grows the lily-o
Right among the bushes-o

Whacker Humphries

Christy Moore

One day as I was walking past the bridge in Dolphin’s Barn
By the old canal I saw some children round a car
In the back they were shooting up smack
I had a bird’s eye view
When I called for help
Told me there’s nothing we can do.

Both sides of the river clearly to be seen
Down along O’Connell Street and up to Stephen’s Green
Heroin sold openly there was no need to hide
The drug squad were outnumbered
It seemed like their hands were tied.

John Whacker Humphries is a family man
Him and his wife, they give their children everything they can
Faced with the scourge of heroin, they’d not accept defeat
They joined concerned parents
To put the dealers off the street.

They called on dealers houses and ordered them to quit
Time and time again they warned, we’ve had enough of it
Dirty needles in our doorways
Junkies hanging all about
Keep on dealing heroin and you’re going to be moved out.

From St. Theresa’s gardens to the flats in Ballymun
Concerned parents action had the dealers on the run
They swore they’d stand together until the drugs were stopped
And I will never understand why they got their knuckles rapped.

They were rounded up and charged
With crimes against the state
Brought before the Green Street court to decide their fate
Denied a trial by jury and there was no bail
The concerned parents were taken off to jail.

Sitting in the gallery among family, friends and wives
I strained to hear who told the truth and who was telling lies
Dealers, junkies and police on the prosecution side
I swear to God that’s what I saw before my very eyes.

Whacker Humphries took the dealers on
And he fought them tooth and nail
A squad of well armed soldiers brought him to the portlaoise jail
He tried to protect his children, found guilty of a crime
One man gets a pension, another man gets time.

This morning I went walking out by Dolphin’s Barn
I heard a small bird whisper; mind you don’t come to any harm.

What Put The Blood

Trad. with new words & music by C. Moore

What put the blood on your right shoulder? Son, come tell it unto me
That is the blood of a hare mama You may pardon me

The blood of a hare never ran so red, Son come tell it unto me
That is the blood of my youngest brother, You may pardon me

What came between you and your youngest brother? Son come tell it unto me
It was all from the cutting of a hazel rod – That never will grow into a tree

What will you do when your Daddy finds out? Son come tell it unto me
I will leave my foot down on a shipboard and sail far across the sea

What will you do with your darling wife? Son come tell it unto me
She will leave her foot down on a shipboard and sail right after me

What will you do with your two fine children? Son come tell it unto me
Ill give one to my mammy and the other to my daddy to keep them company

What will you do with your house and your land? Son come tell it unto me
I will leave them there for the birds of the air to mourn and sing for me

Whiskey In The Jar

From The Clancy Brothers

As I was going over the Cork and Kerry mountain
I met with Colonel Packenham and his money he was counting
I first produced my pistol then produced my rapier
Saying stand and deliver for I am a bold deceiver

Musha ring dum a doo dum da
Whack fol de daddy o
Whack fol de daddy o
There’s whiskey in the jar

He counted out his money and it made a pretty penny
I put it in my pocket and I brought it home to Jenny
She sighed and she swore she never would deceive me
But the devil take that woman for she never could lie easy

I went up to my chamber all for to take a slumber
I dreamt of gold and silver and sure it was no wonder
But Jenny drew me pistols and filled them up with water
And sent for Captain Farrell to be ready for the slaughter

Early the next morning before I rose to travel
On came the special horsemen and likewise Captain Farrell
I first produced my pistol and then produced my rapier
But I couldn’t shoot the water so a prisoner I was taken

If ever you go hunting in the morning bright and early
Through the hills of Dublin or the mountains of Tipperary
Keep one hand on your pistol and the other on your money
And keep your eyes well peeled for that darling sporting Jenny