Hackler From Grouse Hall


I am a roving hackler lad that loves the shamrock shore,
My name is Pat McDonnell and my age is eighty-four;
Belov’d and well-respected by my neighbors one and all
On St. Patrick’s day I loved to stray round Lavey and Grouse Hall.

When I was young I danced and sung and drank good whiskey, too.
Each síbín shop that sold a drop of the real old mountain dew.
With the poitín still on every hill the peelers had no call
Round sweet Stradone I am well known, round Lavey and Grouse Hall.

I rambled round from town to town for hackling was my trade,
None can deny I think that I an honest living made;
Where e’er I’d stay by night or day the youth would always call
To have some crack with Paddy Jack, the hackler from Grouse Hall.

I think it strange how times have changed so very much of late,
Coercion now is all the row and Peelers on their bate.
To take a glass is now, alas, the greatest crime of all
Since Balfour placed that hungry beast the Sergeant of Grouse Hall.

The busy tool of Castle rule he travels night and day,
He’ll seize a goat just by the throat for want of better prey;
The nasty skunk, he’ll swear you’re drunk tho’ you took none at all
There is no peace about the place since he came to Grouse Hall.

‘Twas on pretense of this offense he dragged me off to jail,
Alone to dwell in a cold cell my fate for to bewail.
My hoary head on a plank bed, such wrongs for vengeance call
He’ll rue the day he dragged away the hackler from Grouse Hall.

He haunts the League just like a plague, and shame for to relate
The priest can’t be on Sunday free the Mass to celebrate.
It’s there he’ll kneel encased in steel prepared on duty’s call
For to assail and drag to jail our clergy from Grouse Hall.

Down into hell he’d run pell-mell to hunt for poitín there
And won’t be loath to swear an oath ’twas found in Killinkere.
He’ll search your bed from foot to head, sheets, blankets, tick and all
Your wife, undressed, must leave the nest for Jemmy of Grouse Hall.

He fixed a plan for one poor man who had a handsome wife
To take away without delay her liberty and life.
He’d swear quite plain that he’s insane and got no sense at all,
As he has done of late with one convenient to Grouse Hall.

Thank God the day’s not far away when Home Rule will be seen,
And brave Parnell at home will dwell and shine in College Green;
Our policemen will all be then our nation’s choice and all,
Old Balfour’s pack will get the sack and banished from Grouse Hall.

Let old and young clear out their lungs and sing this little song,
Come join with me and let him see you all resent the wrong.
And while I live I’ll always give a prayer for his downfall
And when I die I don’t deny I’ll haunt him from Grouse hall