Myra’s Caboose

Christy Moore (Trad Arr.)

It being one evening of late as I strayed and I rambled through fields
Where oft times I wandered in haste and very quick speed
I was going to a wake where the rakes and factions do meet
There’ be drink and strong tea, hot cake and things that were sweet
O when the evening being freezing, indeed and it was very cold
With corns on my heels and my ankles ‘n cramps in my toes
I thought it no harm to warm me shanks by the fire
Thinking Myra and her daughter surely would me admire
O when the tea it came round in big geowls it was stuff very strong
When Myra said speak up or make us the verse of a song
Old Bill by the fire he was cursing and swearing with fright
For his gander was stolen and roasted last Saturday night
This Gander was graceful and gentle, both sturdy and strong
He never grew cold although he lived very long
His beak and his legs were as yellow as the gold that does shine
And his gob it would bore an inch board in a very short time
Well I’ve travelled Killarney, Kilgarvan, Kanturk and Kilmeague
Down around by Cork Harbour I was dealing in turkeys and geese
In all of my rambles and travels I never did see
O the likes of Bill’s gander for grandeur and Championship breed
The Boys and the Girls gathered at Myra’s Caboose
For they’d heard of the name and the fame of Bill and his goose
They’d measure this fine gander’s legs with a carpenter’s rule
And they never would leave ‘til they saw the length of his wings

More Info 

I arrived into Miltown Malbay, County Clare in the winter of 1964. It was there I met the Uilleann piper Willie Clancy. Seeing a guitar, Willie asked me did I know “Liverpool Lou”, a Dominic Behan song then riding high in the charts. I sang and Willie backed me beautifully on his legendary chanter. Sadly (or gladly) there was not a single smart phone in the house. Later in the night he sang this song which is known locally as “The Gander”. It has always remained with me and resurfaced in recent lockdown times. I always felt that Myra was overlooked in the narrative and decided to re-name the song. I imagine an old railway carriage repurposed as a trailer and parked in verdant forest. A rambling House where Myra and Bill were the most welcoming of hosts.