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St Patrick's Day

by Marc Gunn

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Dicey Riley 01:52
Poor old Dicey Riley she has taken to the sup. Poor old Dicey Riley she will never give it up. For it’s off each morning to the hock Where she goes in for another little drop Ah the heart of the rowl is Dicey Riley She walks along Fitzgibbon Street with an independent air And then it’s down by Summerhill, where the people stare She says “It’s nearly half past one It’s time I had another little one.’ Ah the heart of the rowl is Dicey Riley. She owns a little sweet shop at the corner of the street And every evening after school I go to wash her feet She leaves me there to mind the shop while she nips in for another little drop Ah the heart of the rowl is Dicey Riley
In the merry month of May, From my home I started, Left the girls of Tuam, Nearly broken hearted, Saluted father dear, Kissed my darlin’ mother, Drank a pint of beer, My grief and tears to smother, Then off to reap the corn, And leave where I was born, I cut a stout blackthorn, To banish ghost and goblin, In a brand new pair of brogues, I rattled o’er the bogs, And frightened all the dogs, on the rocky road to Dublin. One, two, three, four five, Hunt the hare and turn her Down the rocky road And all the ways to Dublin, Whack-fol-lol-de-ra. In Mullingar that night, I rested limbs so weary, Started by daylight, Next mornin’ light and airy, Took a drop of the pure, To keep my heart from sinkin’, That’s an Irishman’s cure, Whene’er he’s on for drinking. To see the lasses smile, Laughing all the while, At my curious style, ‘Twould set your heart a-bubblin’. They ax’d if I was hired, The wages I required, Till I was almost tired, Of the rocky road to Dublin. In Dublin next arrived, I thought it such a pity, To be so soon deprived, A view of that fine city. Then I took a stroll, All among the quality, My bundle it was stole, In a neat locality; Something crossed my mind, Then I looked behind; No bundle could I find, Upon my stick a wobblin’. Enquirin’ for the rogue, They said my Connacht brogue, Wasn’t much in vogue, On the rocky road to Dublin. From there I got away, My spirits never failin’ Landed on the quay As the ship was sailin'; Captain at me roared, Said that no room had he, When I jumped aboard, A cabin found for Paddy, Down among the pigs I played some funny rigs, Danced some hearty jigs, The water round me bubblin’, When off Holyhead, I wished myself was dead, Or better far instead, On the rocky road to Dublin. The boys of Liverpool, When we safely landed, Called myself a fool; I could no longer stand it; Blood began to boil, Temper I was losin’, Poor ould Erin’s isle They began abusin’, “Hurrah my soul,” sez I, My shillelagh I let fly; Some Galway boys were by, Saw I was a hobble in, Then with a loud hurray, They joined in the affray. We quickly cleared the way, For the rocky road to Dublin.
I'm a weaver a Calton Weaver, I'm a rash and a rovin' blade I've got silver in my pocket and I'll follow the roving trade. * Whisky, Whisky, Nancy Whisky. Whisky, Whisky Nancy-o! As I went in to Glasgow City, Nancy Whisky I chanced to smell, I went in, sat doon beside her, Seven long years I loved her well. The more I kissed her the more I loved her, The more I kissed her the more she smiled, Soon I forgot my mother's teaching, Nancy soon had me beguiled So I'll go back to the Calton weavin' I'll surely make the shuttles fly, I'll make more at the Calton weavin' Than ever I did with the rovin' trade So come all you weavers you Calton weavers All you weaver's where 'ere you be Beware of whiskey, Nancy Whiskey, She'll ruin you like she ruined me
And come tell me Sean O'Farrell tell me why you hurry so Husha buachaill hush and listen and his cheeks were all a glow I bare orders from the captain get you ready quick and soon For the pikes must be together by the rising of the moon By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon For the pikes must be together by the rising of the moon And come tell me Sean O'Farrell where the gath'rin is to be At the old spot by the river quite well known to you and me One more word for signal token whistle out the marchin' tune With your pike upon your shoulder by the rising of the moon By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon With your pike upon your shoulder by the rising of the moon Out from many a mud wall cabin eyes were watching through the night Many a manly heart was beating for the blessed warning light Murmurs rang along the valleys to the banshees lonely croon And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon By the rising of the moon, by the rising of the moon And a thousand pikes were flashing by the rising of the moon All along that singing river that black mass of men was seen High above their shining weapons flew their own beloved green Death to every foe and traitor! Whistle out the marching tune And hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the rising of the moon 'Tis the rising of the moon, 'tis the rising of the moon And hurrah, me boys, for freedom, 'tis the rising of the moon
Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and sixty, my dear and loving son John Your good friend and schoolmaster Pat McNamara so good as to write these words down. Your brothers have all gone to find work in England, the house is all empty and sad The crop of potatoes is sorely infected, a third to a half of them bad. Your sister Bridget and Patrick O’Donnell are going to be married in June. Your mother says not to work on the railroad and be sure to come on home soon. Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and seventy, my dear and loving son John Hello to your missus and to your 4 children. May they grow healthy and strong. Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble, I guess that he never will learn. Because of the dampness there’s no turf to speak of and now we have nothing to burn. Bridget is happy, you named a child for her and now she’s got six of her own. You say you found work, but you don’t say what kind or when you will be coming home. Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and eighty, dear Michael and John, my sons I’m sorry to give you the very sad news that your dear old mother has gone. We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly, your brothers and Bridget were there. You don’t have to worry, she died very quickly. Remember her in your prayers. And it’s so good to hear that Michael’s returning, with money he’s sure to buy land For the crop has been poor and the people are selling as fast as they can. Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and ninety, my dear and loving son John I suppose that I must be close on eighty, it’s thirty years since you’re gone. Because of all of the money you sent me, I’m still living out on my own. Michael has built himself a fine house and Bridget’s daughters have grown. Thank you for sending your family pictures. They’re lovely young women and men. You say that you might even come for a visit, what joy to see you again. Kilkelly, Ireland, eighteen and ninety-two, my dear brother John I’m sorry that I didn’t write sooner to tell you that father is gone. He was living with Bridget, she says he was happy and healthy down to the end. Ah, you should have seen him play with the grandchildren of Pat McNamara, your friend. And we buried him alongside of mother down at the Kilkelly churchyard. He was a strong and a feisty old man, considering his life was so hard. And it’s funny the way he kept talking about you. He called for you at the end. Oh, why don’t you think about coming to visit, what joy to see you again.
There was a wild colonial boy, Jack Duggan was his name He was born and raised in Ireland, in a place called Castlemaine He was his father’s only son, his mother’s pride and joy And dearly did his parents love the wild colonial boy At the early age of sixteen years, he left his native home And to Australia’s sunny shore, he was inclined to roam He helped the poor, he robbed the rich, Their crops he would destroy A terror to Australia was the wild colonial boy For two long years this daring youth ran on his wild career With a heart that knew no danger and a soul that felt no fear. He held the Beechwood Coach up and he robbed Judge McEvoy Who, trembling, gave his gold up to the wild colonial boy. He bade the Judge “Good Morning” and he told him to beware For he never robbed an honest judge who acted ‘on the square” “Yet you would rob a mother of her only pride and joy And breed a race of outlaws like the wild colonial boy” One morning on the prairie, While Jack Duggan rode along While listening to the mocking bird, a-singing out his song Out jumped three troopers fierce and grim Kelly, Davis and Fitzroy Were detailed for to capture him, the wild colonial boy “Surrender now, Jack Duggan, you can see we’re three to one Surrender in our Queen’s name, for you are a plundering son”. Jack drew two pistols from his belt, and glared upon Fitzroy “I’ll fight, but not surrender,” cried the wild colonial boy He fired a shot at Kelly, and he brought him to the ground He fired a shot at Davis too, who fell dead at the sound But a bullet pierced his brave young heart, from the pistol of Fitzroy And that was how they captured him, the wild colonial boy
Of all the trades that I do know, the beggin is the best For when a beggar’s weary he can aye sit doon and rest To the beggin’ I will go will go, To the beggin’ I will go. Before I head out on the road, I’ll let me beard grow strong; And my nails I will nae cut ’em, for the beggars wear them long. I’ll put no water on my hands, and little on my face; For still the lowner like I am, the more my trade I’ll grace. And I’ll go to the tailor, with a wad of hodden gray, I’ll have him make a cloak for me, that will keep me night and day. When I come tae a farm-toon, I’ll say with hat in hand; “Will the beggar-man get quarters here? Alas, I canna stand.” And when they all come in about, It’s then I’ll start to sing, And do my best to gather them, around about the ring. If there’s a wedding in the town; you’ll surely find me there; I’ll pour my kindest benisons, Upon the happy pair. And some will give me beef and bread, And some will give me cheese; And out and in among the folk, I’ll gaither the bawbees. If beggin’ be as good as trade, As I hope it may, It’s time that I was out o’ here, And headin’ doon the brae.
As I was going over the far famed Kerry mountains I met with captain Farrell and his money he was counting. I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier. Said stand and deliver, for I am a bold deceiver, * musha ring dumma do damma da whack for the daddy ‘ol whack for the daddy ‘ol there’s whiskey in the jar I counted out his money, and it made a pretty penny. I put it in my pocket and I took it home to Jenny. She said and she swore, that she never would deceive me, but the devil take the women, for they never can be easy I went into my chamber, all for to take a slumber, I dreamt of gold and jewels and for sure it was no wonder. But Jenny took my charges and she filled them up with water, Then sent for captain Farrel to be ready for the slaughter. It was early in the morning, as I rose up for travel, The guards were all around me and likewise captain Farrel. I first produced my pistol, for she stole away my rapier, But I couldn’t shoot the water so a prisoner I was taken. If anyone can aid me, it’s my brother in the army, If I can find his station down in Cork or in Killarney. And if he’ll come and save me, we’ll go roving near Kilkenny, And I swear he’ll treat me better than me darling sportling Jenny Now some men take delight in the drinking and the roving, But others take delight in the gambling and the smoking. But I take delight in the juice of the barley, And courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early
It hung above the kitchen fire. It's barrel long and brown And one day with a boy's desire, I climbed and took it down My father's eyes in anger flashed. He cried ""what have you done?! I wish you'd left it where it was, That's my old Fenian gun"". I fondled it with love and pride. I looked it o'er and o'er I placed it on my shoulder And I marched across the floor My father's anger softened And he shared my boyish fun "Ah, well"" he said "'tis in your breed like that old Fenian gun". I remember '67 well when lads like you and me All thought we'd strike another blow to set old Ireland free. But broken were our golden hopes I was long months on the run But it did good work for Ireland then that brown old Fenian gun. I was down then in Killaluk t'was the hottest fight of all. And you can see he burned his arm there's a mark still on the ball I hope the young lads growing now will hold the ground we won And not disgrace the cause in which I held that Fenian gun I placed it o'er the fire once more. I heard my father sigh I knew his thoughts were turning back on days now long gone by And then I vowed within my heart I'll be my father's son And if ever Ireland wants my aid I'll hold the Fenian gun. That's years ago I've grown a man And I've weathered many a gale This last long year's been spent inside a gloomy English jail I've done my part I'll do it still Until the fight is won When Ireland's free she'll bless the men Who held the Fenian gun.
What shall we do with a drunken sailor, What shall we do with a drunken sailor, What shall we do with a drunken sailor, Early in the morning? chorus: Weigh heigh and up she rises Weigh heigh and up she rises Weigh heigh and up she rises Early in the morning Put him in a long boat till he’s sober. Leave him there till they make him better. Trice up in a running bowline. Give ‘im a dose of salt and water. Give ‘im a taste of the bosun’s rope-end. Soak him in oil till he sprouts a flipper. Shave his belly with a rusty razor. Put him in the bed of the Captain’s daughter. You should of seen the Captain’s daughter. She looks like an orangutan. Swinging from a chandalier. That’s what you do with a drunken sailor.
O'er the Way 04:00
Under dark moonless sky, he rode into the night To See his love o'er the way. (The) smell of flowers in the air, he passed not a care Across a bridge o'that sad day. When a shadow stepped from the rail, from his saddle he sailed, And his horse rode off o'er the way. As the man was caught off guard, the shadow struck him hard And his hopes rode off o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, His hopes rode off o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, His hopes rode off o'er the way. Well a fire burned inside, and he beat the brigand thrice. The hate consumed him o'er the way. O' the man thought he had won, until he felt the brigand's song Grab hold o'him o'er the way. So the thief took his revenge, and he beat the man unending With a cat o'nine tails o'er the way. And he shrieked to the night, bloodied by the fight, Like a cat he shriekd o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, Like a cat he shriekd o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, Like a cat he shriekd o'er the way. Well the law followed that yell, saw the man lay where he fell. Nothing left but the man's shell o'er the way. As he layed the body to rest, the man's love clutcher her breasts O' her heart was robbed and killed on that day. And she breathed her last breath, and blood stained her dress From the lashes that slew her man today. As her body fell to the ground, there was an echoing howl Of the hounds that howled for them o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, O' the hounds that howled for them o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, O' the hounds that howled for them o'er the way. O' the door closed real fast, a brigand and his cash That he robbed with his son o'er the way. As the counted out their change, they shouted loud, unhallowed names For they were made rich on that day. Then the son went for his sister, found her dead with her blist ers And the streaks of blood o'er the way. O' her father couldn't stand, he found a picture in her hand... It was the man they'd killed o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, It was the man they'd killed o'er the way. O'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, o'er the way, It was the man they'd killed o'er the way.
There's a wren on a rock wall Thorny gorse grows all around It is miles to the ocean And to auld Galway town My feet feel so weary Without you by my side So I'll pick this purple flower For the day we reunite Here's a flower, my darling From the banks of Ross Lake It will sit by my bedside Til your form I embrace As I walk the Aran Islands Honeysuckle is all in bloom The rock roads seem harder Like my heart missing you Though the beer is ever flowing And the craic is quite grand Though the music may be growing But it is lonely in this land. The sun sets too slowly Over Galway's brisk bay Crashing waves seem to slow us As we sail from the quay I see you by the pierside And my heart starts to soar In my hand is your purple flower Now you're mine once more
Have you heard about the big strong man? He lived in a caravan. Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnson fight? Oh, Lord what a hell of a fight. You can take all of the heavyweights you’ve got. We’ve got a lad that can beat the whole lot. He used to ring bells in the belfry, Now he’s gonna fight Jack Demspey. That was my brother Sylvest’ (What’s he got?) A row of forty medals on his chest (big chest!) He killed fifty bad men in the west; he knows no rest. Think of a man, hells’ fire, don’t push, just shove, Plenty of room for you and me. He’s got an arm like a leg (a ladies’ leg!) And a punch that would sink a battleship (big ship!) It takes all of the Army and the Navy to put the wind up Sylvest’. Now, he thought he’d take a trip to Italy. He thought that he’d go by sea. He dove off the harbor in New York, And swam like a great big shark. He saw the Lusitania in distress. He put the Lusitania on his chest. He drank all of the water in the sea, And he walked all the way to Italy. He thought he take a trip to old Japan. They turned out a big brass band. You can take all of the instruments you’ve got, We got a lad that can play the whole lot. And the old church bells will ring (Hells bells!) The old church choir will sing (Hells fire!) They all turned out to say farewell to my big brother Sylvest’.
Over in Killarney Many years ago, Me Mither sang a song to me In tones so sweet and low. Just a simple little ditty, In her good ould Irish way, And l'd give the world if she could sing That song to me this day. "Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li, Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, hush now, don't you cry! Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, Too-ra-loo-ra-li, Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral, that's an Irish lullaby." Oft in dreams I wander To that cot again, I feel her arms a-huggin' me As when she held me then. And I hear her voice a -hummin' To me as in days of yore, When she used to rock me fast asleep Outside the cabin door.
Minstrel Boy 02:13
In Dublin's fair city Where the girls are so pretty I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone As she wheeled her wheelbarrow Through the streets broad and narrow Crying "cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh" * Alive, alive, oh Alive, alive, oh Crying "cockles and mussels, Alive, alive, oh" She was a fishmonger And sure, t'was no wonder For so were her mother and father before They each wheeled their barrow Through the streets broad and narrow Crying "cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh" She died of a fever And no one could save her That was the end of sweet Molly Malone Now her ghost wheels her barrow Through the streets broad and narrow Crying "cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh"
Danny Boy 03:07
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling From glen to glen, and down the mountain side The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying 'tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide. But come you back when summer's in the meadow Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow 'tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so. And if you come, when all the flowers are dying And I am dead, as dead I well may be You'll come and find the place where I am lying And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me. And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me I simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
Henry Martin 02:35
A drop of Nelson's blood wouldn't do us any harm (3x) And we'll all hang on behind. So we'll roll the golden chariot along An' we'll roll the golden chariot along. So we'll roll the golden chariot along An' we'll all hang on behind! A plate of Irish stew wouldn't do us any harm... A nice fat cook wouldn't do us any harm... A roll in the clover wouldn't do us any harm... A long spell in gaol wouldn't do us any harm... A round on the house wouldn't do us any harm... A glass of hot whiskey wouldn't do us any harm... If the devil's in the road, we'll roll it over him...
I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride He and I took a stroll down by the seaside; To seek for good fortune and what might betide Bring just as the day was a'dawnin' Then after resting we both took a dram and met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Cramp And besides a wee drummer who beat up the camp With his rowdy-dow-dow in the morning He said, "My young fellows if you will enlist A guinea you quickly will have in your fist And besides a whole crown for to kick up the dust And drink the King's health in the morning Had we been such fools as to take the advance; With the wee bit of money we'd have to run chance For you'd think it no scruples to send us to France; Where we would be killed in the morning He said, "My young fellows if I hear but one word I instantly now will out with my sword And into your bodies as strength will afford; So now my gay devils take warning." But Arthur and we soon took the odds; And we gave them no time for to draw out their blades Our trusty shillelaghs came over their heads And paid them right smart in the morning As for the wee drummer, we rifled his pouch And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow And into the ocean to rock and to roll And bade him a tedious returning As for the old rapier that hung by his side We flung it as far as we could in the tide "To the Devil I pitch you," said Arthur McBride " To temper your steel in the morning."
Old Dun Cow 04:08
Some friends and I in a public house Was playing a game of chance one night When into the pub a fireman ran His face all a chalky white. "What's up", says Brown, "Have you seen a ghost, Or have you seen your Aunt Mariah?" "Me Aunt Mariah be buggered!", says he, "The bleedin' pub's on fire!" And there was Brown upside down Lappin'' up the whiskey on the floor. "Booze, booze!" The firemen cried As they came knockin' on the door (clap clap) Oh don't let 'em in till it's all drunk up And somebody shouted MacIntyre! MACINTYRE! And we all got blue-blind paralytic drunk When the Old Dun Cow caught fire. "Oh well," says Brown, "What a bit of luck. Everybody follow me. And it's down to the cellar If the fire's not there Then we'll have a grand old spree." So we went on down after good old Brown The booze we could not miss And we hadn't been there ten minutes or more Till we were quite pissed. Then, Smith walked over to the port wine tub And gave it just a few hard knocks (clap clap) Started takin' off his pantaloons Likewise his shoes and socks. "Hold on, " says Brown, "that ain't allowed Ya cannot do that thing here. Don't go washin' trousers in the port wine tub When we got Guinness beer." Then there came from the old back door The Vicar of the local church. And when he saw our drunken ways, He began to scream and curse. "Ah, you drunken sods! You heathen clods! You've taken to a drunken spree! You drank up all the Benedictine wine And you didn't save a drop for me!" And then there came a mighty crash Half the bloody roof caved in. We were almost drowned in the firemen's hose But still we were gonna stay. So we got some tacks and some old wet sacks And we nailed ourselves inside And we sat drinking the finest Rum Till we were bleary-eyed. Later that night, when the fire was out We came up from the cellar below. Our pub was burned. Our booze was drunk. Our heads was hanging low. "Oh look", says Brown with a look quite queer. Seems something raised his ire. "Now we gotta get down to Murphy's Pub, It closes on the hour!"


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“Every Day is Not St. Patrick’s Day” adds to Marc Gunn’s considerable collection of Celtic music made accessible in any number of ways. First of all, it’s a great listen. Even if you never explore the music beyond that, you’ll be satisfied. But Marc has made the lyrics to and chords for all these great songs available on his Irish Song Lyrics website.

Marc has also included an original poem by Hugh Scanlen, “The Alcoholic”, that touches on a theme familiar to Irish people and Irish music. Hugh is a veteran of the war in Vietnam, whose struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism led him to write this haunting poem. A portion of the profits of the album go towards helping vets with PTSD.

You may already have Marc’s CDs that contain parodies of these songs. Now, you get to hear the originals, delivered in Marc’s unique style. I’m pretty sure you’ll listen to these songs on March 17 – which, in case you didn’t know, happens to be Marc’s birthday – as well as many other days of the year. Enjoy!

"Not Every Day Is St Patrick's Day" was first released on 1/17/2013.


released September 17, 2020

All songs traditional, except Kilkelly, Ireland (Steven and Peter Jones), Rising of the Moon (John Keegan Casey), Old Fenian Gun (P. O’Neill), The Alcoholic (Hugh Scanlen, Marc Gunn), Minstrel Boy (Thomas Moore), Danny Boy (Frederic Weatherly), An Irish Lullaby (James Royce Shannon), Old Dun Cow (Harry Wincott, Brad Howard)

Executive Producer: Cary Whitney
Copyright 2013 Marc Gunn

Musicians: Marc Gunn: autoharp, vocals; Kenzie Gunn: percussive; Daniel I. Briggs: bkg vocals, acoustic Bass, acoustic Guitar, octave mandolin; Jon Richardson: bkg vocals, English concertina; Jody Richardson: bkg vocals, violin; Jamie Haeuser: bkg vocals on “Minstrel Boy”

Produced, mixed and mastered by Marc Gunn. Graphic design by Marc Gunn. Cover and back photo by Anna Cylkowski. Inside photo by Nancy Flynn. Photos from the 2012 Celtic Invasion of Galway, Ireland. Good food, good drink, good company.

Find lyrics for all these songs at www.irish-song-lyrics.com.




Marc Gunn Atlanta, Georgia

Marc Gunn is a rhythm and folk musician inspired by Celtic culture, science fiction, fantasy, and cats--Sci F'Irish music.

He breathes new life into the autoharp, which continues to surprise musical veterans and fans alike for its unique sound and spirited energy. It’s like a satirical jam session between The Clancy Brothers and Weird Al Yankovic.
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