THE GOOD SHIP KANGAROO
Once I was a waitin' man that lived at home at ease
Now I am a mariner that plows the angry seas
I always loved seafarin' life I bid my love adieu
I shipped as steward and cook me boys on board the Kangaroo.
Oh I never thought she would prove false or either prove untrue
As we sailed away through Milford Bay on board the Kangaroo.
Think of me oh think of me she mournfully did say
When you are in a foreign land and I am far away
Take this lucky thrupenny bit it'll make you bear in mind
That lovin' trustin' faithful heart you left in tears behind.
Cheer up cheer up my own true love don't weep so bitterly
She sobbed she sighed she choked she cried and could not say goodbye
I won't be gone for very long 'tis but a month or two
When I will return again of course I'll visit you.
Our-ship it was homeward bound from many's the foreign shore
And many's the foreign present unto me love I bore
I brought tortoises from Tenerife and toys from Timbuktu
A china rat a Bengal cat and a Bombay cockatoo.
Paid off I sought her dwellin' on a street above the town
Where an ancient dame upon the line was hangin' out her gown
Where is me love she's vanished sir about six months ago
With a smart young man that drives the van for Chaplin, Son and Co.
Here's a health to dreams of married life to soap suds and blue
Heart's true love and patent starch and washin' soda too
I'll go unto some foreign shore no longer can I stay
And with some China hottentot I'll throw meself away.
Me love she is no foolish girl her age it is two score
Me love she is no spinster she's been married twice before
I cannot say it was her wealth that stole me heart away
She's a washer in a laundry for one and nine a day.
The Good Ship Kangaroo was learned from the singing of the late Mrs. Elizabeth Cronin of Macroom, Co. Cork. In the penultimate verse, 'hottentot' probably means opium.
Christy: vocals and guitar; Andy: mandolin and vocals; Donal: blarge and vocals; Liam: pipes; Matt: flute
THE RAMBLING SIÚLER
The highland lads are come to town and landed in headquarters
The colonel fell for a pretty little girl a farmer's only daughter
The general bet five thousand pounds the colonel wouldn't dress up in a beggar's gown
And she'll travel the world go round and round will she go with the rambling siúler.
The colonel started out next day dressed in a beggar's clothing
It wasn't long till he found his way to the farmer's lowly dwelling
O farmer shelter me for the night I'll sleep in your barn until daylight
Take pity on a beggar's awful plight. God help all rambling siúlers.
The farmer says the night is wet you can come to the kitchen fire
The colonel says to the serving maid it's you I do admire
Will you leave them all and come with me, leave them all a gra mo chroi
What a lusty beggar you would be away with the rambling siúler
The farmer and his servants all they fell into loud laughter
When who came tripping down the stairs but the farmer's only daughter
she's two blue eyes like the morning skies, soon as the beggar he did her spy
She fairly caught his rambling eye, she'll be mine says the rambling siúler.
The farmer and his servants all they went out to the byre
He put his arm around her waist as they sat by the kitchen fire
He put his hand upon her knee unto her gave kisses three
Says she how dare you make so free and it's you but a rambling siúler.
When supper it was over-o they made his bed in the barn
Between two sacks and a winnow cloth for fear that he'd do harm
But at 12 o'clock that very night she came to the barn she was dressed in white
The beggar rose in great delight, she's mine says the rambling siúler.
And he threw off his beggar's clothes, he threw them against the wall-o
He stood the bravest gentleman that was amongst them all-o
Will you look at my locks of golden hair under the sooty old hat I wear
I'm a colonel bold I do declare and it's not but a rambling siúler.
And I wouldn't for one hundred pounds that you and I would be found here
Will you travel around the whole night long and go with the rambling siúler
Oh it's off to the General's house they've gone, great is the wager he has won
Salute them both with the fife and the drum she's away with the rambling siúler.
The Rambling siúler was collected in the North of Ireland by Sam Henry and is obviously Scottish in origin. Once again a fatal fascination for beggars brings ultimate reward to the farmer's daughter (how did they do it?) An unlikely tale, this, but we like the colonel-come-beggar's cunning in the third verse where he feigns interest in the serving girl, presumably to convince the farmer that he wasn't going to try and get off with his daughter.
Andy: vocals and mandola; Christy: guitar; Donal: blarge; Matt & Liam: whistle.
THE PURSUIT OF FARMER MICHAEL HAYES
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 Knocklock
Where my forefathers lived and died three thousand years ago.
I lived as happy as King Saul and loved me neighbours one and all
Had no animosity for either friend or 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 lyin' low
He fell victim to a shot his agency was soon forgot
From that 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 Miltown 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 bein' remote they thought 'twas there I might resort
As they were gettin' weary they resolved to try Mayo.
In Ballaghaderreen they had 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 me chase
Bein' 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 Americay
Now I'm in the land of liberty, a fig for all my foes.
The Pursuit of Farmer Michael Hayes was learned from several sources: Christy heard versions of it sung by John Lyons, Tom Lenihan, and an unknown singer on Donnacha O Dulaing's 'Highways and Byways'. He received written versions from Mike Flynn and Seamus Mac Mathuna and there's another in Zimmerman's Songs of Irish Rebellion (Figgis, Dublin). The air is that of a song that Andy used to sing in early Planxty days. The words of that song were not to our taste but we were glad that the air fitted Michael Hayes so well.
Christy: vocals and bodhrán
; Andy: mandolin; Donal: blarge; Liam: pipes and whistle; Matt: flute and whistle.
YOU RAMBLING BOYS OF PLEASURE
You rambling boys of pleasure give ear unto these lines I write
I own I am a rover, in rambling I take great delight
I cast my mind on a handsome girl and oftentimes she does me slight
My mind is never easy except when my true love is in my sight
Down by yon flowery gardens where me and my true love do meet
I took her in my arms and unto her gave kisses sweet
She bade me take love easy just as the leaves fall from the tree
But I being young and foolish with my own true love I did not agree.
And the second time I met my love I thought that her heart was surely mine
But as the season changes my darling girl has changed her mind
Gold is the root of evil, although it bears a glistening hue
Causes many's the lad and the lass to part though their hearts like mine be e'er so true
And I wish I was in Belfast town and my true love along with me
And money in my pocket to keep us in good company
Liquor to be plenty a flowing glass on every side
Hard fortune would ne'er daunt me for I am young and the world is wide.
You Rambling Boys of Pleasure was learned from the singing of Len Graham and the late Joe Holmes from Co. Antrim, and also from Ian Stevenson of Derry, to whom many thanks. This the song that was half remembered by W.B. Yeats and rewritten by him as 'Down by the Sally Gardens'.
Andy: vocals, mandola, hurdy gurdy; Christy: harmonium; Donal: guitar; Matt & Liam: whistles.
Matt and Liam have been playing together for ten or fifteen years, and most of the tunes are from the mainstream of their repetroire. The version played here of the well-known jig Brian O'Lynn was learned from the fiddle playing of Bobby Casey. Two of the reels, The Lady on the Island and The Gatehouse Maid, were popularised by the great Sligo fiddlers of the forties, Michael Coleman and Paddy Kiloran. Callaghan's is a reel that comes from the Kerry fiddle tradition and was much played by the late Denis Murphy. The Virginia and Lucky In Love (an unusual version) were learned from the playing of the late Willie Clancy, whom Matt and Liam hold in very high regard. Both knew him personally and played with him, and much of Matt's flute style derives from piping techniques. The Virginia is also found in Pat Mitchell's The Dance Music of Willie Clancy. Smeceno Horo is a Bulgarian dance tune in 9/16 time.
In all but two tunes, Liam plays pipes; Matt, flute; Andy, bouzouki; Donal, blarge; Christy, bodhrán . Christy plays guitar in the set of three reels, and Liam plays whistle as well as pipes in Smeceno Horo.