Ha Jolly Ha

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Contest

I am going to steal an idea from the Dappled Things forum and invite all of my readers(ahem, all 2 of them) to take part in an Irish Drinking Song Contest. Scandalous Irish drinking songs were an important part of my formation! Here was my submission at Dappled Things:

Ale in the Hills by the Sea

I met a lightsome lass
In the hills by the sea
And she sang right bonnily
(Ay, she sang right bonnily, clap)
There on the braes o’ grass
Where her father’s kine did sleep

I offered her a drop
In the hills by the sea
And it proved a happy thought
(Ay, it proved a happy thought, clap)
For beside me she did stop
And from me didn’t stray

My choicest ale we shared
In the hills by the sea
As I told her tales right bold
(Ay, tales right bold, clap)
Of what I was prepared
To do for her sweet face

Says she, you are most kind
In the hills by the sea
And your boldness I do need
(Ay, my boldness she did need, clap)
For my father he did bind
Me to marry a muckle fool

Well the lass she did not lie
In the hills by the sea
For the man was muckle indeed
(Ay, the man was muckle indeed, clap)
I beheld him with a sigh
As he came over the lee

Then I choked upon my drink
In the hills by the sea
As he bellowed an angry oath
(Ay, he bellowed an angry oath, clap)
Sure I wanted to shrink
As he swung his shillelagh at me.

But the ale was e’r my aid
In the hills by the sea
For he slipped upon that bottle
(Ay, he slipped upon that bottle, clap)
And I fled away with the maid
While he lay like a great felled tree

And we married and built a fine house
(Aye, we married and built a fine house, clap)
Away from the hills by the sea


Anonymous MCNS said...

I do rather like Denis Leary's Irish Drinking Song:

They come over here
And they take all our land
They chop off our heads
And they boil them in oil
Our children are leaving
And we have no heads
We drink and we sing
And we drink and we die.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Raindear said...

Hmmm...I'm afraid that's a little serious for me. If one must sing about politics, 'tis best to make sure the sarcasm is ladled thickly.

God Bless England
(Tommy Makem)
Oh, I'll tell you a tale of peace and love
Whack fol the diddle o the die do day
Of a land that reigns all lands above
Whack fol the diddle o the die do day
May peace and plenty be her share
Who kept our homes from want and care
Oh, God bless England is our prayer
Whack fol the diddle o the die do day

Whack fol the diddle o the die do day
So we say "hip hooray"
Come and listen while we pray (1st chorus only)
Whack fol the diddle o the die do day

Now our fathers oft were naughty boys
For pikes and guns are dangerous toys
At Ballinahabwee and at Bunker's hill
We made poor England cry her fill
But old Brittania loves us still

God bless England so we pray (remaining choruses)

Now, when we were savage, fierce and wild
She came as a mother to her child
Gently raised us from the slime
And kept our hands from hellish crime
And she sent us to heaven in our own good time

Well, now Irish men forget the past
And think of the day that's coming fast
When we shall all be civilized
Neat and clean and well advised
Oh, won't mother England be surprised?

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is very foreign to me! Despite my interest in poetry (though I'm currently in a writer's block), I have never been competent in musical composition, and have never heard an Irish drinking song (likely because I never go to bars or Irish social occasions). Just wanted to assure you that you have more than one reader; good luck with the contest!

5:16 AM  
Blogger Raindear said...

Thanks for your encouragement!

The Celts have a sense of humor all their own, not difficult to parody if you have any familiarity with their musical tradition. I expect it would be much more challenging, though equally diverting, to compose music fitting the lyrics.

As a lover of the Catholic folk music tradition, I would encourage you to acquaint yourself with some Celtic songs. My own favorite bands include: Deanta, the Tannahill Weavers, the Cast, the Voice Squad, Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Danu, Teada and the Chieftains.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Raindear said...

Here is a Guinness limerick which my friend Dan N. composed for another contest, but which fits into the proposed genre rather well:

The Greatest Pint of Guinness

The greatest pint of Guinness
Is the one you never finish
A neverending mug of frosty cheer
It's the pint that's always got
One more swig and one last shot
And leaves you smiling, face down
In your beer.

9:17 AM  

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