MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
The Wedding at Bally Poreen
Jack Swain NFLD 1 Tape 11 Track 4
Calvert Audio:
Comic song

Listen and give air to a true Irish bard
You are old maids to be sure but I'll send you a card
For to beg you assist a poor musical elf
With a song ready made I composed it myself
About maids boys a priest and a wedding
With a crowd you could scarce trust your head in
A supper good cheer and a bedding
Which happened at Bally Poreen

'Twas a fine summer's morning 'bout twelve in the day
When the birds started singing they asked us to pray
When Patrick the bridegroom and Nora the bride
In their best bib and tuckers set out side by side
And the pipers played first in their air sir
Ah the maids blush the bride groom did swear
Oh, Lord how the spalpeens did stir
At the wedding of Bally Poreen

They were soon tacked together and home did return
To make merry the day at the sign of the Churn
And they sat down together the frolicsome troop
Oh the banks of the Shannon ne'er saw such a group
There was turf-cutters thrashers and tailors
There was fifers and fiddlers and alers
There was peddlers and smugglers and sailors
Assembled at Bally Poreen

There was Brian McDermott and Shaughnessy's brat
There was Terrence and Tristle and Platter-faced Pat
There was Nolan McCormack and Brian O'Lynn
And the fat red-haired housemaid that lived at the inn
There was Sheila and Larry the genius
With Pat's uncle old Darby Dennis
Black Teddy and Crooked McGuinness
Assembled at Bally Poreen

Now they sat down to meat Father Murphy said grace
Smoking' hot was the dishes and egg o'er each face
The knives and forks rattled spoons and platters did play
And they elbowed and jostled and walloped away
Rumps shins and fat sirloins did grunt sir
While mountains of beef were cut down
They demolished all but the bare bones
At the wedding of Bally Poreen

There was bacon and greens, oh, the turkeys got spoiled
There're potatoes dressed both ways both roasted and boiled
Hot pudding red herrings the priest cut the snipe
Cold Cannon fried dumplings Cod cow eel and tripe
And they eat till they could eat no more sir
And the whiskey came pouring galore
How Terry McManus did roar
Sure, he bothered all Bally Poreen

Then the whiskey went round and the songsters did roar
Tim sung "Paddy O'Kelly," Nell sung "Molly Astor."
Till a motion was made and their songs they forsake
And each lad took his sweetheart their trotters to shake
With fifers and fiddlers advancing
Pumps brogues bare a-feet kept a-prancing
Such fifing and fiddling and a dancing
Was never seen at Bally Poreen

Now the bride she got up and she made a low bow
And she twittered and felt so she couldn't tell how
She blushed and she stammered a few words let fall
And she whispered so low that she bothered them all
And her mother cried, "What are ye dead child?
Ah for goodness sake hold up your head child
I'm sixty I wish I was wed,
And I'd rattle old Bally Poreen

The bridegroom got up and he made an oration
He charmed their souls with his kind botheration
"You're welcome," he said and he swore and he cursed
"You might eat till you swell you might drink till you burst
The first christening I'll have if I strive
I hope you all hither will drive
You're all welcome both dead and alive
At the christening of Bally Poreen."

Now did Patrick the bridegroom and Nora the Bride
Let the Harp of old Ireland be sounded with pride
And to all the brave guests young or old grey or green
Drunk or sober the dance to at Bally Poreen
And if cupid will lend you his worry
To trip o'er that conjugal ferry
I hope you'll be all as so merry
As we were at Bally Poreen


Notes

Sources: In the transcription the title is given as Billy rather than Bally. Henry 93; Roud 3277.

History:

Text notes: A comic song, reporting a fine time at a wedding with lots of food, drink and dancing.

Tune notes: This mixolydian mode melody in 6/8 metre has 8 lines per stanza, like many other comic songs. The phrase repetition pattern is rather unusual: abc b dee'df.

All material on this webpage is copyright © 2004, Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive, Memorial University of Newfoundland. No unauthorized copying or use is permitted. For more information, follow this link.