Come Back Paddy Reilly (Harry Hibbs)
MIDI, videos
(Come Back Paddy Reilly To Ballyjamesduff)
#1351: YouTube video by quickaccent2006
℗2010 ~ Used with permission ~


The Garden of Eden has vanished, they say,
But I know the lie of it still:
A turn to the left at the bridge of Finea,
And stop when halfway to Cootehill.
'Tis there I will find it, I know sure enough,
For fortune has come to my call;
Ah, the grass it is green around Ballyjamesduff,
And the blue sky is over it all.
And tones that are tender and tones that are gruff,
Come whispering over the sea:
"Ah, come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me."

My mother once told me that when I was born,
The day that I first saw the light;
I looked down the street on that very first morn,
And gave a great crow of delight.
Now most newborn babies appear in a huff,
And start with a sorrowful squall;
But I knew I was born in Ballyjamesduff,
And that's why I smiled on them all.
The baby's a man now, he's toil-worn and tough,
Still, whispers come over the sea:
"Ah, come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me."

The night that we danced by the light of the moon,
Wid Phil to the fore wid his flute;
When Phil threw his lip over Come Again Soon,
He'd dance the foot out o' yer boot!
The day that I took Long Magee by the scruff,
For slanderin' Rosie Kilrain;
Then, marchin' him straight out of Ballyjamesduff,
Assisted him into a drain.
Oh, sweet are the dreams, as the dudeen I puff,
Of whisperings over the sea:
"Ah, come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me."

I've loved the young women of every land,
That always came easy to me;
Just barrin' the belles of the Black-a-moor brand,
And the chocolate shapes of Feegee.
But that sort of love is a moonshiny stuff,
And never will addle me brain;
For the bells will be ringin' in Ballyjamesduff,
For me and me Rosie Kilrain!
And through all their glamour,
their gas and their guff,
A whisper comes over the sea:
"Ah, come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me."

I've struck oil at last! I've struck work, and I vow,
I've struck some remarkable clothes;
I've struck a policeman for sayin' that now,
I'd go back to my beautiful Rose.
The belles they may blarney, the boys they may bluff,
But this I will always maintain:
No place in the world like Ballyjamesduff,
No girl like Rosie Kilrain.
I've paid for my passage, the sea may be rough,
But borne on each breeze there will be:
"Ah, come back, Paddy Reilly, to Ballyjamesduff,
Come home, Paddy Reilly, to me."

####.... Written in 1912 by William Percy French [1854-1920] of Cloonyquin, County Roscommon, IE ....####
The video above features an abbreviated recording by Harry Hibbs (A Fifth Of Harry Hibbs, 1971 LP, trk#4, Arc Sound Ltd, Toronto, ON. In 2002 a digitally remastered CD by Robert Matichak was released by Unidisc Studios, Montreal, QC).

See more Harry Hibbs songs.

An abbreviated variant was also recorded by The Masterless Men (Back On Track / The Masterless Men, 2000 CD, trk#3, Landwash Distribution Company, Ltd).

See more Masterless Men songs.

Note¹ - A dudeen is a clay pipe with a short stem.

Note² - Ballyjamesduff was a coach stop on the old Dublin to Cavan road. Its long, wide main street dates from that time. The route of the road was changed in 1820 and Ballyjamesduff became something of a quiet backwater. It still attracted visitors, including the young engineer, Percy French, who was working in Cavan. Some of his friends challenged him to write a song about the place. The result was Come Back Paddy Reilly to Ballyjamesduff. This put the town on the map of the musical world. Paddy Reilly is reputed to have been one of Percy French's favourite jarvies or horse drivers in the area. - Courtesy of Cavan County Tourism, IE.

The abbreviated variant in the video below features light-tenor singer and cabaret entertainer, Brendan O'Dowda [1925-2002] (Irish Favorites, EMI, 1997).

#214: YouTube video by machree01
℗2008 ~ Used with permission ~

The video below features an abbreviated recording by Tipperary-born singer Louise Morrissey (You'll Remember Me, 1994 CD, trk#5, Ritz Productions Limited).

#681: YouTube video by oldirishladdie
℗2009 ~ Used with permission ~


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