Morrissey And The Russian Sailor
(MacEdward Leach) video

See also: Morrissey And The Black
(MacEdward Leach)
#390: YouTube video by Eugene Smirnov
©2012 ~ Used with permission ~

Come all you lads of Erin,
your attention I do crave,
Whilst I relate the praises
of an Irish hero brave;
Concerning of that great fight
which took place the other day,
Between a Russian sailor
and the gallant Morrissey.

'Twas in Terra Del Fuego
in the south of Americay,
The Russian met the champion
those words to him did say:
"You are an Irish hero brave,
you wears the belt I see,
What do you think if you'd consent
and have a round with me?"

Then up speaks brave Morrissey
with a heart both stout and true,
"Yes I am an Irishman
that never was subdued;
And I can lick those Yankees and you,
saucy beggar bear,
In honour of old Paddy's land
it's the laurel I do wear."

To fight all on the tenth of March
those champions did agree,
And people came from every port
this battle for to see;
And fifty thousand dollars,
as you may plainly see,
Was to be the bold champion's prize
who would gain the victory.

They both shook hands,
walked 'round the ring
most gallant to be seen,
When Morrissey put on the belt
bound 'round with shamrock green;
They both shook hands,
walked 'round the ring
and then began to fight,
'Twould thrill the heart of an Irish lad
for to behold the sight.

The Russian flew at Morrissey
up to the eleventh round,
The Yankees and the Russians cheered,
the valley did resound;
The Yankees and the Russians cheered,
their hearts were full of glee,
They were pretty sure their bully boy
would gain the victory.

From that up to the twenty-second
'twas fall for fall a bout,
Which caused those foreign tyrants
to keep a sharp lookout;
When the Russian called his second
for to give him a glass of wine,
Our hero smiled and then replied,
"The battle is surely mine."

The twenty-ninth decided all,
the Russian felt a smart,
With a terrible blow from Morrissey
which reached him to the heart;
The doctors they were called upon
to bleed him in the vein,
But they said it is quite useless,
he will never fight again.

####.... Variant of an Irish broadside ballad by P Brereton of Dublin (Roud 2150) ....####
This variant was sung in 1950 by Alexander March [1865-1953] of Port-au-Port, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Note: John Morrissey [1831-1878] was a famous Irish bare knuckles prizefighter, raised in the United States.

The video above features a recording on three albums by Ewan MacColl and A L Lloyd: (Champions and Sporting Blades : British Songs of Sporting and Gambling, trk#5, 1958 LP, Riverside, USA); and (Gamblers and Sporting Blades, Side 2, trk#2, 1962 EP, Topic Records, UK); and ( Bold Sportsmen All : Gamblers and Sporting Blades, trk#5, 1998 CD, Topic Records, UK, compiled and produced by Tony Engle).

See more songs by Ewan MacColl.


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