The Wedding At Ballyporeen (MacEdward Leach)

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 Ballyporeen.

'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 bridegroom did swear,
Oh, Lord how the spalpeens did stir,
At the wedding of Ballyporeen.

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 Ballyporeen.

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 Ballyporeen.

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 Ballyporeen.

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,
Colcannon, 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 Ballyporeen.

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 feet kept a-prancing,
Such fifing, and fiddling, and a-dancing,
Was never seen at Ballyporeen.

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 Ballyporeen.

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 Ballyporeen."

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, they dance to at Ballyporeen.
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 Ballyporeen.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a broadside ballad sung to the tune of Ballinamona Ora, and published as early as 1807 in Oliver's Choice Selection Of Comic Songs, p.67-70, Edinburgh, Scotland ....####

Sung in 1950 by John Joseph (Jack) Swain [1892-1982] of Calvert, NL and published as Bally Poreen in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Note: Ballyporeen is near Cahir in County Tipperary, Ireland.

From the Dictionary Of Newfoundland English:
Colcannon - Irish dish consisting of a mixture or hash of cabbage and various vegetables or meat eaten on Colcannon Night, or Halloween, in St John's, NL.


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