Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly


Seeing as it's Bloomsday, and seeing as I forgot this morning to go to the butcher's for a kidney.  Frankly, I've gotten a bit stultified with Beethoven's 5th, (I love classical music, Beethoven in particular, but I just don't want to play it).  So I'm going to give Humphrey's tune a go - my inability to read the above bit of music when I first read the book, thirty years ago, could be argued to be one of the reason why I'm at last learning to read music.  Also, given the nature of the Finnegans Wake, it will be an ideal bit of music to play around with the different instruments in Live, and maybe improvise some left hand parts in due course.

You can get The Dubliners shortened version on youtube.  I love the version I found on Amazon by Kristin Bachtle-Golly, which is well worth 79p.  




The Ballad of Persse O'Reilly


Have you heard of one Humpty Dumpty 
How he fell with a roll and a rumble 
And curled up like Lord Olofa Crumple 
By the butt of the Magazine Wall, 
  (Chorus) Of the Magazine Wall, 
           Hump, helmet and all? 

He was one time our King of the Castle 
Now he's kicked about like a rotten old parsnip. 
And from Green street he'll be sent by order of His Worship 
To the penal jail of Mountjoy 
  (Chorus) To the jail of Mountjoy! 
           Jail him and joy. 

He was fafafather of all schemes for to bother us 
Slow coaches and immaculate contraceptives for the populace, 
Mare's milk for the sick, seven dry Sundays a week, 
Openair love and religion's reform, 
  (Chorus) And religious reform, 
           Hideous in form. 

Arrah, why, says you, couldn't he manage it? 
I'll go bail, my fine dairyman darling, 
Like the bumping bull of the Cassidys 
All your butter is in your horns. 
  (Chorus) His butter is in his horns. 
           Butter his horns! 

(Repeat) Hurrah there, Hosty, frosty Hosty, change that shirt 
   on ye, 
Rhyme the rann, the king of all ranns! 


Balbaccio, balbuccio! 

We had chaw chaw chops, chairs, chewing gum, the chicken-pox 
   and china chambers 
Universally provided by this soffsoaping salesman. 
Small wonder He'll Cheat E'erawan our local lads nicknamed him. 
When Chimpden first took the floor 
  (Chorus) With his bucketshop store 
           Down Bargainweg, Lower. 

So snug he was in his hotel premises sumptuous 
But soon we'll bonfire all his trash, tricks and trumpery 
And 'tis short till sheriff Clancy'll be winding up his unlimited 
   company 
With the bailiff's bom at the door, 
  (Chorus) Bimbam at the door. 
           Then he'll bum no more. 

Sweet bad luck on the waves washed to our island 
The hooker of that hammerfast viking 
And Gall's curse on the day when Eblana bay 
Saw his black and tan man-o'-war. 
  (Chorus) Saw his man-o'-war 
           On the harbour bar. 

Where from? roars Poolbeg. Cookingha'pence, he bawls 
   Donnez-moi scampitle, wick an wipin'fampiny 
Fingal Mac Oscar Onesine Bargearse Boniface 
Thok's min gammelhole Norveegickers moniker 
Og as ay are at gammelhore Norveegickers cod. 
  (Chorus) A Norwegian camel old cod. 
           He is, begod. 


Lift it, Hosty, lift it, ye devil, ye! up with the rann, 
   the rhyming rann! 

It was during some fresh water garden pumping 
Or, according to the Nursing Mirror, while admiring the monkeys 
That our heavyweight heathen Humpharey 
Made bold a maid to woo 
  (Chorus) Woohoo, what'll she doo! 
           The general lost her maidenloo! 

He ought to blush for himself, the old hayheaded philosopher, 
For to go and shove himself that way on top of her. 
Begob, he's the crux of the catalogue 
Of our antediluvial zoo, 
  (Chorus) Messrs Billing and Coo. 
           Noah's larks, good as noo. 

He was joulting by Wellinton's monument 
Our rotorious hippopopotamuns 
When some bugger let down the backtrap of the omnibus 
And he caught his death of fusiliers, 
  (Chorus) With his rent in his rears. 
           Give him six years. 

'Tis sore pity for his innocent poor children 
But look out for his missus legitimate! 
When that frew gets a grip of old Earwicker 
Won't there be earwigs on the green? 
  (Chorus) Big earwigs on the green, 
           The largest ever you seen. 

   Suffoclose! Shikespower! Seudodanto! Anonymoses! 

Then we'll have a free trade Gael's band and mass meeting 
For to sod him the brave son of Scandiknavery. 
And we'll bury him down in Oxmanstown 
Along with the devil and the Danes, 
  (Chorus) With the deaf and dumb Danes, 
           And all their remains. 

And not all the king's men nor his horses 
Will resurrect his corpus 
For there's no true spell in Connacht or hell 
  (bis) That's able to raise a Cain.