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Brave Michael Power
(Roud 8141)

Michael ‘Straighty’ Flanagan
Inagh
Recorded July 1976

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Michael 'Straighty' Flanagan

In my road to Dungarvan in search of some fowl,
Near Ballytown Crystal an old pistol I found,
I met the post boy with his bag on his back,
I presented my pistol and soon made him stand.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

“For mercy, for mercy”, the post boy did cry,
“And this is the way I’ve to earn my hire.
To support an old woman, a child and a wife,
I shall give you the bag if you spare me me life."

Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I told him stand back in a wood that was nigh;
I told him stand there til his bag I would try.
In one of his letters, was a fifty pound note,
Directed to Wexford to one Michael Power.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I gave him his bag and I bid good-bye.
I said I’ll go further more vengeance to try.
The next man I met was a mountain dragoon,
I presented my pistol and made him stand soon.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

His belt and his buckles I tied to my waist,
His sword and his pistol I then walked away.
If the captain will miss them I know he will sure,
You can tell him you lent them to one Michael Power.

Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I did not go far when who should I see,
Four yeomen well armed coming up close to me.
The first three that came up, sure I shot them down dead,
And I followed t'auld sergeant and cut off his head.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I went into Carrick and slept there that night.
It was early in the morning I got a great fright.
Twelve yeomen, well-armed, they’d broken the door,
And I left them all bleeding stretched dead on the floor.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I paid for my lodging and made no delay,
I loaded my pistol and then walked away.
I met an informer and he going to a fair,
And he riding a beautiful foxington mare.
Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

I went into Carrick to a place they call Glynn.
I met Kelly the hangman he had a drop-in.
He looked at my face and he said, “I am sure
That you’re the bold hero called brave Michael Power”.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

He offered to box me in a yard that was nigh.
The first tip I gave him I put him in despair.
“Before you’ll hang any more, my arms will tell,
And I’ll send your old soul going blazing to hell.”

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

And now you have heard my comical song.
I hope you’re all please I have said nothing wrong.
The next time I’ll come, sure I’ll sing you some more,
About the old pistol and brave Michael Power.

Allee Toorel o doorel o dingle o dee

"‘Michael Power’ was probably ‘Captain’ Richard Power, the highwayman (‘a genteel robber’) who plied his trade mainly around Cork and Limerick in the mid-seventeenth century, though there is an account of his travelling to the North and meeting up with 'one of Ulster’s most notorious bandits', ‘Count’ Redmond O’Hanlon. He seems to have been a popular Robin Hood type figure who persecuted wealthy landowners and gave assistance to their down-trodden tenants. There appears to be no record of Power’s birthplace, but he was hanged in Clonmel Gaol on November 10 1685. ‘Straighty’ Flanagan appears to be the sole source for this song; The Roud index gives no indication of any other having been found.

Reference:
The Irish Highwayman, Stephen Dunford, Merlin Publishing, 2000.
Jim Carroll


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