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Delaney’s Chicken
Mikey Kelleher
Quilty and London

Recorded in London, 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Mikey Kelleher

Now Delaney, from the market bought a fowl a month ago,
If he find the man that sold him he’ll kill him with a blow;
Delaney bought this chicken, being of a tender breed
And of a more deceitful bird you never heard agreed.

So when they sought to pluck it, their efforts was in vain,
Their hands was tore and blistered and their muscles they were strained,
And resting of this chicken they put him down to stew,
If you want to set Delaney cracked, cry cock-a-doodle-doo.

So Delaney bought this chicken for to give us all a spread
And after they arriving home they tried to pull of his head,
They ordered picks and shovels, they got twisted up like tin,
They tried to carve the chicken but they couldn’t break the skin.

So this bird must have been crowing since they built the Tower of Abel [Babel]
He was fed by Cain and Abel and he lived in Noah’s stable,
All the shots and shells was fired in the field of Waterloo,
Could not penetrate or dislocate the tilugated, armour-plated, double-breasted, iron-chested cock-a-doodle-doo.

So they borrowed Daley’s rammer, by which he rammed the stones,
Thinking that when tapped, would break the tender chicken’s bones,
But the first one is rebounded like an Indian-rubber ball,
And knocked twelve yards of coping out of Muligan’s garden wall.

So this bird must have been crowing since they built the Tower of Abel [Babel]
He was fed by Cain and Abel and he lived in Noah’s stable,
All the shots and shells was fired in the field of Waterloo,
Could not penetrate or dislocate the tilugated, armour-plated, double-breasted, iron-chested cock-a-doodle-doo.

Oh the Dundee Extra Gunners came to excavate the thing,
And the sword he carved the Russian with while light three yards of string
Old Tim brought the Davey Miner, through him they showed daylight,
While blowing up himself and the chicken with a pound of dynamite.

So to scrape the walls for chicken, it wasn’t easy work,
It wasn’t easy know which was chicken or which was Burke,
But they found a leg of chicken on a friendly blacksmith’s head,
And a pair of everlasting heels upon my boots it made.

The bird must have been crowing since they built the Tower of Abel [Babel]
He was fed by Cain and Abel and he lived in Noah’s stable,
All the shots and shells was fired in the field of Waterloo,
Could not penetrate or dislocate the tilugated, armour-plated, double-breasted, iron-chested cock-a-doodle-doo.


"This music hall song was composed in 1896 by Lester Barrett and P. Sweeney; Barrett wrote a similar piece, ‘Hooligan’s Mule’, around the same time. Songs such as this, of creatures possessing wonderful attributes, abound in the song tradition, among the most popular being ‘The Herring’, ‘The Derby Ram’ and ‘The Wonderful Crocodile’. Mikey’s seems to be the only recorded version of this from a traditional singer."
Jim Carroll


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