Clare County Library
Songs of Clare
Home | Library Catalogue | Music of Clare | Forums | Foto | Maps | Folklore | Genealogy | History | Museum | Search this Website | Copyright | What's New

Mary Malone
(Roud 8221)
Martin Howley
Fanore, north west Clare
Recorded in singer's home, summer 1975

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Martin Howley

I’m an honest and good Irish body
I came from the County Mayo.
And I’ll take with a good glass of toddy
And my name it is Mary Malone.

I can dance, I can sing like a starling
By the youngsters I’ll never be beat.
In a whisper I’ll tell you my darling
I’m as good as they’re making them yet, mind that!

I have honest and decent relations
I’m a descendant of Brian Boru.
And I’ll take with a good glass of toddy
And sure faith I don’t mind telling you.

I have buried three husbands already
Bold Barney, Mickey and Ned.
And faith I am ready and willing
For another bold garsún to wed.

Sure, they say that the older the fiddle
The purer and clearer the tone.
If the bow hasn’t plenty of rosin
It won’t suit auld Mary Malone.

Sure I’m now in the margin of fifty,
My foot it is light as a fawn.
I’m honest, light hearted and thrifty
And I rise with the lark at the dawn.

Sure, some people’ll always do slander,
They say that I’m lazy ochón.
But where there’s a goose there’s a gander
And the same with auld Mary Malone.

I can dance, I can sing like a starling,
By the youngsters I’ll never be beat.
In a whisper I’ll tell you my darling
I’m as good as they’re making them yet, mind that!


“Herbert Hughes gives the home-place of the lady as Tyrone and not Mayo and he entitles it ‘I’m a Decent Good Irish Body’ – otherwise, it seems to be a variant of Martin’s song. Some of Martin’s verses are similar to those of a song we recorded from Mary Delaney, a Travelling woman from Cashel, in Tipperary, her song seems to have been adapted from ‘Mary Malone’:

I’ve buried three husbands already,
Poor Dan and poor Miley, and John,
And now I am mostly all ready,
For another young son to come on.
[Dowdled verse]

Oh, wherever there’s a goose there’s a gander,
And wherever there’s a will there’s a way,
But the sun will be risin' tomorrow,
And we’ll call it another fine day.
[Dowdled verse]

Oh the older the bow and the fiddle,
The sweeter the tune it can play,
If you want any rozin on your fiddle
You can wait then for Mother Mo Chroi.
[Dowled verse]

Reference:
Irish Country Songs Vol. 4, Herbert Hughes, Boosey and Hawkes 1934.
Jim Carroll


<< Songs of Clare