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Mrs Hoolighan's Party
Martin Howley
Fanore, north west Clare
Recorded in singer's home, summer 1975

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

 

Martin Howley

Mrs Hoolighan gave us a party, she invited us all to a dance.
So we gathered a gang, went down to her house a few pleasant hours to spend.
There was ducky and jelly I had plenty myself, a jolly old crowd hard to find,
But the thing most important we almost forgot, we near left the piper behind.

Chorus:
We invited him down to the party and he brought the bagpipes as a shant,
We asked him to sing, but he says 'No, no I’ll play us a bit of a dance.'
So he picked up his pipes and began for to play, when someone got fooling about,
And they cut a big hole on the back of his pipes and this was the tune that came out.
[Dowdles two lines]

When the piper found out that his bags they were cut, he made a leap out on the floor,
His ciotóg* got working in slip-hammer style and he landed them under the jaw.
Mrs Hoolie she fainted, they all made a rush trying to get out of the door,
But that piper had nine of them taken the count, and he swore he could lick twenty more.

Chorus:
We invited him down to the party and he brought the bagpipes as a shant,
We asked him to sing, but he says 'No, no I’ll play us a bit of a dance.'
So he picked up his pipes and began for to play when someone got fooling about,
And they cut a big hole on the back of his pipes and this was the tune that came out.
[Dowdles two lines]

So the next time you go to a party you better keep this in your mind,
Don’t you get vexed with the piper, and you’ll find him the gentleman kind.
If the trouble should start, keep out of his way, for he carries an awful palltóg,**
You can’t see it coming but wow, when it lands, that is an Irish ciotóg.

Chorus:
We invited him down to the party and he brought the bagpipes as a shant,
We asked him to sing, but he says 'No, no I’ll play us a bit of a dance.'
So he picked up his pipes and began for to play, when someone got fooling about,
And they cut a big hole on the back of his pipes and this was the tune that came out.
[Dowdles two lines]

*The left hand
**A punch


“This is one of many songs about the often riotous goings-on at parties, soirees, convoys (North of Ireland), even wakes, some of which get seriously out-of-hand (for instance ‘Finnegan’s Wake’ - Roud 1009). Many of them originated in the U.S. as comic stage songs, and are to be found in abundance in the late19th, early 20th century American song books and songsters. This one is often performed with musical instrument imitations to make up for the missing pipes in place of Martin’s dowdled verses.”
Jim Carroll

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