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The Donkey
Paddy Flanagan
Inagh
Recorded in singer’s home, July 1976

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

You feeling heart of Christians, of high and low degree,
I hope you’ll pay attention and you’ll listen onto me.
I bought an ass for eighteen pence at the fair in Mullingar,
And I thought him quiet sufficient for to pull the wife in the car.

But to my great misfortune, to me she proved unkind.
And left myself to pull t’auld car, and the wife to shove behind.
On the day we went to Castlerea as you my plainly see,
With a fine box of liquorish sticks in a shooting gallery.

And I’m going through the sand pit to say we pitched our sand.
‘Twas all me notion that death was near at hand.
‘Twas early in the morning I said to the poor auld wife:
‘Ah you’d better look after our old ass ‘til for I dreamt he lost his life’

And I’m going through the sand pit not very far from there.
‘Tis there she found his body but she only knew the hair.
The doctor in the morning immediately was there,
Likewise Conor Counihan, the truth I do declare.

And the coroner passed his sentence, of what had caused his death.
The verdict that he passed in him, ‘Oh, he died in the want of rest.’
The doctor turned around to me, this to me did say:
‘What caused that hump upon his rump, come tell to me I pray?’

Ah another old ass to bide himself on the road to County Clare.
Well upon me soul I believe he was suffering, he’s nothing but skin and hair;
His ears are long, his tail is short his body is nice and slim.
He is like a well-bred race horse well shaped in every limb,
And if you treat him calmly ‘tis there you’d have the fun.
He’s like a thoroughbred game cock and he’d die before he’d run!

So now, to conclude and finish I have no more to say;
May the Lord have mercy on his poor soul, kind Christians for him pray.
For ‘tis many the mile I travelled with him, although he having a hump
And ‘tis many the lovely grand hairpin poor Mary left standing in his rump!

“When we first met Paddy, while we were recording his brother Michael (Straighty), he was in his 90s. At first he was happy to sit back and listen to Straighty sing, but after a while he burst in with this, his own composition, and a number of songs.”
Jim Carroll


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