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Local Songs

Adventures of an Amorous Tailor

Collected by Mrs Mary Haren from Miko Guthrie.

Although composed in recent year by Miko Guthrie, ‘The Amorous Tailor’ belongs to a centuries old tradition of bawdy narratives. The monks who composed the ‘Gesta Romanorum’ were not adverse to such tales and later writers, such as Boccaccio with ‘The Decameron’ and Chaucer with his ‘Canterbury Tales’ included many such episodes in their collections. In song form these narratives survived vigorously in oral tradition throughout the continent of Europe. Miko Guthrie follows the rules of tradition in depicting the tailor as the eternally ineffectual would-be seducer like his counterpart in another ballad also found in Clare tradition, ‘The Trooper and the Tailor’ a fine example of which may be found on the Topic record ‘The Lambs on the Green Hills’ sung by the late Nora Cleary of The Hand (Topic Record No. 12TS 369)

Scrachda: A Lazy Lump

Yerrah! come here ’till I give ye a blast of a song,
’Tis only a few verses, it won’t keep you long
Concerning poor Tomo who lived around here,
And his adventures one evening when tanked up with beer.

With me whack for the iraldi,
Foll de dall di.

Now poor Tom was a tailor who lived around Moy,
Made many a good suit for man and for boy.
He never invested in matrimony,
But he liked his women and his odd bit of a spree.

Yerrah! When he’d stroll into town on a cattle-fair day,
’Tis into the boozers he’d casually stray.
And then feeling frisky from whiskey and wine,
A hot bit of woman he’d be out for to find.

One evening when coming from Miltown Malbay,
A fine tinker lassie sat on the highway.
She sat on a cushion with her leg on her knee,
As fine a bit of leg as he ever did see.

He approached her and said “Miss, with me will you walk?
I’ll give you two quid and we’ll have a little talk.
After that we’ll stroll down yonder boreen,
And we’ll roll in the grass where we’ll never be seen”.

Oh! she lept like a cat from the side of the bed,
And she let out a screech that would waken the dead.
Saying “You bloody ould scratchda if you don’t let me pass,
I’ll give you a kick that will break your ould ass.

“For I’m a poor girl and haven’t a lot,
But I’m bloody well able to mind what I’ve got,
And one old man being for me quite enough;
So take to your scraper for you’ll get it rough.”

Oh! a blast of a whistle she blew on the spot,
For her husband way down the road mending a pot.
Out of the ould tailor the wits she did scare,
And he took to his heels like a mountainy hare.

But he didn’t get far, the bloody ould clown,
The buck tinker caught up and soon knocked him down.
And he swore at him for trying to seduce his wife,
And if he didn’t fork out twenty quid he’d take his sweet life.

So the ould tailor had to fork out a twenty pound note,
And to swear to the tinker on his solemn oath,
That no matter how often he came out or went in,
He’d never again commit such a terrible sin.

So boys there’s a moral in that little tale,
Don’t ever get too frisky when tanked up with ale
And always to the ladies do try to be good, -
Be they tinker or tailor - when they’re not in the mood!

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