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Local Songs

Ennistymon in the County Clare

Contributed by Micho Russell of Doolin.

The most famous song about Ennistymon was written 75 years ago by Fr. Cawley, curate in the parish at the time and a local man, Michael Clair. Reference is made in the song to Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States and his successor, William Howard Taft. Taft was elected in November 1908 but did not take up office until March 4th 1909, so the song was written sometime between these dates probably for a Revue. Most of the song is written “tongue in cheek”.

The first scheme to supply the town with water from Lickeen Lake had just been completed but the “great electric glare” was an extremely dim gas lamp located at McMahon’s corner (now Gallery’s corner). The song is sung to the air of the “The Old Plaid Shawl”.

I’ve travelled all through Erin’s Isle,
I’ve been to France and Spain,
I’ve steered across the Herring Pond,
And steered it back again.
But not in all my travels,
Have I seen a place so fair
As the town of Ennistymon
In the County Clare.

I met with Teddy Roosevelt,
And he took me by the hand,
“You’re welcome to the States,” sez he,
“Across from Ireland.
Oh! The grandeur of our cities here,
Ye’ve nothing over there.”
Sez I, “We’ve Ennistymon,
In the County Clare.

’Tis the grandest spot on earth,” sez I,
“Sure its beat cannot be found,
We’ve mountains high and houses great,
And suburbs all around.
We’ve Church Hill and we’ve Bogberry,
Whose beauties I declare,
Add lustre to our township,
In the County Clare.

“One house has steps going up to it,
Another has steps going down,
There’s doors and windows in them all,
In Ennistymon town.
And the streets are filled from eight to ten,
With females wearing shawls,
And the noise they makes is louder,
Than the waterfalls.

“There’s miles of pipe from Lickeen lake,
Taking water from the source,
By means of our great waterworks,
At great expense of course.”
“Have ye no springs at all?” sez Ted,
And at me he gave a stare,
“Spring wells,” sez I, “are plenty,
In the County Clare.”

“Well now,” sez Ted, “That’s very fine,
That grand place I must see,
I’ll model a city after it,
And call it Timbuckthree!
And so when Taft gets settled down,
I’ll see that place so fair,
That you call Ennistymon,
In the County Clare.”

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