12. Making Calf-meal in Roscrea
A curious little song, sung from the
point of view of Cow’s Lib or Militant Cows Against The Abbatoir.
The air is the one usually associated with “The Boys From The Co.
Mayo.” Micho’s source for the song was the Ardrahan fiddle
player, Joe Leary.
I stood on a bridge of a cold frosty morning,
My mind was at ease and my thoughts far away
When a bunch of ould cows down from Scariff came marching;
They were off to make calf-meal above in Roscrea.
They were led by a Kerry whose bones were projecting,
Her eyes they were dim and she’d seen better days.
’Tis little she thought when she was calved on Lough Mountain,
She’d be off to make calf-meal above in Roscrea.
When I was a yearlin’ on the green hills of Flagmount
Everywhere I went ’twas I got the sway,
Now I am old and looked at with scorn
And tomorrow I’ll make calf-meal above in Roscrea.
’Tis well I remember the Bodyke evictions
When we kicked the oul’ sherriff right out of the way
The peelers all ran when we charged them at Feakle
And tomorrow we’ll charge them above in Roscrea!
The times they are changed and so is the people,
The drovers lying dead under the clay.
The trains and the lorries pulling out to the station;
They’re off to make calf-meal above in Roscrea.
They were driven to the station though sad and dejected,
They were told to move on and make no delay,
When up spoke this old Kerry, saying: “Don’t be down-hearted,
But cock up your tails and three cheers for Roscrea.”
“Ah, you’re telling the truth,” sez an ould cow from
“If you live long enough you’ll find this won’t pay.
Let’s all join the Unions, stand shoulder to shoulder
And refuse to make calf-meal above in Roscrea!”