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Lismore Turkeys
(Roud 9284)
Martin Reidy
Tullaghaboy, Connolly
Recorded in singer's home, October 1977

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Martin Reidy

One morning I chanced to go roving,
It being of a sweet month of May,
When flowers they were blooming most charming
And pleasant and blooming array.

I chanced for to meet with this fair one,
Her aspect so free and so rare,
And she going to the town of Dungarvan
At the very first dawn of day.

She hastened her paces before me;
I told her to take her ease.
But the more I advanced to discourse her,
The quicker she squelled on the heels.

I quickly stepped up to this fair maid,
I asked her how far was she going,
Or did she belong to Dungarvan,
Or where was her native home?

She said: “I belong to Lismore, sir,
Some turkeys I have for sale,
And I'm going to the town of Dungarvan,
For this is our market day.”

I asked her if she'd want a driver,
As her donkey was going too slow,
And she'd be in full time for Dungarvan
And her turkeys would all be sold.

In sweet Cappoquin I embraced her
And we called for a cruiscín lán.
If I drank up a barrel of porter
This damsel she’d pay for all.

When I found her so civil and jovial,
I thought I might make her my own.
I told her I owned a large farm,
As long as the lease would hold.

“Besides, I have cattle and corn,
I have money that nobody knows,
And I'll have you as snug and as warm
As if you got all in Lismore.”

While Kathy and I were discoursing
She used look at me now and again.
Her apron belt she kept folding
And twisting it up in a ring.

We called for another full jorum,
Till Kathy and I were pleased.
And we slept till the market was over,
And the turkeys by and by got cheap.

“The curse of the crows may await you,
You tricked me, you naughty rogue.
Or how will I go home to my father,
Or how will I face Lismore?

I'll have you before the recorder
At Waterford town next March,
And I'll have you hung or transported
For trespassing against the law.”


"Although this was printed as a broadside in the 19th century by Haley of Cork and by Such of London, it has not made an appearance in published collections. It has been found in Ireland, mainly on the east coast, and in Cork and Kerry in the south west. A garbled four-verse fragment was recorded from Traveller Paddy Doran by the BBC in 1952.
Other recordings: Dungarvan, Paddy Doran, Record No. 18578, BBC Archive."

The above commentary, lyrics and recording are taken from ‘Around the Hills of Clare: Songs and Recitations from the Jim Carroll and Pat Mackenzie Collection’ (2004) Musical Traditions Records MTCD331-2/Góilín Records 005-6.

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