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Making Calf-meal in Roscrea
(Roud 8000)
Micho Rusell
Doonagore, Doolin

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Micho Russell

I stood on a bridge of a cold frosty morning,
My mind was at ease and my thoughts far away.
When a bunch of old 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 but 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 t'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 rejected,
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 old cow from Galway,
“If you live long enough you’ll find this won’t pay.
Let’s all join the union, stand shoulder to shoulder
And refuse to make calf-meal above in Roscrea!”


“Micho learned this song from Joe Leary, a well known fiddler from Ardrahan in County Galway. It tells of the fate of old cows in the Scarriff area. From all over Clare, cows were sent to the factory in Roscrea to be killed for calf meal. This song indicates the changing times as cows are no longer walked by road to Roscrea; they are now carried by lorry and train.”
Jim Carroll

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