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The Mohill Elopement
(Roud 2559)
John Lyons
Recorded at a singing session in Clancy’s Bar, Miltown Malbay during the Willie Clancy Summer School, July 1978

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

John Lyons

I am a young fella who sold out his lands and means,
In union with Bacchus the bottles I oft-time strained.
I courted a damsel whose mother did me degrade,
Faith she called me a drunkard, a fool and an old cudea.

When I was offended I bid the old dame good bye.
I winked at the daughter who gave me the same reply.
In private I asked her to meet me at Mohill Fair.
Faith she never drew back till we met about noon next day.

Early next morning by auction I sold the mare,
We took an excursion to Ballisodare by train.
In a second-class carriage me lover and I got engaged,
And the steam was so pushing I thought we would fly to Spain.

Oh, one night on my pillow I thought that we both were seen.
‘Twas then I consulted me lover to cross the seas.
Our ship she weighted anchor from Sligo we both set sail,
And we feared no storm while Neptune does rule the waves.

When we reached into London we thought we were very safe,
Till a pair of policemen and Peggy and I did gaze.
They had our description, the colour of both our hair,
For the warrant was issued by telegraph news that day.

When I was convicted they brought me before the Mayor.
He signed our committal and sent us to Carrick Jail.
The mother she swore that I was both a fool and a nave,
That I stole her young daughter and stole all her gold away.

The judge was consulting, the mother no more could say.
They called on the daughter to know what on me she’d swear.
She said that I was a most loving, genteel young swain,
Who was able and willing to work for her night and day.

Well when I was released sure the lover I did embrace,
We called on the clergy to join us in (wedlock band) love and peace.
We gave him five shillings to join us in wedlock bands,
And we’re living near Carrick as happy as days are long.


“Also known as ‘The Lucky Elopement’ or just ‘The Elopement’, this has been found in Irish and in macaronic (bi-lingual) form. It was noted down by Cecil Sharp from Morris Reardon (sic) and John Murphy, both residents of Marylebone (London) Workhouse, in 1908. Colm O Lochlainn included a version in his ‘Irish Street Ballads’."
Jim Carroll

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