We are happy to offer some special notes on all of the songs on the CD. Some of the text will be identical to that found on the CD, while there are special comments and further information added--some of which was not able to be printed due to size constraints. We hope you will enjoy this companion to your CD purchase. There are additional external links to other sites offering lyrics and guitar chords and tabulature for your convenience.
This was a popular English music hall song before 1900, written by Harry Wincott.. There are many different versions of the lyrics that have appeared over the years but they all get around to the same theme: what not to do when a fire breaks out at your local pub, this one being called "The Old Dun Cow". Brian and Brendan heard the song sung by Pat Carroll at Murphy's in Alexandria, VA. Later, Theresa Conklin gave me the song on a CD with more ideas for an arrangement.
The tune is one of those truly wonderful Pub songs that gets everyone involved singing, clapping and shouting.
It was illegal to yell Fire back in the 1890's, hence the word McIntyre is introduced for audience use.
We have added a lot more audience participation than most renditions of the tune, some of which the audiences themselves have introduced. We resisted adding some additional verses that enthused entertainers penned later.
For the record, there are many Pubs named The Dun Cow, referring to the Book of the Dun Cow, said to be covered in the hide of a cow. It is a famous example of early Irish literature.
The Old Dun Cow
Some friends and I in a public house
Were playing dominoes one night
When into the room a fireman came,
His face all chalky white
"What's up?" says Brown, "Have you seen a ghost?"
"Have you seen your Aunt Moriah?"
"Oh my Aunt Moriah be buggered," says he,
"The bleeding pub's on fire!"
"On fire?," says Brown, "What a bit of luck
Everybody follow me
It's down to the cellar if the fire's not there
Then we'll have a grand old spree"
So we all went down with good old Brown
And the booze we could not miss
And we hadn't been there ten minutes or more
Till we were fairly -- DRUNK
Oh, there was Brown, where? [UPSIDE DOWN!]
Lappin' up the whiskey on the floor [YUM-YUM]
"Booze, [BOOZE]" the firemen cried
As they come a knockin' at the door * * [Knock twice]
"Well don't let em in till it's all mopped up
Somebody shouted, "MacIntyre" [MACINTYRE!!!]
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire
Then Brendan ran over to the port wine tub
And gave it just a few hard knocks [KNOCK KNOCKS]
He started taking off his pantaloons
Likewise his shoes and socks
"Oh no," says Brown, "That t'ain't allowed
You can't do that in there;
Don't go washing your trotters in the port wine tub
When we got some Guinness beer"
Just then there came a mighty crash
And half the bloody room gave way
And we were drownded by the fireman's hose
All pisskey, wet and gay
So we got some tacks and some wet old sacks
And we pinned ourselves inside
And we sat there getting blind bleery-eyed drunk
While The Old Dun Cow got fried.