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.
Well, here's another one of those Irish love songs...We can just imagine some young boys adding verse upon verse of lyrics to this fiddle tune, each one trying to outdo the last in protesting any good qualities in the girl. She drinks too much, she has a wooden leg that she plays like a fiddle, she takes a hammer out when courting, and ends up a murderer disposing of the body. It's all in good fun. This is another of my favorites. We double tracked the vocals on the chorus. There's a lot of humor in Irish music and this is a good example.
We really like it when we have an audience that will sing the chorus with us...it fills out the song, and seems like we get a few more accomplices for the murder and other high crimes that populate the song.
Her "chemie" is a chemise nightgown. Her 'wellies' are dancing shoes. The song is credited to Tommy Makem, while some music houses of Ireland have indicated it is in the public domain.
The Town of Ballybay
In the town of Ballybay, there was a lassie dwelling
I knew her very well and her story's well worth telling
Her father kept a still and he was a good distiller
But when she took to the drink, well the devil wouldn't fill her
Ring-a-ding-a-dong, whack fol the daddy o
She had a wooden leg that was hollow down the middle
She used to tie a string on it and play it like a fiddle
She fiddled in the hall and she fiddled in the alleyway
She didn't give a damn, for she had to fiddle anyway
She said she couldn't dance, unless she had her wellies on
But when she had 'em on, she could dance as well as anyone
She wouldn't go to bed, unless she had her shimmy on
But when she had it on, she would go as quick as anyone
She had lovers by the score, every Tom and Dick and Harry
She was courted night and day, but still she wouldn't marry
But then she fell in love with a fellow with a stammer
When he tried to run away, well she hit him with a hammer
She had children up the stairs, she had children by the byre
And another ten or twelve, sitting roaring by the fire
She fed them on potatoes and on soup she made with nettles
And lumps of hairy bacon that she boiled up in the kettle
She led a sheltered life, eating porridge and black pudding
And she terrorized her man, until he died quite sudden
And when her husband died, well she wasn't very sorry
She rolled him in a bag and she threw him in a quarry