The Two Donkeys

George Curtin

Another of George Curtin’s compositions, The Two Donkeys is about two drinking companions who, to relieve financial embarrassment during a drinking bout in Babe Murphy’s establishment in Macroom, exchanged a young and old donkey in a type of trade-in arrangement. All was well until the bargain was vetoed by their wives and one of the donkeys didn’t live up to the advertising that preceded the sale.

Foinse: The Songs of Elizabeth Cronin (Dáibhí Ó Cróinín)

I’ll tell you a comical story
‘Tis wonderful droll I declare.
And for fear I might bother or bore you
I’ll give it a sort of an air
How Mary gave Neilus a pounding,
And Thady got a trouncing from Liz.
So the case in detail I’m expounding,
Kind neighbours draw round, here it is.

Rye tooril aye ooril aye ooril
Rye tooril aye ooril aye eh
Rye tooril aye ooril aye ooril
Rye tooril aye ooril aye eh

How Neilus bought Thady’s young jennet,
And Thady purchased Neily’s old ass
‘Pray’, said Mary, ‘what gain is there in it? –
By Jaysus, not a hap’orth, but loss!
You had a fine stately young donkey,
You cast him away for 2 quid.
You made a queer deal with a Yankee,
Now didn’t you Thady, sure you did!’

‘Oh!’ said Thady ‘pray have patience a moment,
And don’t get so woefully cross!
Very soon I’ll procure you a motor,
Which will need neither hay, oats, nor grass.
It will glide o’er the road like a swallow,
Up and down hill it will fly.
We’ll be home after scaring through Mallow,
Ere those socks on the rack will be dry’.

Then who should jump in at that moment,
But Liz, as she gripped a big stick,
Saying ‘Thady though I daresay you’re busy,
Hop east for your jennet right quick!
Make haste, don’t be lazy, don’t linger,
Or my temper, I think will break loose’.
She kept aiming at Thady with her finger,
And giving him tinker’s abuse.

Then to add to this dreadful commotion,
Con stood before them right grim.
Well, boys, I’ve a kind of a notion
He’d fracture the most of poor Jim!
‘That poisonous firebrand you sold me
Has smashed the stall door into brus.
He’s not quite as mild as you thold me-
I’m telling you so to your puss!’

‘You’re a cheat, a cábóg and a rascal;
Of conscience you don’t own a bit.
And with the ciotóg he made for him
And such a falltóg as he hit!
He tumbled him over the table,
Knocking sliggers of ware in his fall;
And Mary gave Con with a cable
A dig, and the same made him squall.

There was hair of all shades flying in bunches.
Old Jemmy said – ‘Send for the police!’
It was like a day in the trenches,
And none of them looking for peace.
The row being by now complicated
And I can;t well relate how it went;
For I got a stray knock in the pate
And right under the grate I was sent

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