Digital Tradition Mirror


(Johnny Mulhern )

Mattie walked out on a frozen night
He wasn't heading for the pub and he had no delight
His head down on the railroad track
And his old cow Delia sad lowin' him back

He met with a dark and staggerin' man
As he passed him by shouted back at him:
Mattie can't you see what's become of me
I cannot feel the fine

The very last house that I've left
Half impressed with my rhymes
They're now all dead to me
All I've got left is the beat of the stagger
Heading down the Curra Line

But Mattie passed on as quick as he could
He couldn't stand such a drunken man sober
All he wanted was the light in the bar
The 'Nightingale' and the 'Wild Rover'.

When he came in
They were sayin': Now you're back
Did Delia drive you out
With your spoutin' and your swearin'?
I don't want to hear about Bunker Hayden
But later you can give us the 'Girls of Kinkane'.

The fear-a-ti* eyed him warily
As he handed him his first jar of porter
He says: You must have seen the bishop's ghost tonight
To put the dry look back in your eye.

But Mattie would not be taken in
By their jibin' and their regalin'
He found himself a freshly blown crew
And fell in with their sport and their bailin'.

But as he was going home, in the very same spot
Where he met his dark familiar
He seen him comin' back down the line
And he was bright, strange and fine.

As he passed him by Mattie threw out his arms
Trying to grab hold of his likeness
In the morning all they found was a frozen corpse
And the butt of Curra Line.

And at the wake
They were lashin' down
'The drops of brandy'
'The old fashioned habit'
In the church they were lashin' down pounds and fivers
So Mattie would be fine in the old by and by.

* man of the house
copyright J. Mulhern
Sung by Sean Tyrrell on "Cry of a dreamer" (1995)

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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