Are Ye Right There, Michael? (Percy French, 1902) You may talk of Columbus's sailing Across the Atlantical sea But he never tried to go railing From Ennis as far as Kilkee You may run for the train in the mornin' The excursion TRAIN starting at eight You're there when the clock gives the warnin' And there for an hour you'll wait (Spoken) And as you're waiting in the train You'll hear the guard sing this refrain "Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right? Do you think that we'll be there before the night? Ye've been so long in startin' That you couldn't say for sartin' (certain) Still ye might now, Michael, so ye might!" They find out where the engine's been hiding And it drags you to Sweet Corofin Says the guard "Back her down on the siding There's the goods from Kilrush coming in" Perhaps in comes in in two hours Perhaps it breaks down on the way "If it does," says the guard, "by the powers We're here for the rest of the day" (Spoken) And while you sit and curse your luck The train backs down into a truck "Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right? Have ye got the parcel there for Mrs. White Ye haven't, Oh begorra Say it's comin' down tomorra And it might now, Michael, so it might!" At Lahinch the sea shines like a jewel With joy you are ready to shout, When the stoker cries out "There no fuel And the fire's taytotally out. "But hand up that bit of log there I'll soon have ye out of the fix There's a fine clamp of turf in the bog there And the rest go a-gatherin' sticks (Spoken) And while you're breakin' bits of trees You'll hear some wise remarks like these "Are you right there, Michael? Are ye right? Do ye think that ye can get the fire to light?" "Oh, an hour you'll require For the turf it might be drier" "Well it might now, Michael, so it might!" Kilkee! Oh you never get near it! You're in luck if the train brings you back For the permanent way is so queer It spends most of it's time off the track Uphill the old engine is climbin' While the passengers push with a will You're in luck when you reach Ennistymon For all the way home is down hill (That's all I have.....I'm presuming that these come next....) "Are you right there, Michael, are ye right? Do you think that we'll be there before it's light?" "Tis all dependin' whether The ould engine howlds together -" "And it might now, Michael, so it might!" Are you right there Michael are you right? Do you think we'll make it home before the night Ah, with all the stoppin' and startin' Sure you never can be certain, So we might now Michael so we might. The owners of the railway entered an action for libel against Percy French (the writer) who entered a counter claim - for being the cause of making him late for a professional engagement. The railway company backed down and made a payment i n his favour. The West Clare Railway is now defunct. The engine was called "Bess borough" still stands at Ennis station. The original "Michael" is said to have b een Michael Talty who died aged 99 in 1957. Percy French actually won the case and was awarded one penny by the judge. he ha d to pay his own legal costs. The West Clare Railway closed in 1957. the tracks taken up and the land sold back to farmers. What a pity? MB Apr00
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