Modern Street Ballads


Young Rory O More who to London had been,
The fashions to see, and make love to the Queen,
Oft swore by the soul of the shamrock so dear,
That he’d bate the young prince, if his father stood near.
By the powers, if he once in his clutches should come,
He’d give him what Paddy bestowed on his drum:
For Rory had leathered his rivals before,
Och! a broth of a boy was bold Rory O More.
Bad cess to the Queen and the Jarmins says he,
I’ve a nice little sheelah across the salt sea,
Her looks beam so brightly on Erin’s green shore,
I’ll go to sweet Kathleen, cried Rory O More.

Then he took little Shiel, and old Dan by the hand,
And wish’d them good bye as he sailed from the land,
He twirl’d round his blackthorn when clean out of sight,
And knock’d down the captain for fun and delight.
But a squall coming on, and a terrible breeze,
The sailors cried, Rory, go down on your knees;
Cried Rory, I’m safe if the ship should go down,
For I paid my Insurance before I left town.
Then pull away, haul away, do as you please,
Blow rough, or blow smooth, I will sit at my ease,
And drink to my friends on the shamrock shore,
Success to old Ireland, cried Rory O More.

Being landed once more at the land of his birth,
The land of shilalieghs, of whiskey, and mirth,
He met Denis Grimes with a pale face and wan,
Och Murther! cried Rory, what’s ailing that man?
Is it temperance you’re being, och! leave off that same,
Come over and take a sly drop of the crame.
Arrah! what do I see? sure my eyes are not clear,
The sigh is removed, and there’s Coffee sold here.
Father Mathew* himself was passing that way,
And unto bold Rory these words he did say,
For the sake of Hibernia be tipsy no more,
I’ll try my best, father, cried Rory O More.

Of the hurlings and fightings, no more’s to be seen,
But the daughters of Erin trip light o’er the gree;
The gaols are all empty, the judges look blue,
The lawyers are starving with nothing to do,
And Rory O More, and his beautiful Kate,
Wear temperance medals, so dasent and nate.
As he looks on his Kathleen, he says with a smile,
That she shall be Queen of the Emerald Isle.
And the shores of Hibernia with gladness shall sound,
And the green hills of Erin once more shall resound.
And this is the cry that shall sound from the shore,
“God bless the Teetotal,” cried Rory O More.

* The Reverend Theobald Mathew, the famous advocate and apostle of Temperance, was born at Thomastown, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, October 10, 1790. He was ordained in 1814, and was appointed to a chapel in Cork. Here he interested himself much in the condition of the poor, and in 1838, his attention having been called by a Quaker to the evils of drunkenness, he began his famous total abstinence campaign, enrolling in the course of five months one hundred and fifty thousand converts. On one visit to Galway he administered the pledge to one hundred thousand persons in one day. His influence over the working classes, especially of the Irish, was enormous, and the amount of good he did is incalculable. He did not confine his exertions in the cause of temperance to Ireland, but visited England and America. He died December 8, 1856.

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