Clonmel flood


Come all ye boatmen circumspect that navigate the Suir
Set all abaft, desert the craft and every lighter moor
Unbend the sail, put down the bale, leave all things taut and true
For I’ll sing a song of the good ship Sprong, her captain and her crew

She was Carrick built-her prow wasn’t gilt with twenty inches draught
She moved as slow as the dribbling snow, an elegant sailing craft
And if aboard, although insured, no engine did she boast
It took twenty horse power, or maybe more, to pilot her from the coast

Attend my tale with Indian ale, the Sprong was loaded down
Last Christmas Eve she thought to leave, all steering for Fiddown
When all of a slap came a thunder clap, compelling the crew to prayer
Says the captain, ‘I’m curst but the Boulic’s burst in the Infantry Barrack square’

Then the waters riz with a mighty whiz, and the helm refused to act
And the river Suir that runs so pure, in troth it fairly backed
The ship did roll with one bare pole, before the gale we beat
And late that night, by the pale moonlight, we grounded in Duckett Street

Then Patrick’s Well, they say, did swell and inundate its brim
Afloat again through sweet Church Lane, the Sprong did sweetly swim
And ‘Continent Bouncer’, in faith, couldn’t trounce her upon her course that day
Our hearts were broke, so we took a smoke, and steered for the Old Bridge Quay

Oh, the men were swimmin’ and some ould women were bawlin’ about the town
Desiring to know if away we’d go and leave them for to drown
So we hove out ballast, the captain’s Sallust, all to the deep consigned
And the passengers sat in the captain’s cot, and we towed them along behind

Then Kitty Conroy for her pig did cry, lamenting his early doom
No more he’ll thicken for Ballybricken, nor grunt in the spare back-room
One lost a bonnet, with trimmins on it; she ruz a mournful yell
But she walked the plank at the National Bank and we anchored at Hearn’s Hotel

But the lifeboat crew appeared in view, and hailed us with a shout
And each kind hand bore a different brand of whiskey and of stout
’twas understood that such a flood, no eye had beheld before
So if ever I thirst, may the Boulic burst and the mighty Ragwell roar


Written by C ] Boland

Song Clip