Mary of Curracloe


You muses inspire with heroic fire
The name of your poet that he might indite
And with mirth and with candor and poetic grandeur
The name of County Wexford men’s praises to write
O tis well I remember the month of September
In 1827 when six boats did row
For a prize they contended and when it was ended
They carried the laurels to sweet Curracloe

That the crew were matched equal, you’ll find in the sequel
And each boat was manned with the best of the men
Likewise in formation to make preparation
And avoid litigation when the race would begin
Then with full satisfaction, our boat was in action
Awaiting a signal as all had agreed
And we were in motion, when loud an explosion
Announced oer the ocean that we might proceed

From Blackwater they started but soon they were parted
For the Curracloe boys left them all in arrears
With judgment undaunted, each man of fame panted
Being equally anxious, their laurels to wear
To the brook they rowed valiant, stout-hearted and gallant
And back they came swiftly without much delay
Our famous steam packet with her speed and her racket
She would show them clean heels were she out on that day

Now ’tis not my intention, each boat crew to mention
For to breed contention is not my design
But the Trojan race famous that was won by Pertunius
In my best opinion was not half so fine
But to leave out those strangers, their actions and dangers
Of the Curracloe boys, I now aim to sing
The pride of Hibernia and true sons of Grainne
With heroic valor, the prize home did bring

Now I’m not sufficient to praise them sufficient
And in no way proficient in poetic style
But were I a Homer, I’d think it an honor
Their fame to make known throughout Erin’s isle
Jack Murphy whose courage was undaunting and glorious
With judgment and skill, the helm did wield
Like his ancestors numerous who once were victorious
By land or by sea to the foe ne’er did yield

Now I’m not unwillin to praise Tom and William
Two more of the Murphys, both stout hearty boys
Likewise Thomas Carty, courageous and hearty
He was one of the party to bring home the prize
Dick Neville was in it, so was Anthony Sinnott
Both equal determined to bring down the foe
And also Mug Doyle, who proved true and loyal
Now these were the heroes from famed Curracloe

Of the resident gentry that dwells in this country
The fame of young Turner forever will shine
But for his exertions, the envious assertions
Of mischievous persons would have us resign
He encouraged the men to take part in the boat race
So also did Scallan and Ross, his good friends
He encouraged them all for to give of their best pace
The Mary was first and sure there the race ends

Now the crew that were second and third, I won’t mention
They gave of their best but sure everyone knew
That they hadn’t a chance though they tried hard to tame them
And they couldn’t keep step with the Curracloe crew
So come fill up your glasses to all pretty lasses
And we’ll toast them in bumpers wherever we go
And we’ll fill the full gallon in the house of young Scallan
And drink health to the heroes from famed Curracloe


Song Clip



Song Themes

Songs of the sea