Raheen Rangers


In Clara town I was reared up, to you I am no stranger
’til the Raheen boys inveigled me and I became a Ranger
I was led on by Barney Stones, he being a member of the party
At Stony Hill, against my will, to court the girls there hearty

Joe Handy too in his suit of blue and his collar of Indian rubber
He says – I’ll have my Mary Leap in spite of the boys from Tubber
Both night and day, he goes that way, let the trees be bare or flowery
He says – I’ll have my Mary Leap if she never had a dowry

Oh, with hasty steps, he went to Leap’s and he knocked on the door right easy
Saying – I want your daughter for my bride or my ghost will haunt you daily
Go home – says Jim – go home out of that or your neck I will be crackin’
I have her bound in Clara Town to a man called Jackeen Bracken

He coursed and swore, his hair he tore, his eyes, they swelled like blisters
I cannot show my face in town, will somebody tell my sisters
Ould Higgins Brit on a hill did sit and her skin with the  frost was crackin’
As I passed by, I heard her sigh. ‘Is that you Jackeen Bracken?’

Now Jack bowls on, both brave and strong, like a bull going to the slaughter
He thought he would fall in for all, she being the only daughter
Go home – says Jim – go home out of that, no factory lad will suit her
I’d rather send her to the front and have the Germans shoot her

Now next in step was Rose Ann Leap, Mike Johnston did assemble
With his low-cut suit and his shirt of blue, sure it fitted him like a thimble
He says I’ll sell out Aughamore, and Rose and I will follow’
You could hear him roaring in Ferbane beyond that big black hollow.

Now I’m going to get this song in print, to America I will send it
And if you want the words of it, buy next week’s Independent.


Composed by Joe Geoghegan of Clara. Tony Monaghan learned it from the singing of the late
Tom Newman of Clara. The air is ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’

Song Clip