St. Brendan's Voyage


A boat sailed out of Brandon in the year of 501
’twas a damp and dirty mornin’ Brendan’s voyage it begun
Tired of thinnin’ turnips and cuttin’ curley kale
When he got back from the creamery, he hoisted up the sail
He ploughed a lonely furrow to the north, south, east and west
Of all the navigators, St. Brendan was the best
When he ran out of candles he was forced to make a stop
He tied up in Long Island and put America on the map
Did you know that Honolulu was found by a Kerryman
Who went to find Australia, them China and Japan
When he was touchin’ 70, he began to miss the crack
Turnin’ to his albatross, sez he I’m headin’ back

Is it right or left for Gibraltar
What tack do I take for Mizen Head ?
I’d love to settle down near Ventry Harbour
St. Brendan to his albatross, he said

To make it fast, he bent the mast and built up mighty steam
Around Terra del Fuego and up the warm Gulf Stream
He crossed the last horizon; Mount Brandon came in sight
And when he cleared the customs, into Dingle for the night
When he got the Cordon Bleu, he went to douse the drought
He headed west to Krugers to murder pints of stout
Around to Ballyferriter and up the Conor Pass.
He free-wheeled into Brandon; the saint was home at last

The entire population came, (281) the place was chockeblock
Love nor money wouldn’t get your nose inside the shop
The fishermen hauled up their nets, the farmers left their hay
Kerry people know that saints don’t turn up every day
Everything was going fine ’til Brendan did announce
His reason for returning was to try and set up house
The girls were flabbergasted at St. Brendan’s neck
To seek a wife so late in life and him a total wreck

Worn down by rejection that pierced his humble pride
‘Begod’ sez Brendan, if I run, I’ll surely catch the tide
Turning on his sandals, he made straight for the docks
And hauling up his anchor, he cast off from the rocks
As he sailed past Innishvickallaune, there stood the albatross
I knew you’d never stick it out, ’tis great to see you boss
I’m bailing out sez Brendan, I badly need a break
A fortnight is about as much as any aul saint could take


Song Clip




Christy Moore