The Devil and Bailiff McGlynn


One fine sunny evening last summer
I was strolling around Lisnaskea
When a pair of quare playboys a-roving
Before me I happened to see

Now to learn what these boyos were up to
A trifle I hastened me walk
For I thought I could learn their profession
When I got within range of their talk

Now, one of these boys was the devil
And the other was Bailiff McGlynn
And the one was as black as the other
And both were as ugly as sin

Says the old boy, says he, “I’m the devil
And you are a bailiff, I see”
“Ah, ’tis the devil himself” cries the bailiff
“Now that beats the devil” says he

A gossoon ran out from a cottage
And took him up over the fields
“May the devil take you” said his mother
As she rattled a stone at his heels

“Ah now, why don’t you take the young rascal
Your highness?” the bailiff, he cried
“It was not from her heart that she said it”
The devil he smiling replied

Close by a small patch of potatoes
A banabh was striving to dig
When the owner came out and she cried
“May the devil take you for a pig”

Said the bailiff “Now that’s a fine offer
Why not take the banabh ?” says he
“It was but with her lips that she said it
And that’s not sufficient for me”

As they jogged on, the gossoon espied them
And into his mother, he sped
Crying “Mother” says he “There’s a bailiff”
She clasped her two hands and she said

“May the devil take that ugly bailiff”
Said the old boy “Bedad, that’ll do
It was straight from her heart that she said it
So Bailiff McGlynn, I’ll take you”


Song Clip