Michael Murphy


My name is Michael Murphy from the County of Tyrone
I left my poor old mother in Ireland all alone
Our landlord has a stony heart, which never will relent
And I’ve come here to ‘Lancasheer’ to try to raise the rent

I bade farewell to sweet Kathleen, a cushla grá mo chroí
With my bundle on me back, I crossed the raging sea
To cut your hay or reap your corn, I’ve tumbled to your town
Who will employ an Irish boy to cut the harvest down ?

When I landed in Liverpool, imagine my surprise
To see the wagon loads of food, enough to reach the skies
I thought about my native home and heaved a mighty groan
The English people get the meat and fling poor Pat the bone

If Ireland could but get her own, how happy we would be
And look upon the English boys as brothers o’er the sea
Then treat poor Pat no longer like a ‘lectioneering’ tool
But help along old Gladstone with a measure of Home Rule

My brother Barney went away, many years ago
To fight among the English boys for Britain’s weal or woe
Poor boy, he shed his Irish blood away in foreign lands
And left his bones to bleach upon the burning desert sands

Sometimes I long to follow him and would if I were free
And visit those great cities in the lands across the sea
But I must not leave my mother dear to sob and sigh alone
But raise the rent and hurry back to her and old Tyrone


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