The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116897   Message #2538889
Posted By: Jim Dixon
13-Jan-09 - 01:10 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: I Wish the Wars Were All Over
Subject: Lyr Add: OH, THAT THE WARS WERE ALL OVER (McCall)
From Songs of Erinn by Patrick Joseph McCall (London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., Ltd. 1899):


OH, THAT THE WARS WERE ALL OVER.
A BALLAD OF 'NINETY-EIGHT.
P. J. McCall

LIKE a wraith by the river below the bleach green
Sat the saddest of women that ever was seen,
With a heart song as sore as the skylark's despair
When over the nest hangs a hawk in the air!
    As she wished—"That the wars were all over!"
    Wishing—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

"'Tis seven lone Sundays," she said, "since he came
O'er the stones of the river—oh, was I to blame,
When he said to me, 'Nan, I'll go and fight with the boys!'
That I kissed him and blessed him, tho' mute was my voice?"
    Then she prayed—"That the wars were all over!"
    Praying—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

"Last week, the Yeos called to the smith by the piers,
And they kindled the thatch 'round his family's ears;
And Larry, poor gorsoon!—not fifteen years old
They whipped thro' the street—but no secrets he told."
    And she sighed—"That the wars were all over!"
    Sighing—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

"God cross them, the ruffians!—we hid in the wheat,
And their bullets flew after the tracks of our feet:
Till they shot little Julia wrapped up in my shawl!—
O Shemus! O Shemus! where are you at all?"
    Then she sobbed—"That the wars were all over!"
    Sobbing—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

"Sure you can't half believe them!—they say we are beat:
That our poor lads are making a bloody retreat!
Oh, it can't be—it can't be! if, Shemus, like you,
The neighbouring boys were a quarter as true!"
    Still she cried—"That the wars were all over!"
    Crying—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

"I'll put on my beaver and black corded gown;
And I'll start off to Tullow and ransack the town—
'Twill be hard if I don't find the truth o' their tale.
Sure the bell-man will tell me at once, I'll go bail!"
    Then she wished—"That the wars were all over!"
    Wishing—"Oh, that the wars were all over!"

She passed in the night by the Bridge of Knocklo;
And there in the ledge nook stood smoking, a Yeo:
He primed his horse-pistol and fired at the mark,
And shot the poor wife thro' the heart, in the dark!
    And she sighed—"That the wars were all over!"
    But she died ere the wars were all over.