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GUEST,mayomick Lyr Add: Skin the Goat's Curse on Carey (1) Lyr Add: SKIN THE GOAT'S CURSE ON CAREY 26 Feb 10

Skin the Goat's Curse on Carey by James Fitzharris, alias "Skin the Goat" 1883.

Before I set sail I will not fail
To give that lad my blessing
And if I had him here there's not much fear
But he'd get a good top dressing:
By the hat on my head but he'd lie in his bed
From here to next September
I'd give him good cause to rub his jaws
And Skin the Goat remember

But as I won't get the chance to make Carey dance
I'll give him my benediction
So from my heart's core may he evermore
Know nothing but afflictions
May every buck flea from here to Bray
Jump through the bed that he lies on
And by some mistake may he shortly take
A flowing pint of poison

May his toes fill with corns like a puckawn's horns *
Till he can neither wear slippers or shoes
With a horrid toothache may he roar like a drake
And jump like a mad kangaroo
May a horrid big rat make a hole in his hat
And chew all the hair off his head
May the skin of a pig be made into a wig
And stuck on him when he is dead

May the devil appear and fill him with fear
And give him a kick with his club
May hard paving stones and old horses bones
Be all that he can get for his grub
May the sun never shine nor the weather be fine
Whenever he walks abroad
Till the day of his death may he have a bad breath
That will stick like a rotten old cold

May his old wife be jealous and pitch up the bellows
And measure him over his head
May he get the devil's fright that will turn him left and right
Every night till it knocks him stone dead
May a horrid baboon jump out of the moon
And tear his old carcase asunder
And the day he'll set sail may snow and hail
Accompany rain and thunder

That the world may know that Ireland's foe
Has left the Shamrock shore
To go and stay in Boston bay
Or else in Baltimore
When I die my old ghost will sit on his bed-post
All night till the cock does crow
And you may surely swear while I am there
I'll squeeze him before I go

When the equator is crossed may the rudder be lost
And his vessel be wafted ashore
To some cannibal isle near the banks of the Nile
Where savages jump and roar
With a big sharp knife may they take his life
While his vessel is still afloat
And pick his bones as clean as clean as stones
Is the prayer of old Skin the Goat
*Puckawn from the Irish word pucan – a goat

Source : George Denis Zinnermann's Songs of Irish Rebellion . Publisher Allen Figgis Dublin 1967 . Broadside 1883 copy National Library Ireland .

James Carey was the informer who gave evidence against assassins - members of a secret Fenian society called the Invincibles - who in 1882 killed two high ranking British officials, Lord Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Henry Burke, in Dublin's Phoenix Park. Carey who had taken a prominent part in the murders was freed while four of the group was executed

Zinnermann explains in his notes to the ballad that Skin the Goat was the nickname of James Fitzharris, the cabman who drove the killers to and from the Phoenix Park. He was sentenced to penal servitude for conspiracy because he refused to identify his passengers .His manner in court was reportedly one of reckless defiance .He wrote many songs and was the heroic subject of many broadside ballads himself at the time of his trial and again seventeen years later when he returned to Dublin after serving his sentence.
"[I]f he has any chance of immortality it is of course as the keeper of the Cabman's shelter in James Joyce's Ulysses" ... Zinnermann

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