The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #113151   Message #3152477
Posted By: Seamus Kennedy
11-May-11 - 11:30 PM
Thread Name: Songs about Horses
Subject: Lyr Add: ARKLE (Dominic Behan)
ARKLE   (Dominic Behan Essex Music)

It happened in the Springtime of the year of sixty-four,
When Englishmen were making pounds and fivers by the score;
He beat them in the hollows, he beat them o'er the jumps,
A pair of fancy fetlocks he showed them all at once.

He's English, he's English, as easy might be seen,
With a little bit of Arab stock and more from Stephen's Green;
Take a look at Millhouse, throw out your chest with pride,
He's the greatest steeplechaser on the English countryside.

But a quiet man called Dreaper living in the Emerald Isle
Says, "That horse of yours called Millhouse surely shows a bit of style,
But I've a little fella and Arkle is his name,
Put your money where you put your mouth and then we'll play the game."

Now the English racing gentry, laughing fit to burst,
Said, "You tried before Tom Dreaper, and then you came off worst;
If you think your horse could beat us, you're running short on brains,
It's Millhouse that you're speaking of, and not those beastly Danes."

Arkle now is five to two, Millhouse is money-on;
They're off, and dear I do believe the champion has it won.
There are other horses in the race to test the great chap's might;
But dearie me, it's plain to see the rest are out of sight.

With two more fences now to go, he leads by twenty lengths,
Brave Arkle's putting in a show, poor chap, he's all but spent;
Millhouse rides on majestically, great glory in each stride;
He's the greatest horse undoubtedy within the whole world wide.

But two to go, still Arkle comes, he's cutting down the lead;
He's beaten bar the shouting, he hasn't got the speed;
On the run-up to the last, my God can he hold out,
"Look behind you Willie Robinson! Man, what are you about?"

They're at the last and over, Pat Taaffe has more in hand,
He's passing England's Millhouse, the finest in the land,
My God, he has us beaten, what can we English say?
The ground was wrong, the distance long, too early in the day?

So came all ye gallant Irishmen wherever you may be,
And let the glasses toast a round to Arkle's victory.
When the English think they've bred a horse to wipe out this disgrace,
Sure we'll send another over to take great Arkle's place.

This was my party piece when I was much younger and learning to
play the guitar. Arkle tells the true story of a Guinness-drinking
racehorse – a steeplechaser – who was the Irish equivalent of
SeaBiscuit in the1960's.He beat the great English favorite Mill House
in The Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1964, a race which has been called
"one of the 10 greatest horseraces of all time."
This was the second major battle won by the Irish on English soil.
The first was when Master McGrath the legendary Irish greyhound
beat all comers including Rose, the pride of England in 1869.