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Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses

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NELL FLAHERTY'S DRAKE


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Lyr Req: Nell Flaherty's Drake (6)


GUEST,roseman@math.uiowa.edu 28 Jan 00 - 06:14 PM
Genie 07 Mar 02 - 02:56 PM
Mr Red 07 Mar 02 - 03:32 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Mar 02 - 03:49 PM
Herga Kitty 07 Mar 02 - 03:56 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Mar 02 - 04:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM
Snuffy 08 Mar 02 - 08:13 AM
Blackcatter 29 Mar 03 - 01:22 AM
gnu 29 Mar 03 - 09:16 AM
gnu 29 Mar 03 - 09:27 AM
GUEST,Donal 29 Mar 03 - 10:08 PM
Felipa 30 Mar 03 - 05:36 AM
Alice 30 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM
Le Scaramouche 21 Jun 05 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 21 Jun 05 - 08:46 AM
GUEST,Bunk Strutts 11 Feb 06 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,Bunk Strutts 15 Feb 06 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Lee 20 Aug 18 - 10:35 AM
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Subject: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: GUEST,roseman@math.uiowa.edu
Date: 28 Jan 00 - 06:14 PM

I have heard/read somewhere that there are alternate verses to Nell Flaherty's Drake of a "less printable" nature concering other things to be done to the murderer. A more or less standard version is found on the DT list.

anyone know of these?

Dennis Roseman


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Genie
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 02:56 PM

I'd like to see/hear these, too. anybody know them?

BTW, is Nell Flaherty's Drake traditional or a fairlly recently composed song?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:32 PM

Yea, what rhymes with duck?
"It's a mistake he was a drake"
add me to the wantees!


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:46 PM

Early to mid 19th century, probably. There are quite a few broadside copies at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:49 PM

Whoops, typo in the link.  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 03:56 PM

Well, the note in Colm O' Lochlainn's "Complete Irish Street Ballads" says "Heard in various places all over the country. A spirited song by Eoghan Rua O Suileabhain, splendidly translated by Frank O'Connor in "A Broadside", 1935". If that's any help.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 04:11 PM

In order to avoid misunderstandings, I should point out that the second sentence there refers to Do b'fheárr leigean dóibh, which is a different song, though presumably to the same tune.  The reference is to Stanford-Petrie, The Complete Collection of Irish Music, vol. III no. 1551, where the title is translated as Better let them alone; "from Teige Mac Mahon".  The text is not given.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Mar 02 - 09:13 PM

James Healy's Second Book of Irish Ballads has a different version, which he describes as his favourite ballad, in which it's Ned not Nell, and as living near Cork City. And Colm O Lochlann has her from Coote Hill (essentially, apart from that, his "Frank O'Connor version" is the one in the DT.)

But the curses are essentially the same in both cases, though the exact words and the order of the curses may vary a bit, as you'd expect, since there's no particular logical order for them.

James Healy writes "This was an old ballad at the turn of the century, and probably dates in its original form from min-nineteenth century days, when a great number of ballads of this type were being written. I first picked it up on West Cork duringthe thirties, whne I used to spend holidays there, and I gradually pieced the words together and got the correct tune from a very old dance music copy: but the ballad originally may have come from the Midlands or the North, where it is sometimes known as Nell Flaherty's Drake."

Another song to the same tune, also in Colm O Lochlann's book Irish Street Ballads, is the story of Paddy Hegarty, from near Clonmel, who fed the customers in his shebeen on a stew made out his old leather breeches.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Snuffy
Date: 08 Mar 02 - 08:13 AM

Doesn't "Bold Thady Quill" also use the same tune?

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Blackcatter
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 01:22 AM

Hi all

I'm refreshing this thread because I remember reading in the Clancy Brother & Tommy Makem Songbook that this was actually a political song. I don't remember what the songbook actually said about it and my copy is in storage and unavailable, but I remember not understanding the information provided.

Can anyone shed light on this?

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: gnu
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 09:16 AM

Snuffy... yes. Blackcatter... I think I have that one... I'll check.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: gnu
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 09:27 AM

Well, well, well... can't find one of my songbooks. I checked one Makem songbook and another generic Irish songbook, but to no avail. If the other Makem book turns up, I'll post.


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Subject: Lyr Add: NELL FLAHERTY'S DRAKE
From: GUEST,Donal
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 10:08 PM

I don't know where this version comes from, other than my computer, but it
is quite different to the one I usually hear. Don.


1.My name it is Nell, quite candid I tell,
And I live in Clonmell, which I'll never deny,
I had a large drake, and the truth for to speak,
My grandmother left me, and she going to die;
He was wholesome and sound; he weighed twenty pound,
And the universe 'round I would rove for his sake.
Bad luck to the robber, be he drunk or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.

2.His neck it was green, he was rare to be seen,
He was fit for a Queen of the highest degree,
His body so white, it would give you delight,
He was fat, plump and heavy, and brisk as a bee;
My dear little fellow, his legs they were yellow,
He would fly like a swallow, and swim like a hake.
Until some wicked savage, to grease his white cabbage,
He murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake.

3.May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
May a ghost always haunt him in the dead of the night,
May his hen never lay, may his ass never bray,
May his coat fly away like an old paper kite;
May the lice and the fleas the wretch ever tease,
May the pinching north breeze make him tremble and shake,
May a four year old bug build a nest in the Iug,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

4.May his cock never crow, may his bellows ne'er blow,
And pisspot or po, may he never have one,
May his cradle not rock, may his box have no lock,
May his wife have no smock to shield her back bone,
May his duck never quack, and his goose turn quite black
And pull down the turf with his long yellow beak.
May scurvy and itch, not depart from the breech,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

5.May his pipe never smoke, may his teapot be broke,
And to add to the joke may his kettle not boil,
May he lay in the bed 'till the moment he's dead
May he always be fed on lob scouse and fish oil,
May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out,
May he roar, bawl and shout, with the horrid toothache.
May his temples wear horns, and all his toes corns,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake.

6.May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig,
Every nit on his head be as large as a snail,
May his house have no thatch and his door have no latch,
Nay his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meal,
May every old fairy fiom Cork to Dunleary,
Dip him snug and easy in some pond or lake,
Where the eel and the trout may dine in the snout,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

7.May his dog yelp and growl with hunger and cold,
May his wife always scold 'till his brain goes astray,
May the curse of each hag, that e'er carried a bag,
Alight on his nag till his beard it turns grey,
May monkeys all bite him, and mad-dogs affright him,
And everyone slight him asleep or awake,
May weasels all gnaw him, and jackdaws all claw him,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

8.Then all the good news l have to diffuse,
Is that Peter Hughes, and blind Peter McCabe,
And big nosed Bob Manson, and buck-toothed Ned Hanson,
Each man has a grandson of my darling Drake,
My bird he had dozens of nephews and cousins,
And one I must get or my heart it will break,
To keep my mind easy or else l'll run crazy,
So this ends the song of Nell Flaherty's Drake.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Felipa
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 05:36 AM

Blackcatter - my recollection was that the song is said to be a coded lament for a dead (Nationalist) hero, Robert Emmet I think.

I haven't checked but probably Dónal's version is fairly similar to the one in the DT.
Clancy's didn't sing "And pisspot or po, may he never have one," as far as I remember! That's a bit "less printable"

also I recall different names from Clancy & Makem, instead of Is that Peter Hughes, and blind Peter McCabe,
And big nosed Bob Manson, and buck-toothed Ned Hanson
-
old Peter Hughes and young Anthony Blake,
Also Johnny Squires and Corny Maguire,
They each have a grandson of my darling drake.

I came across some other verses in print not long ago, but don't recall where and I don't think it was a "less printable" version ... I'll keep this thread in mind and may find them again.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Alice
Date: 30 Mar 03 - 10:53 AM

From the Clancy/Makem songbook, their version of the verse in print:

"Now the only good news that I have to infuse
is that old Paddy Hughes and young Anthony Blake
Also Johnny Dwyer and Corney Maguire..."


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 04:22 AM

Other than Clancy's word, do we have any evidence that it is a political song?


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 21 Jun 05 - 08:46 AM

Not that I know of.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate vers
From: GUEST,Bunk Strutts
Date: 11 Feb 06 - 04:06 AM

I cannot verify the source nor the accuracy of this verse, but it's amusing:

"May your mule never start;
may your barn fall apart;
may you sneeze when you fart and your wind always smell;

May your gases ignite
from your bed's candlight;
May your arse bear the burn and torment you in hell."


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Subject: Lyr Add: NELL FLAHERTY'S DRAKE
From: GUEST,Bunk Strutts
Date: 15 Feb 06 - 03:14 AM

There is a very good transcription of the early printed version (that I found after I did my own amateur research) along with the same published version that I used. There are double-entendres, a pun or two, and some Brit slang in it. As a Yank, I can only guess. I emailed a footnoted version to "The Word on the Street" website and got a favorable response back from a curator at the National Library of Scotland. ---Bunk Strutts

http://www.nls.uk/broadsides/broadside.cfm/id/15144/criteria/Nell%20Flaherty%27s%20Drake
---------------------------------------

Nell Flaherty's Drake
As transcribed from Published Version (ca 1803?) by Bunk Strutts 2006

My name it is Nell, quite candid I tell,
And I live near C'oethill I will never deny;
I had a large drake, the truth for to speak,
That my grandmother left me and she going to die.
He was wholesome and sound, he'd weigh twenty pound,
And the universe round I'd rove for his sake.
Bad wind to the robber, be him drunk or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful Drake.

His neck it was green , most rare to be seen,
He was fit for a Queen of the highest degree;
His body was white, it would you delight,
He was plump, fat, and heavy and brisk as a bee.
My dear little fellow, his legs they were yellow,
He'd fly like a swallow or swim like a hake;
Till some wicked savage to grease his white cabbage,
Has murdered Nell Flaherty's Beautiful Drake.

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
That a ghost may him haunt in the dead of the night,
May his hen never lay, may his ass never bray,
May his goat fly away like an old paper kite.
That the flies and the fleas the wretch ever tease,
May the piercing north-breeze make him tremble and shake;
May a four-year old bug build a nest in his lug,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

May his cock never crow---may his bellows ne'er blow,
And for bed, pot and poe may he never have none;
May his cradle not rock , may his box have no lock,
May his wife have no smock to shade her back-bone,
May his duck never quack, may his goose turn black,
And pull down his turf with his long yellow beak,
May the scurvy and itch never part from the breech,
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

May his pipe never smoke, may his tea-pot be broke,
And add to the joke, may his tea-kettle ne'er boil,
May he pooley the bed til the hour he is dead,
May he always be fed on lobsconse and fish oil.
May he swell with the gout, may his grinders fall out,
May he roar, bawl and shout with the horrid tooth-ache,
May his temples wear horns, and all his toes corns,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig,
May each nit in his wig be as large as a snail,
May his door have no latch, may his house have no thatch,
May his turkey not hatch, may the rats eat his meal.
May every old fairy from Cork to Dunleary,
Dip him smug and airy in some pond or lake,
Where the eel and the trout dine on his snout
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

May his dog yelp and growl with both hunger and cold,
May his wife always scold till his brains go astray,
May the curse of each hag that e'er carried a bag,
May light on the vag till his head turns grey.
May monkies still bite him, mad dogs affright him,
And everyone slight him, asleep or awake,
May the wasps still gnaw him and jack-daws claw him,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's Drake.

The only good news I have diffuse ,
That Peter Hughes and Feter McCabe,
And big nose Bob Hanson, and buck tooth Norhamoen
Each man has a grandson of my beautiful Drake.
My bird he has dozens of both nephews and cousins,
And due I must get or my heart it will break;
To set my mind easy, or else I'll run crazy -
This ends the whole story of Nell Flaherty's Drake.


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Subject: RE: Nell Flaherty's Drake; alternate verses
From: GUEST,Lee
Date: 20 Aug 18 - 10:35 AM

Hw=ere is a link to a facsimile of an early broadside of the lyrics. They are such the same as has already been printed here. https://digital.nls.uk/broadsides/view/?id=15144


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