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Joy Riding/Grand Theft Auto (Johnston's Motor Car)

DigiTrad:
JOHNSON'S MOTOR GAR


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Johnson's Motor Car (22)
Johnson's Motor Car (3)


Harry O 11 Dec 98 - 09:56 PM
Gene 12 Dec 98 - 04:51 PM
Harry O 12 Dec 98 - 09:33 PM
Philippa 13 Dec 98 - 04:58 AM
Philippa 14 Dec 98 - 04:18 AM
Harry O 14 Dec 98 - 07:39 PM
MG 15 Dec 98 - 04:44 PM
Philippa 16 Dec 98 - 04:50 AM
Philippa 16 Dec 98 - 05:00 AM
Harry O 16 Dec 98 - 09:12 PM
Harry O 17 Dec 98 - 09:39 PM
Harry O 18 Dec 98 - 06:14 PM
Philippa 23 Dec 98 - 12:27 PM
GUEST,kat 15 Nov 02 - 10:33 PM
GUEST,Mary Gillespie 31 Jan 03 - 03:49 PM
Wolfgang 03 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 03 - 07:40 AM
ard mhacha 03 Feb 03 - 09:12 AM
GUEST,louiswtt@yahoo.fr 04 Feb 03 - 05:49 AM
leprechaun 05 Feb 03 - 04:26 AM
GUEST,Gaz 03 Mar 03 - 11:53 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM
Blackcatter 04 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 03 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Gaz 04 Mar 03 - 11:46 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Mar 03 - 11:55 AM
Blackcatter 05 Mar 03 - 12:31 AM
Blackcatter 05 Mar 03 - 12:42 AM
GUEST,Gaz 05 Mar 03 - 05:34 AM
Nigel Parsons 05 Mar 03 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,mary.mcgranaghan@hotmail.com 12 Aug 03 - 10:43 AM
GUEST,Liz Augereau, augereau6@wanadoo.fr 21 Sep 03 - 04:27 AM
GUEST,roxy n rach 12 Feb 04 - 04:47 AM
GUEST,Philippa 12 Feb 04 - 06:25 AM
GUEST,skip 23 Aug 05 - 05:07 AM
GUEST,Guest, David Roeltgen 26 Sep 05 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Georgette in the U.S. 19 Sep 06 - 12:31 AM
GUEST,Philippa 03 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM
GUEST,meself 03 Apr 07 - 07:48 AM
GUEST,John Davies 13 Nov 10 - 04:30 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Nov 10 - 06:54 AM
GUEST, Seamus Gillespie 04 Jun 11 - 12:27 PM
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Subject: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 11 Dec 98 - 09:56 PM

Who was Dr. Johnston, and who stole his car ?

Harry O


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Gene
Date: 12 Dec 98 - 04:51 PM

Is it Johnson's Motor Car?
If so, it is in the database...
* HERE *


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 12 Dec 98 - 09:33 PM

Thanks, but who was Brannigan and where is Dunbar? One sounds Irish while the other Scottish. Stranlar is also Scottish ( Stranraer - the ferry port?). Glen Fin is suspiciously like Glenn Finn in Donegal, Ireland, but where is the Railway Bridge ?

This song is full of non sequiturs and absurdities. Does anyone know the real story behind it ? Or is it just one more example of Irish/Scottish hyperbole ?

Harry O


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Philippa
Date: 13 Dec 98 - 04:58 AM

I can't help a lot with this query at the moment. I did hear or read something about this story, but it was years ago and I only vaguely remember. And of course, I don't know if the story I heard was true - that the song is about a real incident and the towns are indeed Stranorlar and Glenfin in Donegal (though I don't know if Dunluce would be ~ Portrush, Co Antrim?//anyway, you know how placenames change in songs; there's supposed to be a version of the Wild Colonial Boy in which the outlaw was born in 'Casco, Maine'. Two suggestions - ask suitable acquaintances in Belfast (I might do the same when I'm in Derry next week) and look up the Clancy Brothers Songbook to see if there are explanatory notes with the song.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Philippa
Date: 14 Dec 98 - 04:18 AM

Yes, 'm still getting my daily fix at the Cafe.

I think Dunbar derives from Dunleer or Dún Laoghaire. (did even rebels call it 'Kingstown'?) That would explain why they needed a car, a bicycle wouldn't do.

Which reminds me, Harry-o, of the verse I left on the "Daisy" chain on 6 Nov Click here - but I swear I didn't realise...!

I think if you give a thread a 'pedestrian' title such as 'Johnson's Motor Car', you'll have a better chance of attracting people like Mick Bracken and Martin Ryan who might have some answers for you.

good tidings,

Philippa


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 14 Dec 98 - 07:39 PM

O.K, girl, Johnston's Motor Car it is. Any takers out there ? Come on. Harry O


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: MG
Date: 15 Dec 98 - 04:44 PM

Written in 1919 by one William Gillespie of Sessiaghoneill, Co. Donegal, Rep. of Ireland. It describes a real-life incident during the Irish War of Independance from England. It was published in sheet music form and is still performed, I believe, in the locality of Stranorlar and Ballybofey Co. Donegal, Gillespie's native district. The Clancy's re-popularised it in the early '60's, but with such garbled lyrics that the natives of the Stranorlar - Ballybofey district almost disowned it. More info if required, but this should satisfy all but the most pernickity of folkies. MG


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Philippa
Date: 16 Dec 98 - 04:50 AM

MG - thanks very much for the details- and yes it would be interesting to hear a bit more about the real story


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Subject: RE:Harry and Daisy
From: Philippa
Date: 16 Dec 98 - 05:00 AM

Although there's still some small relevance, I wouldn't have mentioned my 6 Nov contribution Click here if I'd remembered that I had NOT written out the full verse as I'd learned it - commencing "Harry, Harry, this is my answer true"!


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 16 Dec 98 - 09:12 PM

Philippa, Refresh my memory. What happened on Nov.6 ? Harry O


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 17 Dec 98 - 09:39 PM

Philippa, Who told you I was a cyclist? Belfast - Dublin in 5.30 hrs.( my best time) doesn't leave much time for dalliance - apart from any other physical considerations!! Much warmer climes are more welcoming. How do you persevere in Lycra at 15 degrees Celsius? Brrrrrhhh!!! Harry O. And those hills! When people talk about going UP to Belfast, they weren't joshing, especially when it's the second 100 miles in 24 hours. Give me Nullarbar anytime!


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Harry O
Date: 18 Dec 98 - 06:14 PM

The song was first performed in 1919, the year of the incident. Willie Gillespie, the author was so taken by the affair that he composed the song. It was the first thing he ever wrote but not by any means the last, but that's another couple of stories. There was a young boy in the district with the name of being a good singer and it was to him that Gillespie went with the words and tune. That night, the young 14 year old went down to the Butte Memorial Hall in Ballybofey, and there he sang the song for the first time. It was an immediate success and soon spread the length and breadth of the country, but the further it travelled from its birthplace, the more the placenames and other names became corrupted. The young boy was called Johnny Long. He is no longer with us, God be good to him. OK, Philippa? Or do you want still more? I'm surprised you didn't come across the song during your time in Derry. Harry O


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Philippa
Date: 23 Dec 98 - 12:27 PM

O'Harry, nach tu an gaiscioch! But it would be an even further cycle from Donegal, just to add weight to my theory about "Dunbar"

Doesn't it sound from my first message as if I'm familiar with the song? In fact, I heard it in New York before I heard it in Ireland - though I think it was in Derry that I heard that it was a true story from the region of Ballybofey. Anyway, you seem to have picked up a few details since you first opened this thread - so I haven't bothered asking anyone round the town this past week. Whatever happened to "MG"? The sort of details I was thinking about was the actual incident on which the song was based (- and what happened to those involved?. Also the original lyrics as penned by Willie Gillespie.

Did you see the thread about Spancil Hill and the original lyrics thereof? Musings: Many of us have learned theories of folksong as having no known author and being altered as it passes from mouth to mouth. Yet it seems to be the folk afficionados who are the most interested in finding original composed versions of songs which have passed into the tradition. People are still composing songs about local incidents. Not all the songs last to be sung by people who don't know the incident themselves. Names of specific people, for example, have a special appeal when we actually know the people, but it's the sort of detail that's likely to be lost or changed if the song has a wider audience.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,kat
Date: 15 Nov 02 - 10:33 PM

how do I get into grancd theft auto?


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Mary Gillespie
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 03:49 PM

My Uncle, Willie Gillespie, wrote this song. Dr. Johnston was the only one around with a car to get the arms to Dungloe - Rosses. The version that is sung mostly (Clancy Brother version) contains many wrong names. There is no railway bridge. The correct words are the Reelin Bridge, which is over the Reelin River. There was no Brannigan's corner. The correct place is Brocagh, which is the near by village. Dr Johnston lived in the town of Stranorlar. The correct words to the song can be found FinnValley.com/people/williegillespie


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOHNSTON'S MOTOR CAR (William Gillespie)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 07:26 AM

I think the original/correct lyrics and the attribution should be in the DT including a historic note. That's why I have cut and pasted from the very fine website Mary Gillespie has linked to.

Wolfgang
^^

JOHNSTON'S MOTOR CAR
(William Gillespie)

Down by Brockagh Corner one morning I did stray,
When I met another rebel bold, who this to me did say:
I've orders from the Captain to assemble at Drumbar
But how are we to reach Dungloe without a Motor Car?

O Barney dear, be of good cheer and I'll tell you what we'll do.
The Black and Tans have plenty guns altho' we have but few.
We'll wire down to Stranorlar before we walk so far,
And we'll give the boys a jolly ride on Johnston's Motor Car.

When Johnston got the wire then he soon pulled on his shoes.
He says this case is urgent, there's little time to lose.
He wore a fancy caster hat and on his breast a star.
You could hear the din going through Glenfin of Johnston's Motor Car.

When he came to the Reelin Bridge, he met some rebels there.
He knew the game was up with him, and at them he did stare.
He said I've got a permit for travelling out so far
You can keep your English permit, but we want your motor car.

What will my loyal comrades say when I get to Drumboe.
To say my car was commandeered by rebels from Dungloe.
We'll give you a receipt for her, its signed by Captain Maher,
And when Ireland's free, then we will see to Johnston's Motor Car.

They put the car in motion, they filled it to the brim.
With guns and bayonets shining, while Johnston he did grin.
When Barney waved a Sinn Fein flag, she shot off like a star
And they gave three cheers for freedom and for Johnston's Motor Car.

When the loyal crew they heard the news, it grieved their hearts full sore.
They swore they'd have reprisals before they would give o'er.
In vain they searched through Glenties, the Rosses and Kilcar,
While the I.R.A. their flags displayed on Johnston's Motor Car.


One time during the Anglo-Irish War some of the IRA needed transport to go from Ballybofey to the Rosses (west Donegal).

A young man - it was supposed to be one of the Moys of Cloghanmore - went into Cloghan Post Office. He handed in a telegram and told the girl on duty to send it to Dr. Johnston (in Stranorlar). The girl on duty happened to be Anne Jane O'Donnell of Moneen. The telegram asked him (the Doctor) to go quickly to attend Mrs. Boyle, who lived at the Reelin Bridge. He acted promptly as requested. Less than a mile from Boyle's, he arrived at the place where the road was barricaded. That would be at a point about opposite Jimmy Coyle's of Kilraun - across the Reelin River. There the doctor had to hand over his car.

Joe McGinley of Falgarrow was spreading top dress on his meadow. He would not have paid much attention to the two cars that were travelling towards Glenties - except for the fact that they were travelling at much higher speed than usual. It was unlikely that Joe realised history was being made before his eyes!

The Sessiaghoneill poet, Willie Gillespie, wrote a song on the episode, composed of seven verses. In a short time it became famous as 'Johnston's Motor Car'. During the long hot summer of 1921, the song occupied a very high place in the charts.

It was said that the only reference Dr. Johnston resented was: 'You could hear the din going through Glenfin'. He said that his car was a smooth running one!

The Donegal Historical Society Museum in Rossnowlagh has the words of Johnston's Motor Car, written in the author's own hand.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 07:40 AM

My father used to say that it was a put up job, and the Doctor was a Republican sympathiser, and was in on it.

Mind he was down the other end of the country at the time in Tipperary, driving Dan Breen around, so maybe he wouldn't have known the truth of it.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: ard mhacha
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 09:12 AM

MG, the song was popular around my area of County Armagh throughout the 40s, and the version was the same as Wolfgang has printed. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto1 Las Vegas
From: GUEST,louiswtt@yahoo.fr
Date: 04 Feb 03 - 05:49 AM

Send me an e mail to receive that real add on
I m a great fan of GTA1
Louis
From France


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: leprechaun
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 04:26 AM

This thread brought me great joy.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Gaz
Date: 03 Mar 03 - 11:53 AM

Folks,

My Grandmother, the late Molly Maguire, told me this story many moons ago. She is the sister of Barney Maguire. Barney is mentioned in the song as raising the Sinn Fein flag. So you can be assured that this is no folktale but a genuine legend.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 04:47 AM

Guest, Gaz: A Genuine legend, you mean it's honestly untrue?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Blackcatter
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:29 AM

Wonderful!

I've often performed the Clancy Brother's version but am now bound and determined to change to the original version. Thanks you all.

By the way - what's a "castor" hat?

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 10:33 AM

Caster Hat scroll down for picture. On this page about William Gillespie

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Gaz
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 11:46 AM

Nigel, A legend can be both true and untrue. Just unverifiable by written document. And nobody likes a smart arse.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Mar 03 - 11:55 AM

Guest,Gaz. "A legend can be both true and untrue." Sorry, I have great difficulty with that concept, how can something be both true and untrue ?
As for nobody liking a smart arse, one is to some extent responsible for Kylie Minogue's continuing popularity, and if you think smart arses aren't appreciated at the Mudcat, then you should read This Thread

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Blackcatter
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 12:31 AM

Cool - a version of a beaver top hat!


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Blackcatter
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 12:42 AM

From the Mirriam-Webster on-line dictionary:


Castor - a top hat made of beaver pelt. It comes from the Greek word for beaver - kastor and is reflected in the scientific name for beavers: Castor canadensis of North America and Castor fiber of Eurasia.

pax yall


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Gaz
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 05:34 AM

Nigel,

Let me explain.

Loch Ness Monster : Legend : Untrue (So Far!)

Cliff Stoll : Legend : True :http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~stoll/flapcopy.html

As for smart arse, you are indeed correct and Miss Monogue is a terrific example.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 05 Mar 03 - 11:08 AM

Gaz: what you stated was that "A legend can be both true and untrue". I was not prepared that it could be Both. I am not even certain that the dictionary definition will allow it to be either.
Your latest claim: "Loch Ness Monster : Legend : Untrue (So Far!)" seems to state that there is no such thing as the Loch Ness monster ("legend:untrue") but there may be in the future ("untrue: (so far)")
The bit with 'Cliff Stoll' really has me confused about what you are trying to say. Is 'Cliff Stoll' supposed to be an imaginary person, and you are showing me he exists, or are you showing that 'Cliff Stoll' has provided a factual basis to something previously regarded as legend ?

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,mary.mcgranaghan@hotmail.com
Date: 12 Aug 03 - 10:43 AM

i went to school in sessiaghoneill


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Liz Augereau, augereau6@wanadoo.fr
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 04:27 AM

Wolfgang's message dated Feb 03 is the true story. Dr Henry Maturin Johnston was my great grandfather's brother ....


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,roxy n rach
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 04:47 AM

we fink this is a load of balls and you all need 2 get a grip lots and lots of love roxanne nd rachael x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 12 Feb 04 - 06:25 AM

thank you so much Roxy and Rach for refreshing this interesting thread


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,skip
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 05:07 AM


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Guest, David Roeltgen
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 01:57 PM

According to his sister, as told to us by a friend and Irish singer, my wife's grandfather, Saemus McNulty of Co Donegal, was the driver of the car after the IRA "borrowed" it. Some more information regarding the probable reality of the incident.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Johnston's Motor Car (William Gillespie)
From: GUEST,Georgette in the U.S.
Date: 19 Sep 06 - 12:31 AM

Johnston's Motor Car has always been one of my favorites. I'm full blooded Irish even though I live in America I believe my heart is in Ireland.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,Philippa
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:34 AM

the original song was in English, but if you know Irish language you might appreciate the following lyrics:

GLUAISTEÁN MHIC SHEÁIN
as translated by Seoirse Ò Broin (source: "An t-Ultach", Feb. 2007)

Síos go coirnéal Bhrocaigh, a shiúil mé lá amháin;
Casadh óglach eile orm a thug dom scéala práinn:
"Seo ordú mór ón chaiptín le cruinniú ag Druim Bairr
Cad a dhéanfaimid gan ghluaisteán nuair is éigean dul go mear?"

"A Bhearnaí bhreá, tar anseo a ghrá, is cuirfead fios id' cheann;
Tá flúirse carr ag péas cúnta, is beag an méid againn.
Cuirfear sreangscéal gearr go Srath an Urláir sula rachaimid ar fán
Is triallfaimid uilig ann, i ngluaisteán geal Mhic Sheáin."

Nuair a fuair Mac Seáin an sreangscéal, ghléas sé féin de phreab:
"Is geall go bfhuil práinn mhór ann; ta deifir ann i gceart."
Chuir sé hata castair air is suaitheantas bhí sean
Bhí crónán binn dul fríd Ghleann Fhinne de ghluaisteán mhór Mhic Sheáin.

Nuair a shroich sé droichead an Réidhlinn bhí na buachaillí ann roimh ré.
Tháinig eagla ar an dochtúir mar stán siad air go géar.
"Tá pas agam ón rialtas chun taisteal abhus is thall."
"Is cuma linn pas Sasanach, ar do ghluaisteán féin tá cáil."

"Cad a dhéarfaidh mo bhráithre buí liom nuair a shroichfead an Clochán Liath
Ar chlos gur sciobadh carr uaim ag ceannaircigh drochmhéin?"
Bheirfimid admháil cheart duit, le stampa an Chaiptín Marr,
Is nuair a gheobhaidh éire saoirse, gheofá slán arís do charr."

Sular thriail an gluaisteán arís chun siúil, reamhlíonadh é go béal
Le gunnaí, buamaí is armlón; bhí an dochtúir bocht faoi léan.
Thóg siad bratach na poblachta ar foluain go breá.
Trí gháir mhór leis na hÒglaigh i ngluaisteán groí Mhic Sheáin.

Nuair a chuala na Specials ríoga, tháinig fearg orthu go fíor.
Mhionnaigh siad dúdhíoltas roimh dhul faoi don ghrian.
Chuairdaigh siad na gleanntaí, sléibhte is portaigh mín is glan,
Ach deamhan amharc fuair siad de ghluaisteán glic Mhic Sheáin.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding / Grand Theft Auto
From: GUEST,meself
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 07:48 AM

This song must have a pretty good tune or something - can't say I've ever heard it - but it's really not much of a story, for all the excitement .... Not saying you shouldn't enjoy it, mind, if you do ...

On the other hand, I love that castor hat! Got to get me one of those ...


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding/Grand Theft Auto (Johnston's Motor Car)
From: GUEST,John Davies
Date: 13 Nov 10 - 04:30 PM

I've known and loved the song for a long time - even do it myself at our local folk club every now and then. It's great to learn that it really did happen, and there's some genuine history behind it.


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding/Grand Theft Auto (Johnston's Motor Car)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Nov 10 - 06:54 AM

Re the tune: for some reason DT headlines & lists it as Johnson's Motor Gar [sic]; so no MP2 link is available. If this were to be emended, perhaps a tune could be accessed for those who don't know it {I do, but 'meself' two posts back might be glad of it}.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Joy Riding/Grand Theft Auto (Johnston's Motor Car)
From: GUEST, Seamus Gillespie
Date: 04 Jun 11 - 12:27 PM

My Faather is the author of Johnstons motor car He wrote quite a few other songs about local events here in Ballybofey Co donegal , some of the names in Johnsons motor car were changed to protect the people at the time.The Story about Johnssons Motor Car is true the event did happen       Seamus Gillespie


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