Anonymous 19th Century Street Ballad

Finnegan's Wake

Tim Finnegan lived in Walkin' Street,
A gentleman Irish mighty odd;
He had a brogue both rich and sweet,
And to rise in the world he carried a hod.
Now Tim had a sort of a tipplin' way,
With a love of the whiskey he was born,
And to help him on with his work each day,
He'd a drop of the craythur every morn.

Chorus:
Whack fol the dah O, dance to your partner,
Welt the floor, your trotters shake;
Wasn't it the truth I told you,
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake!

One mornin' Tim was feelin' full,
His head was heavy which made him shake;
He fell from the ladder and broke his skull,
And they carried him home his corpse to wake.
They rolled him up in a nice clean sheet,
And laid him out upon the bed,
A gallon of whiskey at his feet,
And a barrel of porter at his head.

Chorus

His friends assembled at the wake,
And Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch,
First they brought in tay and cake,
Then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch.
Biddy O'Brien began to bawl,
"Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see?
"O Tim, mavourneen, why did you die?"
"Arragh, hold your gob," said Paddy McGhee!

Chorus

Then Maggie O'Connor took up the job,
"O Biddy," says she, "You're wrong, I'm sure",
Biddy she gave her a belt in the gob,
And left her sprawlin' on the floor.
And then the war did soon engage,
'Twas woman to woman and man to man,
Shillelagh law was all the rage,
And a row and a ruction soon began.

Chorus

Then Mickey Maloney ducked his head,
When a noggin of whiskey flew at him,
It missed, and falling on the bed,
The liquor scattered over Tim!
The corpse revives! See how he raises!
Timothy rising from the bed,
Says,"Whirl your whiskey around like blazes,
Thanum an Dhoul! Do you think I'm dead?"

Chorus


Thanum an Dhoul : "Your soul to the devil" (Irish)
Note, however, that according to Hugh Kenner's A Colder Eye: The Modern Irish Writers (p. 221) this is "a psuedo-Irish song, since [it] is not an Irish ballad at all but American-Irish . . . published in New York, 1864."
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