By the Hush

It's by the hush, me boys
I'm sure that's to hold your noise,
And listen to poor Paddy's narration.
For I was by hunger pressed,
And in poverty distressed,
And I took a thought I'd leave the Irish nation.

So, here's you boys,
Do take my advice;
To Americay I'd have youse not be farin'
For there's nothing here but war,
Where the murdering cannons roar,
And I wish I was at home in dear old Erin.

I sold me horse and plough,
Me little pigs and cow,
And me little farm of land and I parted.
And me sweetheart, Biddy McGhee,
I'm sure I'll never see,
For I left her there that morning, broken hearted.


Meself, and a hundred more,
To America sailed o'er,
Our fortune to be making, we was thinking;
But when we landed in Yankee land,
They shoved a gun into our hand,
Saying," Paddy, you must go and fight for Lincoln."


General Mahar (Meagher) to us said,
"If you get shot or lose your head,
Every murdered soul of you will get a pension."
Well, in the war I lost me leg
All I've now is a wooden peg;
I tell you, 'tis the truth to you I'll mention.


Now I think meself in luck
To be fed upon Indian buck
In old Ireland, the country I delight in;
And with the devil I do say,
"Curse Americay,"
For I'm sure I've had enough on their hard fighting.

Howard Kaplan of Toronto, contributed the following:
Digital Tradition correctly cites Margaret Christl's album, "The Barley Grain for Me", as one source for this song. However, more credit should go to the late Edith Fowke, who collected it, and to her sources. Here is some of what the notes in "The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs", which Edith Fowke compiled, says about the song:
O. J. Abbott learned this song from Mrs. O'Malley, the wife of an Ottawa Valley Farmer for whom he worked back in the 1880s. Strangely enough, this American Civil War ballad has not been reported from tradition in the United States.
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