Songs of the Great Irish Famine


 

 

The Potato-Digger's Song

 

Come, Connal, acushla, turn the day,

And show the lumpers the light, gossoon!

For we must toil this autumn day,

With Heaven's help, till rise of moon.

Our corn is stacked our hay secure,

Thank God! and nothing, my boy, remains

But to pile the potatoes safe on the flure,

Before the coming November rains.

The peasant's mine is his harvest still;

So now, my lads, let's work with a will;-

 

Work hand and foot,

Work spade and hand,

Work Spade and hand

Through the crumbly mould.

The blessed fruit

That grows at the root

Is the real gold

Of Ireland

 

Och, I wish that Maurice and Mary dear

Were singing beside us this soft day!

Of course they're far better off than here;

But whether the're happier who can say?

I've heard when itís morn with us, 'tis night

With them on the far Australian shore;-

Well, Heaven be about them with visions bright,

And send them childer and money galore,

With us there's many a mouth to fill,

And so, my boy, let's work with a will;-

 

Work hand and foot,'

Work spade and hand,

Work spade and hand

Through the brown, dry mould.

The blessed fruit

That grows at the root

Is the real gold

Of Ireland

 

Ah, then Paddy o' Reardan, you thundering Turk,

Is it courting your are in the blessed moon?

Come over here, Katty, and mind your work,

Or I'll see if your mother can't change your tune;

Well, youth will be youth, as you know Mike.

Sixteen and twenty for each were meant;

But, Pat, in the name of the fairies, avie,

Defer your proposals till after Lent:

And as love in this country lives mostly still.

On potatoes, dig, boy, dig with a will:

 

Work hand and foot,

Work spade and hand,

Work Spade and hand

Through the crumbly mould.

The blessed fruit

That grows at the root

Is the real gold

Of Ireland

 

Down the bridle road the neighbors ride,

Thhrough the light ash shade, by the wheaten sheaves,

And the children sin on the mountain side,

Ion the sweet blue smoke of the burning leaves;

As the great sun sets in glory furled,

Faith, it's grand to think, as I watch his face,

If he never sets on the English world,

He never, lad, sets on the Irish race.

In the West, in the South, new Irelands still

Grow up in his light;--come, work with a will;--

 

Work hand and foot,

Work spade and hand,

Work Spade and hand

Through the crumbly mould.

The blessed fruit

That grows at the root

Is the real gold

Of Ireland

 

 

But look!--the round moon, yellow as corn,

Comes up from the sea in the deep blue calm:

It scarcely seems a day since morn;
Well, the heel of the evening to you, ma'am!

God bless the moon! for many a night,

As I restless lay on a troubled bed,

When rent was due, her quieting light

Has flattered with dreams my poor old head.

But see,--the basket remains to fill.

Come, girls, be alive; boys, dig with a will;--

 

Work hand and foot,

Work spade and hand,

Work Spade and hand

Through the crumbly mould.

The blessed fruit

That grows at the root

Is the real gold

Of Ireland

 

-Thomas C. Irwin, In:The Popular Poets And Poetry of Ireland., Richard Nagle, 1887.

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