13 March 2014
Dinny the Piper
In the year ‘98, when our troubles were great
It was treason to be a Milesian.
And the black-whiskers said we would never forget
And our history shows they were Hessians.
And in these troubled times, it was a great crime
And martyrdom never was riper
Near the town of Glenshee, not an acre from Meath,
Lived one Dinny Burns, the Piper!
Neither weddin’ nor wake would be worth a shake
If Dinny was first not invited.
For at squeezin’ the bag, or emptyin’ the keg,
He astonished as well as delighted!
But in these times Dinny could not earn a penny,
Martial Law had him stung like a viper!
And it kept him within till the bones of his skin
Grinned thru the rags of the piper!
Now one day it did dawn, as Dinny crept home,
Back from a fair at Lethangin,
When what should he see, from the branch of a tree,
But the corpse of a Hessian, there hangin’!
Says Dinny, “These rogues have got boots, I’ve no brogues!”
He took hold of the boots wi’ a griper,
And the boots were so tight, and he pulled with such might,
Legs and all come away with the piper!
Ah, then Dinny did run for fear of bein’ hung
Til he came to Tim Haley’s cabin.
Says Tim from within, “I can’t let ye in!
Ye’ll be shot if you’re caught out there rappin’!”
So he went to the she’d where the cow was in bed,
He began with a whisper to wipe her,
And they lay down together, in seven foot of heather,
And the cow took to huggin’ the piper!
Well the day it wore on, and Dinny did yawn,
And he stripped off the boots from the Hessian!
And the legs, for the law, he just left in the straw,
And he slipped home with his new possessions!
Now breakfast bein’ done, Tim sent his young son
To get Dinny up like a lamplighter,
And the legs there he saw; he flew up like a jackdaw!
And said “Daddy, the cow’s et the piper!”
Ah, bad luck to that beast, she’s no musical taste!
To eat such a jolly old chanter!
Ah, faugh! We’ll evict! Take a lump of a stick!
Drive her off, down the road and we’ll canter!
Well the neighbors were called, Mrs. Kennedy bawled,
She began for to humbug and jiper,
And in sorrow they met, and their whistles they wet,
And like devils, lamented the piper!
And the cow she was drove a mile or two off,
And they came to a fair at Killaley.
And there she was sold for four guineas of gold
To the clerk of the parish, John Daley.
And they went to the tent where the pennies were spent,
Tim bein’ a jolly old swiper,
And who should be there, playin’ the Rakes of Killdare,
Just your bold Dinny Burns, the piper!
Ah, then Tim give a jolt like a half-drunken colt,
And he stares at the piper like a gammick!
I thought, by the Powers, for the last sev’ral hours,
You were playin’ in the old cow’s stomach!
Well when Dinny observed that the Hessian’s been served
Began just to humbug and jiper,
Oh, in grandeur they met, and their whistles they wet,
And like devils they danced round the piper!
Manus Lunny & Andy Stewart, 1987
from, Dublin Lady