The Mountains Of Mourne

Oh, Mary, this London’s a wonderful sight,

Wid the people here workin’ by day and by night:

They don’t sow potatoes, not barley, nor wheat,

But there’s gangs o’ them diggin’ for gold in the street-

At least, when I axed them, that’s what I was told,

So I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold,

But for all that I found there, I might as well be

Where the Mountains o’ Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I believe that, when writin’, a wish you expressed

As to how the fine ladies in London were dressed.

Well, if you’ll believe me, when axed to a ball,

They don’t wear a top to their dresses at all!

Oh, I’ve seen them meself, an you could not, in thrath,

Say if they were bound for a ball or a bath-

Don’t be startin’ them fashions now, Mary Machree,

Where the Mountains o’Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I seen England’s King from the top of a ‘bus-

I never knew him, though he means to know us:

And thoughby the Saxon we once were oppressed,

Still, I cheered – God forgive me – I cheered w d the rest.

And now that he’s visited Eirn’s green shore,

We’ll be much better friends than we’ve been he e- tofore,

When we’ve got all we want, we’re as quiet as can be

Where the Mountains o’ Mourne sweep down to the sea.

You remember young Peter O’Loughlin, of course-

Well, here he is now at the head o’ the Force.

I met hin to-day, I was crossin’ the Strand,

And he stopped the whole street wid wan wave of his hand:

And there we stood talking of days that are gone,

Whilethe whole population of London looked on;

But for all the great powers, he’s wishful like me,

To be back where dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea.

There’s beautiful girls here – oh, never mind!

With beautiful shapes Nature never designed,

And lovely complexions, all roses and crame,

But O;Loughlin remarked wid regard to the same:

“That if at theose roses you venture to sip,

The colour might all come away on your lip,”

So I’ll wait for the wild rose that’s waitin’ for me –

Where the Mountains o’ Mourne sweep down to the sea.

(From: Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French Published 1980 by Helicon Ltd.)