PHIL THE FLUTER’S BALL
Have you heard of Phil the Fluter, from the town of Ballymuck?
The times were going hard with him, in fact, the man was bruk’,
So he sent out a notice to his neighbours, one and all,
As how he’d like their company that ev’ning at a ball.
And when writin’ out he was careful to suggest to them,
That if they found a hat of his convaniant to the dure,
The more they put in, whenever he requested them,
“The better would the music be for battherin’ the flure.”
With the toot of the flute
And the twiddle of the fiddle, O’
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin’ on the griddle. O’
Up, down, hands a-rown’
Crossin’ to the wall,
Oh! hadn’t we the gaiety at Phil the Fluters Ball!
There was Misther Denis Dogherty, who kep’ “The Runnin’ Dog”;
There was little crooked Paddy from the Tiraloughett bog:
There were boys from every Barony, and girls from every “art,”
And the beautiful Miss Bradys, in a private ass an’ cart.
And along with them came bouncing Mrs. Cafferty,
Little Micky Mulligan was also to the fore;
Rose, Suzanne, and Margaret O’Rafferty,
The flower of Ardmagullion, and the pride of Pethravore.
First little Micky Mulligan got up to show them how,
And then the widda’ Cafferty steps out and makes her bow.
“I could dance you off your legs,” sez she, “as sure as you are born,
If ye’ll only make the piper play ‘the hare was in the corn’.”
So, Phil plays up to the best of his ability,
The lady and gentleman begin to do their share;
Faith, then Mick, it’s you that has agility!
Begorra! Mrs. Cafferty, yer leppin’ like a hare!
Then Phil the Fluter tipped a wink to little crooked Pat,
“I think it’s nearly time,” sez he, “for passin’ round the hat.”
So Paddy passed the caubeen round, and looking mighty cute,
Sez, “Ye’ve got to pay the piper when he toothers on the flute.”
Then all joined in wid the greatest joviality,
Covering the buckle and the shuffle, and the cut;
Jigs were danced, of the very finest quality,
But the Widda bet the company at “handeling the fut.”
French, Percy. (1980) ‘Prose, Poems & Parodies.’ Dublin, Helicon Limited