RAFERTY’S RACIN’ MARE

RAFERTY’S RACIN’ MARE

You’ve not seen Rafferty round this way?

He’s  a man with a broken hat,

His tie and his collar are all gone astray

And his coat for the matter o’ that!

We’re racin’ Rafferty round the place

Since Rafferty raced his mare,

He’s a man with an anxious look on his face

And a partially murdered air!

Chorus:

Oh!  Rafferty’s racin’ mare

We met him at the fair,

Says he “She’ll win, so keep your tin,

For backin’ the racin’ mare.

Oh!  Rafferty’s racin’ mare!

We thanked him then and there,

And every lad in Ballinafad

Went backin’ the racin’ mare.

I was the jockey they chose to ride –

And often the owner he sware

That there wasn’t a leap in the earth too wide

To baffle the racin’ mare.

Over hurdle and ditch she went like a witch,

Till she came where the water shone –

I gave her her head, but she stopped at it dead:

She stopped – and I went on!

Chorus:

Oh! Rafferty’s racin’ mare

I whirtler through the air

Like a beautiful bird, but never a word

From Rafferty’s racin’ mare!

“Get up, you lad,” says Ballinafad,

“you’ll win the race for us yet.”

But I didn’t care for the look of the mare.

Nor the way that her legs were set.

Seys they: “The horse’ll stay the course,

She’ll stay it – ivery foot.”

“You’re right,” says I – “I don’t deny

She’ll stay just were she’s put.”

Chorus:

Oh! Rafferty’s racin’ mare!

We danced around her there,

With stones and sticks, and bits o’ bricks

We hit her fair and square.

Oh!  Rafferty’s racin’ mare!

The field they leapt it there,

But on the brink she’d stand and – drink,

Would Rafferty’s racin’ mare.

But where was Rafferty all the time?

Oh!  Rafferty! he’s the lad.

There in the ring – he stood like a king,

Cheerin’ the mare like mad.

His brother was there, disguised, of course,

As a Roossian millionaire;

Giving the odds aginst every horse

And the longest aginst the mare.

Chorus

Oh!  Raffety’s racin’ mare!

‘Twas more than we could bear,

When a bookie revealed

He was backin’ the field,

Instead of the racin’ mare.

We’ve got the day to spare,

We’ve got the millionaire;

And we’re havin’ a race around the place,

And Rafferty – he’s the hare!

French, Percy. (1980) ‘Prose, Poems & Parodies.’  Dublin, Helicon Limited