The Road to Ballybay

“Is this the road to Ballybay?”
Sez I to Miss Magee;
“You’re leavin’ it behind you”
Sez Maryanne to me.

So I turned and walked beside her,
And ‘tis only fair to say
It was very pleasant walkin’
On the road to Ballybay.

Ballybay, Ballybay,
‘Twas a dark and winthry day,
But the sun was surely shinin’
On the road to Ballybay.

“Is this the road to fame and wealth?”
Sez I to Miss Magee;
“Ye’ve got the brains, ye’ve got the health,”
“But still want a comrade
To praise me an’ to blame,
An’ keep me from the traps hat’s laid
Upon the road to fame.”

Ballybay, Ballybay,
No man could go asthray
With a guide like her beside him
On the road to Ballybay.

“Is this the road to Paradise?”
Sez I to Miss Magee;
I’m thinkin’ that it might be,”
Sez Maryanne to me.

Oh, I saw the love-light leppin’
In a pair of roguish eyes,
An’ I knew we two were steppin’
on the road to Paradise.

Ballybay, Ballybay,
The birds are far away;
But our hearts they sang together
On the road to Ballybay.

By kind permission of the Editor of The Lady of the House.

Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French, 1980, Helicon Limited, Dublin.


Early Booking Special Offer

Each whole day €50. Students €10

  • Three / Four Lectures
  • Afternoon Recital
  • Tea / Coffee / Homemade Cakes

Tickets to the talks taking place in the theatre room in Castlecoote House must be booked in advance, seating is strictly limited per event and we expect these to be fully booked well in advance so please book early to avoid disappointment

Ticket Office:

  • +353 (0)90 666 3794

Don’t miss out, Festival tickets sell out quickly!

We are very sorry to say that we can’t do refunds as they play havoc with the ticketing system. If you can’t make it, we’d rather you gave your tickets to a friend who can.

The 15th Percy French Festival

French Awakenings

19th, 20th, 21st July 2023

At Castlecoote House

Honorary President of the Festival, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Informed Social & Cultural Discussion of Ireland Today.

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The Percy French Festival 2023 acknowledges the major support of Excel Industries, Dublin; Whyte’s; CastleAcre; C&F Quadrant Ltd; Davies Group; Hidden Ireland.

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