Free Hallisey - Poem by Francis Duggan
He lived with his wife Catherine and their son Connie in his
farmhouse near Kiskeam
And all around Duhallow he was one who knew some fame
As a singer of old ballads and at every stations gathering night
He was one who was called upon for to sing and to recite.
He used to recite Goldsmith's 'Village' and George Crabbe's
And he had a marvellous memory for old ballads, songs and rhymes
And old stories of Duhallow he could memorize and tell
And he could recite at least a thousand poems as his memory served him well.
Free Hallisey was a character who was immersed in lore
And in the history of Duhallow he will live forever more
He was likeable and witty a big man with a big heart
And for the literary tradition one might say he did his part.
His beloved soul mate Catherine was the anchor of his life
Always there for to support him she was a devoted wife
And she shared with him a passion for song and poetry and they were both respected and admired
And I see them as role models and by them I was inspired.
As a singer of old ballads he was known beyond Kiskeam
And in the Duhallow of my young years his was a house-hold name
And it's thanks to people like him that a tradition still survive
For he did more than any to keep the old songs alive.
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