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Anonymous English


Nell Flaherty’s Drake


MY NAME it is Nell, right candid I tell,
And I live near a dell I ne’er will deny,
I had a large drake, the truth for to spake,
My grandfather left me when going to die;
He was merry and sound, and would weigh twenty pound,
The universe round would I rove for his sake.
Bad luck to the robber, be he drunken or sober,
That murdered Nell Flaherty’s beautiful drake.

His neck it was green, and rare to be seen,
He was fit for a queen of the highest degree.
His body so white, it would you delight,
He was fat, plump, and heavy, and brisk as a bee.
This dear little fellow, his legs they were yellow,
He could fly like a swallow, or swim like a hake,
But some wicked habbage, to grease his white cabbage,
Has murdered Nell Flaherty’s beautiful drake!

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt,
That a ghost may him haunt in the dark of the night.
May his hens never lay, may his horse never neigh,
May his goat fly away like an old paper kite;
May his duck never quack, may his goose be turned black
And pull down his stack with her long yellow beak.
May the scurvy and itch never part from the britch
Of the wretch that murdered Nell Flaherty’s drake!

May his rooster ne’er crow, may his bellows not blow,
Nor potatoes to grow—may he never have none—
May his cradle not rock, may his chest have no lock,
May his wife have no frock for to shade her backbone.
That the bugs and the fleas may this wicked wretch tease,
And a piercing north breeze make him tremble and shake.
May a four-years’-old bug build a nest in the lug
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty’s drake.

May his pipe never smoke, may his tea-pot be broke,
And to add to the joke may his kettle not boil;
May he be poorly fed till the hour he is dead.
May he always be fed on lobscouse and fish oil.
May he swell with the gout till his grinders fall out,
May he roar, howl, and shout with a horrid toothache,
May his temple wear horns and his toes carry corns,
The wretch that murdered Nell Flaherty’s drake.

May his dog yelp and howl with both hunger and cold,
May his wife always scold till his brains go astray.
May the curse of each hag, that ever carried a bag,
Light down on the wag till his head it turns gray.
May monkeys still bite him, and mad dogs affright him,
And every one slight him, asleep or awake.
May wasps ever gnaw him, and jackdaws ever claw him,
The monster that murdered Nell Flaherty’s drake.

But the only good news I have to diffuse,
Is of Peter Hughes and Paddy McCade,
And crooked Ned Manson, and big-nosed Bob Hanson,
Each one had a grandson of my beautiful drake.
Oh! my bird he has dozens of nephews and cousins,
And one I must have, or my heart it will break.
To keep my mind easy, or else I’ll run crazy,
And so ends the song of my beautiful drake.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Read poems about / on: howl, beautiful, crazy, cat, fish, horse, dog, truth, song, green, dark, light, murder, running, swimming, hunting, fishing

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  • Rookie - 895 Points Eric Ericson (11/15/2014 6:32:00 AM)

    It is my understanding is that this song was written and popular in Ireland during the English occupation. It was illegal to say or sing anything that would stir up trouble. The English were sure this song was about them. My sources say it was not, but it made the English angry so the Irish sang it. (Report) Reply

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