Eoghan Coir Song

Songs from Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland



The lyrics of this song written in Irish by the Mayo poet Riocard Bairead (1740-1819), also known as the Bard of Erris, are a good example of satire and nowadays it is still popular and sung.

Here's the English version written by Francis A.Fahy and published in Donal O'Sullivan's "Songs of the Irish" (1960):

"Is'nt this the most pitiful story
That ever touched heart to the core
Today we saw Owen to glory
From Cregan-a-line to Fallmore
Such wailing and loud lamentation
Were ne'er heard in Erin before
For we've lost our best friend in creation
The kind, tender-hearted Owen Coir!

He had everyone's love and affection
The withered old man and the young
With the highest and lowest connection
The praise of his big heart was sung
With the pick and the pride of the people
Although he liked best to spend free
He'd never say No to a tipple
From folks of the lowest degree

Poor Gavin's in deep tribulation
And Boyle won't be long to the fore
Since they lost their best friend in creation
Their hearts are with grief brimming o'er
There never, I'm thinking, yet measured
His length in the battle's uproar
A hero this couple more cherished
Than the soft-hearted craythur, Owen Core

'Twas he that was good at rent-taking
Made light of a month here and there
Till you'd sell the frieze coat you'd be making
Or your young heifer calf at the fair
'Twas thinking of all his good labours
Made Shamus so fervently pray
"The same as he was to the neighbours
May Jesus be to him this day!"

Put in one line with a seven
And eight after that doubled o'er
He went on his journey - to Heaven
And the devil a word he spoke more
'Tis laid down by poet and prophet
Some day to the Grave we'll all go
But while we can keep our legs off it
A drink is the best cure for woe!"