Eoghan Coir Song from Co. Mayo

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!"