Tim Máirtin Jack, Song from Co. Mayo

I left Bangor Erris though only a boy
With only one shirt on me back
Though leaving the land I was in good hands
I was with Tim Máirtin Jack

Now Tim was both older and bigger than me
Hard and as fit as a goat
Our mothers were cousins from below Pullathomas
And our fathers fished out of one boat.

Now Tim was the finest man ever I’d seen
Tanned with hair gleaming black
And mice could nest in the hair on his chest
Without bothering Tim Máirtin Jack

He loved the good things in life that were free
Hunting and fishing and handball,
And he’d go to the end of the earth for a friend
And be there when your back's to the wall

We got on the train in the cold driving rain
And d’you know that I never looked back
I left family behind but I didn’t mind
When I was with Tim Máirtin Jack.

The morning was dark when we looked for the start
And the Foreman said looking at me
"Now you’re a bit small to be here at all,
But we’ll start you off makin the tea!"

There was a lot of abuse and I found it hard to get used
To the cursin’, the swearing’ and damnin’
The grub was OK, we had meat every day
But Lord how I longed for a salmon.

We worked hard and long and we motored along,
And our digs were a bit of a hovel,
We always ate well but I can still smell,
The steak Tim would fry on the shovel.

They said Tim was wild but he was more like a child
He was never the first to attack,
But when the chips they were down at night in the 'Crown’
Lord t'was great watching Tim Máirtin Jack.

There were good men from Kerry from Cork and from Clare,
And the Galway boys weren’t too slack,
But I wish ye had been with me the night up in Whitney
The night he flattened six blacks.
It's some time ago since I came back to Mayo
But there’s times when I'd love to be back
Sharing the rounds with the lads in the 'Crown'
And me arm around Tim Máirtin Jack.

He married a Geordie and they’re still hale and hearty
And in that house love never lacked,
They have a girl and a lad who won’t call him "Dad"
They just call him Tim Máirtin Jack.

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