Blog Poetry

The Ballad Of Persse Oreilly By James Joyce

Have you heard of one Humpty Dumpty

How he fell with a roll and a rumble

And curled up like Lord Olofa Crumple

By the butt of the Magazine Wall,

    (Chorus) Of the Magazine Wall,

    Hump, helmet and all?

He was one time our King of the Castle

Now he’s kicked about like a rotten old parsnip.

And from Green street he’ll be sent by order of His Worship

To the penal jail of Mountjoy

    (Chorus) To the jail of Mountjoy!

    Jail him and joy.

He was fafafather of all schemes for to bother us

Slow coaches and immaculate contraceptives for the populace,

Mare’s milk for the sick, seven dry Sundays a week,

Openair love and religion’s reform,

    (Chorus) And religious reform,

    Hideous in form.

Arrah, why, says you, couldn’t he manage it?

I’ll go bail, my fine dairyman darling,

Like the bumping bull of the Cassidys

All your butter is in your horns.

    (Chorus) His butter is in his horns.

    Butter his horns!

(Repeat) Hurrah there, Hosty, frosty Hosty, change that shirt on ye,

Rhyme the rann, the king of all ranns!

    Balbaccio, balbuccio!

We had chaw chaw chops, chairs, chewing gum, the chicken-pox and china chambers

Universally provided by this soffsoaping salesman.

Small wonder He’ll Cheat E’erawan our local lads nicknamed him.

When Chimpden first took the floor

    (Chorus) With his bucketshop store

    Down Bargainweg, Lower.

So snug he was in his hotel premises sumptuous

But soon we’ll bonfire all his trash, tricks and trumpery

And ’tis short till sheriff Clancy’ll be winding up his unlimited company

With the bailiff’s bom at the door,

    (Chorus) Bimbam at the door.

    Then he’ll bum no more.

Sweet bad luck on the waves washed to our island

The hooker of that hammerfast viking

And Gall’s curse on the day when Eblana bay

Saw his black and tan man-o’-war.

    (Chorus) Saw his man-o’-war

    On the harbour bar.

Where from? roars Poolbeg. Cookingha’pence, he bawls

Donnez-moi scampitle, wick an wipin’fampiny

Fingal Mac Oscar Onesine Bargearse Boniface

Thok’s min gammelhole Norveegickers moniker

Og as ay are at gammelhore Norveegickers cod.

    (Chorus) A Norwegian camel old cod.

    He is, begod.

    Lift it, Hosty, lift it, ye devil, ye! up with the rann, the rhyming rann!

It was during some fresh water garden pumping

Or, according to the Nursing Mirror, while admiring the monkeys

That our heavyweight heathen Humpharey

Made bold a maid to woo

    (Chorus) Woohoo, what’ll she doo!

    The general lost her maidenloo!

He ought to blush for himself, the old hayheaded philosopher,

For to go and shove himself that way on top of her.

Begob, he’s the crux of the catalogue

Of our antediluvial zoo,

    (Chorus) Messrs Billing and Coo.

    Noah’s larks, good as noo.

He was joulting by Wellinton’s monument

Our rotorious hippopopotamuns

When some bugger let down the backtrap of the omnibus

And he caught his death of fusiliers,

    (Chorus) With his rent in his rears.

    Give him six years.

‘Tis sore pity for his innocent poor children

But look out for his missus legitimate!

When that frew gets a grip of old Earwicker

Won’t there be earwigs on the green?

    (Chorus) Big earwigs on the green,

    The largest ever you seen.

    Suffoclose! Shikespower! Seudodanto! Anonymoses!

Then we’ll have a free trade Gael’s band and mass meeting

For to sod him the brave son of Scandiknavery.

And we’ll bury him down in Oxmanstown

Along with the devil and the Danes,

    (Chorus) With the deaf and dumb Danes,

   And all their remains.

And not all the king’s men nor his horses

Will resurrect his corpus

For there’s no true spell in Connacht or hell

That’s able to raise a Cain.


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