The Rattling Boy from Dublin

Original Text: 
illiam McGonagall, Poetic Gems (1890; Trowbridge and Esher: Trowbridge, 1975): 47-48. PR 4970 .M45 P6 1975 St. Michael's College Library
     Chorus --
5     Whack fal de da, fal de darelido,
6     Whack fal de da, fal de darelay,
7     Whack fal de da, fal de darelido,
8     Whack fal de da, fal de darelay.
9One night I met her with another lad,
10     Says I, Biddy, I've caught you, by dad;
11I never thought you were half so bad
12     As to be going about with another lad.
13Says I, Biddy, this will never do,
14     For to-night you've prov'd to me untrue,
15So do not make a hullaballoo,
16     For I will bid farewell to you.
18     And the man that says no, he is an ass,
19So come away, and I'll give you a glass,
20     Och, sure you can get another lass.
21Says I, To the devil with your glass,
22     You have taken from me my darling lass,
23And if you look angry, or offer to frown,
25Says Barney Magee unto me,
27And before I'll give her up to thee,
28     One or both of us will go down.
29So, with my darling shillelah, I gave him a whack,
30     Which left him lying on his back,
32     For I'm the rattling boy from Dublin town.
33So a policeman chanced to come up at the time,
34     And he asked of me the cause of the shine,
35Says I, he threatened to knock me down
36     When I challenged him for walking with my Biddy Brown.
37So the policeman took Barney Magee to jail,
38     Which made him shout and bewail
39That ever he met with Biddy Brown,
40     The greatest deceiver in Dublin town.
41So I bade farewell to Biddy Brown,
42     The greatest jilter in Dublin town,
43Because she proved untrue to me,
44     And was going about with Barney Magee.


1] rattling: first-rate, fine. Back to Line
2] Biddy: diminutive of Bridget. Back to Line
3] sloes: blackthorn fruit. Back to Line
4] aquiline: beaked, eagle-like. Back to Line
17] Barney Magee: Irish name. Back to Line
24] shillilah: shillelagh, oak or blackthorn cudgel. Back to Line
26] By the hokey: mild oath. Back to Line
31] botheration: trouble, bad times. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: