Baile Locha Riach - Loughrea

beer mugs beer mugs
Raftery and friends having a few pints

This is an incidental piece of comic verse but it gives us a lively picture of Raftery as he appeared to his contemporaries, the wandering poet who could be depended on to react to any situation with a suitable statement in well-made verse.The topic of this poem was deliberately concocted by some of the local lads in Loughrea who had often entertained the blind poet. This time they spotted Raftery making his way through town on a rainy day and decided to play a practical joke on him. First they invited him to relax with them in one of the town's pubs. After a few pints, each of them quietly stole away from the table one by one leaving the penniless poet confronted by the angry innkeeper demanding full payment for all the drink he and his friends had consumed. This was all done as innocent fun to provoke Raftery into composing a poem. This piece was composed after the jokers had settled the account and pacified the bemused poet with further consoling drinks. ... Criostoir O'Flynn

le Antaine Ó Raifteirí (1784-1835)

1. A Bhaile Locha Riach, is fada 'bheas trácht ort
ón lá úd a tharla mé ann,
Nó gur dhruid mé go dlúth leis na cárta
's gur thógadar ríl in mo cheann.

2. Ar maidin ag dul tríd an tsráid dom
shíl mé nach ndéanfainn aon mhoill,
Nó gur rug John Joyce ar bharr láimhe mé
go dtí teach pléaráca agus grinn.

3. Chas Dia aon scilling amháin chugam
agus a shíl mé go raibh mo dhíol ann,
Nuair a shíl mé nár ghlaos ach dhá chárta
bhí ag Conúr im aghaidh trí is bonn

4. Bhuail mise an bord leis an gcárt
is Maolamhnaigh 'se tháinig go teann,
D'fhiafraíos cén chiall an cás seo
is a ghiorracht ó thangamar ann.

Fear an Tábhairne:

5. "Is é an dlí a bhíos againn ins an áit seo
an reicneáil nach n-íoctar in am,
Má éiríonn na daoine ón gclár-
An fear deiridh bheith síos leis an leann,"

Raifteirí:

6. "A Chonúir ar m'ainim ná tráchtaigh,
tháinig mé gear, is b'annamh liom,
Dá dtugthá-sa beagáinín spáis dom
bheinn anseo amárach in am."

Fear an Tábhairne:

7. "Dá mba sagart thú a thiocfadh , nó bráthair,
ní bhfaighfeá-sa cairde faoin leann,
Ach íocfaidh tú mise ar an tairne
má tá an hata crua fáiscthe ar do cheann,"

Raifteirí:

8. "An gcuirfeá-sa amach mé lá báistí,
i mo sheasamh, lár sráide, im cheann
Is a fheabhas agus d'ólfainn do shláinte
ach mo sparán bheith láidir is teann?"

Fear an Tábhairne:

9. "Nár dhúirt me leat cheana gan trácht air,
go raibh taxes agus license an-teann?
Is dá dtrustfainnse réic nó fear fánach
ní bheathóinn mo bhean is mo chlann."

Raifteirí:

10. "Go bhfeice mé tusa i do stáca
I do sheasamh, lár sráide, in do cheann,
Do chosa ins an lathaigh faoi ghága,
is tú ag suathadh na láibe go lann

by Criostoir O'Flynn

O Loughrea, 'tis long you'll be talked of,
since to there on my travels I went,
I settled down to the drink in good order
and was left with a reel* in my head.

When I came to the street on the morning
I thought I'd be on my way,
But John Joyce took my hand and he brought me
to a house of good fun and great play.

With a shilling that the good God provided
I thought I'd enough and to spare,
What a shock then when Connor confided
for two quarts three-and-six I must pay.

I clattered the jug on the table
and Molony came running to hear,
I asked what he meant by this statement
when so short was the time we'd been there.

Bartender:

"The rule that in this house we favour
any reckoning not paid as they sup,
Whoever is last at the table
for all that they drank must pay up."

Raftery:

"Don't say any more, my good Connor,
I'm found short and that's seldom my state,
But give me at least till tomorrow,
I'll come early and clean off my slate."

Bartender:

"If you were even a priest or a friar,
no credit for drink would you get,
Just pay on the nail what's decided
or I'll have that hard hat off your head."

Raftery;

"Would you put me outside and it raining
bareheaded to stand in the street,
When your health I'd be loudly proclaming
if my purse all expenses could meet?"

Bartender:

"I told you already, don't argue!
the taxes and license are hard,
Trusting wild rakes and wanderers like you
my wife and my children would starve."

Raftery:

"May I live to hear yet of the time
you'll be put there yourself on the street,
With your head bare as you have made mine
and you tramping the mud in bare feet!"


Courtesy of Jack & Vivian, IrishPage.com October 2005
From Blind Raftery by Criostoir O'Flynn, Cló Iar-Chonnachta, Connemara Ireland, 1998
Cf. Bertrand Library, Bucknell Univ. Lewisburg, Pa. 17837
* Reel is Irish music and dance
Since this is simply a poem music is nowhere to be found.
Replay background music jigsong.mid
which is a substitution


Filleadh go liosta
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