Tomás Muiris Jones - Bumper Squire Jones

Good Claret & Bumper Squire Jones

Carolan and Baron Arthur Dawson happened to be enjoying together with others the hospitality of Squire Jones at Moneyglass House in Co. Antrim and Carolan and Dawson slept in adjoining rooms. Carolan was asked to compose a song in honor of their host and upon retiring to his apartment, took his harp with him where he composed the melody called Bumper Squire Jones.

Dawson, in the room next door, overheard Carolan and having a fine musical ear himself, Dawson not only memorized the melody, but composed lyrics to it as well. The next morning at breakfast, Carolan played the tune and Baron Dawson denied that Carolan had written the melody and to the astonishment of all accused him of audacious piracy, both musical and poetical, and to prove the fact, sang the melody to his own words amidst the joyous shouts of his hearers. Carolan was enraged, and swore it was not plagiarism. An explanation finally took place which ended in a jovial day and pardon for the offense. ... Donal O'Sullivan.

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by Turlough O'Caloran

1. 'Sé an compliment ceóil
Don óigfhear breágh tréan
Thar uaísle na h-Éireann
In éin-rígh Thír Eoghain.

by Arthur Dawson

1. Ye good fellows all,
Who love to be told where there's claret good store,
Attend to the call
Of one who's ne'er frighted,
But greatly delighted
With six bottles more.

2. Ní mór linn sin dó
Co chroidhe mór na féile;
Ní gabhann sé chroidhche
Gan daoine bheith 'g ól

2. Be sure you don't pass
The good house Moneyglass,
Which the jolly red god so peculiarly owns;
'Twill well suit your humour,
For pray what would you more
Than mirth with good claret and Bumper Squire Jones ?

3. 'Sé Guaire é le féile,
Le uaisle, le réidhe,
'S gurab é deirfir Éireann,
Nach léir leó ach spóirt.

3. Ye lovers who pine
For lasses that oft prove as cruel as fair,
Who wimper and wine
For lilies and roses,
With eyes, lips, and noses,
Or tip of an ear.

4. Níl buidéal, níl bumper
Níl gloine nó tumbler
Nach n-ólfainn gan chontabhairt
Ar chúntais Squire Jones.

4. Come hither I'll show ye
How Phyllis and Chloe
No more shall occasion such sighs and such groans;
For what mortal so stupid
As not to quit Cupid
When called by good claret and Bumper Squire Jones?

5. Ye poets who write, • And brag of your drinking
famed Helicon's brook,—
Though all you get by it
Is a dinner ofttimes,
In reward for your rhymes,
With Humphry the Duke.

6. Learn Bacchus to follow,
And quit your Apollo, Forsake all the Muses,
those senseless old crones:
Our jingling of glasses
Your rhyming surpasses
When crowned with good claret and Bumper Squire Jones.

7. Ye soldiers so stout,
With plenty of oaths,
though no plenty of coin,
Who make such a rout
Of all your commanders,
Who served us in Flanders, And eke at the Boyne.

8. Come leave off your rattling
Of sieging and battling,
And know you'd much better to sleep in whole bones; Were you sent to Gibraltar,
Your notes you'd soon alter,
And wish for good claret and Bumper Squire Jones.

9. Ye clergy so wise,
Who mysteries profound
can demonstrate so clear,
How worthy to rise !
You preach once a week,
But your tithes never seek Above once in a year !

10. Come here without failing,
And leave off your railing
'Gainst bishops providing for dull stupid drones;
Says the text so divine,"
What is life without wine?"
Then away with the claret and Bumper Squire Jones !

11. Ye lawyers so just, Be the cause what it will,
who so learnedly plead,
How worthy of trust !
You know black from white,
You prefer wrong to right,
As you chance to be fee'd.

12. Leave musty reports
And forsake the king's courts,
Where dulness and discord have set up their thrones;
Burn Salkeld and Ventris, '
And all your damned entries,
And away with the claret and Bumper Squire Jones !

13. Ye physical tribe
Whose knowledge consists
in hard words and grimace, Whene'er you prescribe,
Have at your devotion,
Pills, bolus, or potion,
Be what will the case.

14. Pray where is the need
To purge, blister and bleed ?
When, ailing yourselves, the whole faculty owns
That the forms of old Galen
Are not so prevailing
As mirth with good claret and Bumper Squire Jones !

15. Ye fox-hunters eke,
That follow the call
of the horn and the hound,
Who your ladies forsake
Before they're awake,
To beat up the brake Where the vermin is found.

16. Leave Piper and Blueman,
Shrill Duchess and Trueman,—
No music is found in such dissonant tones !
Would you ravish your ears
With the songs of the spheres,
Hark away to the claret and Bumper Squire Jones.

Musical Notations
It is evident that the English is not a translation of Carolan's lyrics, "yet it cannot be disputed that Carolan's tune and Dawson's words together form one of the finest Bacchanalian songs in the English language. It quickly became celebrated. But its popularity waned with the decline of convivial drinking. There are twelve additional verses addressed to poets, soldiers, the clergy, lawyers, doctors etc. The avocations of all of them are unfavorably compared to the joys of good claret and Bumper Squire Jones." ...O'Sullivan.

Courtesy of Vivian and Jack, October 2008
Irish Text: Carolan, the Life and times of an Irish Harper by Donal O'Sullivan, 1958 Vol 2 pg 40 No 65.
English Text: Ibid. pg 42
Midi music by Davy Rogers, and CD music by "The Harp Consort".
For phonetics consult the pocket dictionary Fóclóir Póca.

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