Funny Old World, — November 2, 2009 9:16 — 0 Comments

Dance of Early Ireland

THE DANCE OF EARLY IRELAND     (Air: The seven yellah gipsies)


Long ago, before the Flood, there was a rumble and a thud …

And Mother Europe bubbled up from deep below the ocean mud.

"You know, I love the lofty Alps," says she, "And Spanish Pyrenees,

But I adore the Irish mountains dancin’ in the summer breeze."


So, arise, Lady Errigal, and dance in the Atlantic blue,

Big Ben Bulben, put your head above the gig.

Come, King Magillacuddy, join the gentle Galtees – do

The Dublin double hornpipe and the Dingle single jig.




Take a step, take a lep,

 Tap a tapity doubledy tappity tap,

 Along a line by Limerick, tappity, Longford, Limavady tee-tap,

 A low jump, a high jump,

 Across to Aghalig,

 Doin’ the Dublin double hornpipe and the Dingle single jig.


The commotion soon was over and the trees began to grow,

A forest covers Foxford, there’s a bog at Ball’nasloe.

Now there’s life – a baby leprechaun, and here’s an earywig,

There’s a dinosaur ‘n’ a dragon-fly to join us in the jig.


An’ the dinosaurs danced till they trampled down the middle plains,

"We’ll make Meath a Kingdom for to hold High Kings."

Leprechauns lept to the lilt of fairy fiddle strains,

"Sex is so exciting – sure, we’ll see what summer brings."


In these tropical conditions now a change was overdue

To glaziers and icicles and sniffles and the ‘flu’.

All the dinosaurs died, and then the ice began to slide,

And little Ireland from the continent forever did divide.


With a shake and a shiver, shove the rocks and make a river,

Och, you splash in the Shannon and the Lagan and the Lee.

You go with the flow, shake a leg across the Liffey,

Rock around the Rock o’ Cashel, paddle out till Innisfree.




Then across the sea in coracles came early folk in kilts,

"Sure, we’re your ancient ancestors – we’re good at findin’ flints.

I am Missus Mesolithic, this is my co-habitee,

You can join us in the jig, we’re havin’ elk an’ fish for tea."


Oh, you prance as you dance in the dark around the barbecue,

Advance through the trees then and hunt along the Bann,

Yell, thump your chest, do your best to make a ballyhoo,

You lurch along the river, do the Boyne Cancan.


Then a mighty builder came, her name was Megalithic Maeve,

Says she, "There’s something missing: – near the Boyne we need a cave.

I can see that we need dolmens, too, – an’ cairns – an’ mounds – an’ things,

An’ where would anybody be without big rocks arranged in rings?"


Oh, step fluid with a druid, in an urn you burn the ash away,

Cover up the cairn, tramp an’ stamp upon the clods.

Hack a hole in Newgrange to let sun come through the passageway,

Bow down in Dowth, boys, to not annoy the Gods.


Next some troublesome invaders come – the Romans say they smell

They call them ugly Bolgi – big Barbarians from hell,

But you know us as the dancing Celtic Gaelic folk from Gaul

We can plunder, we can conquer, and we rule from Donegal.


Wave your axe in the air, bump an’ thump an’ stamp an’ stare about,

Kiss your sweaty partner on her Stone Age jaw.

Hack with your axe, turn your backs an’ shake your hair about,

Celts in their pelts go a-wadin’ into war.




 An’ this is Early Ireland’s hist’ry in a ditty and a jig.


… more later …

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