A son in Amerikay

‘To my son in Amerikay’.

Some years ago in the County Armagh

This story all began

Before emigration was finally cured

By that great economical plan!

A poor young lad had to leave his home

And travel across the sea

But he got well-paid in the building trade

On the shores of Amerikay.


Now, he did very well, but he sent nothing home

And his mother began to think

That he had run away with some ‘blonde’

Or was spending his money on drink,

So she wrote him a letter and folded it up

And sent it on its way

And on the cover she clearly wrote

‘To my son in Amerikay’.


The postman collected that letter she wrote

And drove it in a van to Cork

Where he put it aboard of a liner in Cobh

That landed it in New York;

And there, with the whiskey and the greyhounds too

The mail-bags lay on the quay

And among the rest was a letter addressed

‘To my son in Amerikay’.


Now American postmen, I needn’t remark

Are rather like you and me

And when they came to this letter at last

They didn’t know what to do.

They consulted all the official lists

But these had nothing to say

There was no directory would help them to find

A son in Amerikay.


So it lay round the office for years and years

And gave all the boys a laugh

Until it got some use at last

In the training of the staff.

To every new postman that came on the job

It was shown as ‘Exhibit ‘A”

As a typical letter, insufficiently addressed

‘To my son in Amerikay’.


The son got older and wiser too

And at last, to himself, he said

”I wond’r how are things wit’ me mother at home

And is she alive or dead?’

So he walked round the block to the GPO

And he asked with his cap in his hand

‘Is there any chance you’ve a letter for me

From me mother in Ireland?’


‘We have indeed ,Sir, and here it is

We’ve been waiting for you to call

We knew that someone would call some day

From Cork or Donegal.

From two hundred millions that’s livin’ now

In the whole of the USA

For a mother in Ireland, at last we’ve found

Her son in Amerikay’.


The foregoing can be sung to the air of ‘The Rocks of Knockanure’


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