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Matthew Edwards Cooney the Tinker (5) Lyr Add: Cooney the Tinker 13 Mar 13

When my eagle eye spotted this I thought it might be a song for Sean Cooney on the Young'Uns, but it is indeed a P J McCall composition from his 1904 collection 'Pulse of the Bards',where it is titled "Paddy Mahony's Lament for Cooney the Tinker". The book can be seen online at the Internet Archive; see Pulse of the Bards

Just for the record anyway here are the lyrics from that book.


Air—" The Jolly Tinker," in Levy's "Dance Music," p. 40, Vol. II.

Paddy Mahony sitting at work by the Cross of Rathangan sings as follows : —

OF all the Tinmen we see pass from Inniscorthy Bridge to Rass,
There's ne'er a man that drives an ass can work a bit o' sawther;
On hammer tight, a bottom down, like Cooney out o' Wexford Town —
'Twas he, bedad, could earn a crown without the slightest bother!
Och, 'twould do you good to spy him, if, my lad, you could get nigh him.
With the ditch for shelter by him while he med a measure!
First, the sides so shapely lappin', then, the bottom nately rappin';
Till the handle rivets tappin', he stretched at his leisure!
Jerry's lad isn't bad — when he does begin!
Doran's Jack isn't slack at a gallon tin!
All the rest, at their best, couldn't hold a pin —
Och, Cooney was a masther hand to keep the wather in !

Oft in Taghmon he raised the fun; for scarcely was the fair begun,
You'd see his darlin' childher run with hanks of hairy asses!
A donkey's age he'd tell you quick ; for Cooney you could never thrick —
Its teeth he called his "Alminick," to count each year that passes!
Och, you'd swear it was a ruction, when commenced the asses' auction ;
But of all the Tinker faction, he was first and foremost!
Red and shaggy, raw and bony — haith, he med a power o' money ;
And his voice was sweet as honey when an ass would roar most!
He'd engage its true age to the date and day;
And he'd know how 'twould go by the very bray!
"Wid ye pass a car-ass, that could drag a dray?"
Och, Cooney was the mischief — he had sich a slutherin' way !

Once, when brave Lowrum travelled down — the Tinker King, from Carla' Town —
He thought bowld Cooney to come round to give him Mag, the Daughter!
But Wexford's Monarch, all alive, found that the play boy couldn't give
His pound for pound to get the wife — so she stayed with the Father!
Angry grew each mottled feature of the Carla' Scallion Eater! —
Never in a penny thaytre was there such a battle!
Cooney called the lad a Bocagh; he called Cooney back a Geocagh!
Till a sasspan on his stomach med a n'isy rattle!
Then the fight opened right, till the peelers saw;
When they brought all who fought off to get The Law!
In the court there was sport, fightin', and abuse;
And the papers med a fortune when they prented it for news!

When stiff at last at Slippery Green,a splendid getherin' was seen
Of Metalmen, his kith and kin, that kem to wake their crony !
They tramped from Rass by Parnell's Crass, with wife and child and hungry ass,
In blood and tears I seen them pass, turned upside down for Cooney!
His old comrades, Phaynix Doran, Mosy Horan, Doodherman Moran,
All went throopin' by Kilscoran off to Bishop's water!
Jirry Connors and his brother, Jirry's aunt and Jirry's mother;
And ould Cash crossed o'er the border with his lovely daughter!
Wexford's Town of renown never saw the like;
As the gang fought and sang like a crowd on strike!
While they cried far and wide — "May Heaven mend his soul!
We've never put a patch as good as Cooney on a hole!"


Bocagh, a lame beggar.

Geocagh, a spendthrift, glutton.

Slippery Green, the Tinkers quarter in Wexford.

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