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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NSC Lyr Add: Pat O'Brien (6) Lyr Add: PAT O'BRIEN^^ 08 Dec 00


There is a version of this song in the DT but it is incomplete. I got it from the late Rory O'Connor from Doolin Co. Clare. Tim Lyons sings a version of this song but misses the important penultimate verse where Nancy "Dashes blood in his face"

Come all ye lads and lassies and listen to my song,
'Twill only be a few short lines and I won't detain you long.
Concerning two fond lovers all in their youth and bloom,
And one of them was murdered and the other was hung in June.

'Twas in the town of Sligo that this fair maid did dwell,
She was an only daughter and her parents loved her well,
They brought her up in fear of God, and reared her tenderly,
But little they thought they'd raised her to be murdered barbarously.

And Pat O'Brien, her true love's name, was a carpenter by trade,
Both day and night he took delight in courting this fair maid.
'Til a letter from America from another she received,
Which put Pat O'Brien in iron tongs and sent her to his grave.

She wrote O'Brien a letter and an answer to it came,
Saying "Nancy, lovely Nancy and I hope you won't me blame,
For I've been working this long day and I cannot see you love,
But I mean to be in your company this evening in the grove."

Well when she read this letter it enticed her for to go,
She dressed herself in private I mean to let you know,
This girl was young and innocent and straight away did go,
But little she thought that very night he'd prove her overthrow.

It was when he saw her coming it was then he went to hide,
He said these words all to himself, "You never will be my bride,
For I have heard for a positive fact that you have deceived me,
So this very night I'll take your life and your butcher I will be."

T'was then he stepp-ed up to her it was in his colourless face,
She said, "Pat O'Brien what's wrong with you and why are you so pale,"
"I want no talk at all from you just kneel down there and pray,
There's not s girl that's living that will ever deceive me."

He grabbed her by the yellow locks and he dragged her to the ground,
'Twas with a knife he stabb-ed her and gave her dreadful wounds,
'Twas with a spade he dug her grave and then dashed out her brains,
Her dying words were, "Pat O'Brien, you do not know my pains."

She was only a few days buried, I mean to let you know,
When the ghost of this fair maiden unto her mother did go,
Saying, "Mother dearest mother on earth we'll meet no more,
Since pat O'Brien has murdered me and turned me to my gore."

"Oh go to John Keatons house and that without delay,
'Tis there you'll find my body Dan it covered with the clay,
You'll see my blood spilt on the grass where he has murdered me,
Oh go and get him taken and its hang-ed he'll surely be."

Her mother went in reach of her and there her body found.
Thousands came from round the town to see those dreadful wounds,
Each man stoop-ed over her that lived around the place,
But when Pat O'Brien bent over her SHE DASHED BLOOD IN HIS FACE.

O'Brien was quickly taken and straight away lodged in jail,
Bound down with heavy irons his sins for to prepare,
"Well I tell you judge and jury and them that's standing by,
'Twas I that killed poor Nancy Ryan, and I'm willing for to die."

Apart from Tim and myself, and of course my source, I have never heard anyone else sing this song. Does anyone have a version of this song. I would like to try and trace its origins if possible. ^^


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