The Bard Of Armagh


Oh, list to the lay of a poor Irish harper
And scorn not the strains of his old withered hand
But remember his fingers they once could move sharper
To raise up the memory of his dear native land

At a fair or a wake I could twist my shillelagh
Or trip through a jig with my brogues bound with straw
And all the pretty colleens in the village or the valley
Loved their bold Phelim Brady, the bard of Armagh

Oh, how I long to muse on the days of my boyhood
Though four-score and three years have flitted since then
But it bring sweet reflections as every young joy should
For the merry-hearted boys make the best of old men

And when Sergeant Death in his cold arms shall embrace me
Then lull me to sleep with sweet Erin go Bragh
By the side of my Kathleen, my young wife, then place me
And forget Phelim Brady, the bard of Armagh

If Tommy Makem wanted a theme song, he would have it in The Bard Of Armagh, since he was a bard from Armagh. It is the song of an old man looking back on his youth and the fun he had at wakes and weddings. He reflected that “merry-hearted boys make the best of old men”.