The Fleadh Down In Ennis

Robbie McMahon

Will you sit back awhile till I sing you a song
Tis not very short nor tis not very long
Its about the Fleadh Cheoil down in Ennis you see
So to me will you pay your attention
I’m not a great singer but I know there are worse
I cannot help trying to sing you a verse
For to let you all know how the Fleadh Cheoil got on
For you, now, who couldn’t attend it

They came from the North and they came from the East
From the West and the South ‘twas a thriller to see
With fiddles and bagpipes and piccolos too
And drum sticks to keep them in order
They came down from Dublin so hearty and gay
They brought Leo Rowsome to show them the way
Himself and Sean Seery they played all the way
With their flute payer Vincent O’Broderic
— Sciddery-Idle dom-diddery dom-diddery die dee

They came down from Cavan so far far away
I’m sure they were travelling for most of a day
With singers and players the best I can say
To compete at the Fleadh down in Ennis
Their players were good and their singers were keen
But Margaret O’Reilly was the best of the team
And big Doctor Galligan he wore the bainin
Just to swank at the Fleadh down in Ennis

From the kingdom of Kerry they all made their way
And brave Denis Murphy he started to play
The ‘Ould Floggin Reel’ and ‘The Black Cup o’ Tay’
Sure you’d feel ten times younger right after
From Limerick’s fair city they came by the score
And Johnny MacMahon he played an encore
And the bould Andy Keane sure he played as much more
And to finish he played ‘Colonel Frazer’
— Sciddery-Idle dom-diddery dom-diddery die dee

From Wicklow and Carlow they all fell in line
And up from Portarlington came Johnny Ryan
He resined his bow and he watched every line
And he won the first prize on the violin
From Galway they came every man and his wife
With Eddie Moloney who played on the fife
And young Kieran Collins would make the dead rise
When he played us ‘The Lark in the Morning’

There was music and song from all over Clare
The Macks of Crusheen and sure all the Mulkeres
The Mike Preston Trio and Martin Mulhaire
Not forgetting the Mister Joe Leary
Mrs Crotty she came all the way from Kilrush
She took a high note for the ‘Bird on the Bush’
She played all the day and she never did blush
Twas ‘Good Girl Yourself Mrs Crotty’

Noe Peter O’Loughlin from Connolly came
He brought Paddy Murphy, twas all in the game
They played a duet and they made a big name
For they won at the Fleadh down in Ennis
And down from Bellbarbour Chris Droney he came
He played on a matchbox I thought twas that same
Till someone said “Robbie what’s that you are saying’
Isn’t that his own small Concertina

They came down from Quilty to sing and to play
With big Martin Talty from Miltown Malbay
And our own Willie Clancy, he gave a display
Sure we know he’s the King of the pipers
Then somebody said, ‘who’s that man over there?’
Isn’t that Jimmy Ward from the North side of Clare
He plays on the banjo with music to spare
For he plays with the great Kilfenora

Our own Paddy Canny he took oe’r the fair
He played through the streets and right up to the square
Says Daniel O’Connell ‘My Life on you there’
And I think you’re the best of them all sure
And o’er from America more of them flew
And Paddy O’Brien he was one of the few
He’d played the accordion you’d swear there were two
He got so many notes in together

Now Ciaran MacMahon was busy bedad
Recording them all both the good and the bad
But for him our music was gone to the bad
So ‘ts welcome Ciaran MacMathuna
‘Tis all over now but twas something to see
So thanks to Sean Reid and the great committee
So I wish you good health now and good luck from me
Until we all meet in Dungarvan
— Sciddery-Idle dom-diddery dom-diddery die dee

This song was written by Robbie McMahon about the 1956 Fleadh Cheoil in Ennis, Co. Clare.