The fenian record player

The fenian record player


(Words, Crawford Howard. Tune: “Yellow Rose of Texas”.)

Wee Willie John McFadyean was a loyal Orange Prod,

And he thought that Ian Paisley was just one step down from God.

He thought they ate the “childer” in the backwoods of Ardoyne,

And he knew that history started with the Battle of the Boyne.

One night he took a brick in his hand and he wandered up the Falls.

He was mutterin’ “Up the Rangers” and hummin’ “Derry Walls”.

He bust a big shop window to annoy the Pope of Rome,

And he took a record player out and then he staggered home.

Next night they had a hooley in the local Orange Hall.

Wee Willie took his player to make music at the ball.

He choose a stack of records of a very loyal kind,

But when the music started up, he nearly lost his mind.

This Fenian record player was a rebel to the core.

It played the songs the Orange Hall had never heard before.

For “Dolly’s Brae” and “Derry’s Walls” it didn’t care a fig,

And it speeded up “God Save the Queen” ‘til it sounded like a jig.

It played the “Boys of Wexford” and “The Wearing of the Green”.

Such turmoil in an Orange Hall has never yet been seen.

It played the “Woods of Upton” and “The Men of ‘98”,

But when it played “The Soldier’s Song”, it sealed wee Willie’s fate.

The boys went clean demented. To the ground wee Will was thrown,

And they kicked his ribs in one by one to the tune of “Garryowen”.

They threw him out the window to “A Song of Old Sinn Féin”

And they kicked him all down Sandy Row to “A Nation Once Again!”

That Fenian record player was heard no never more,

For they prodded it with deacon poles and threw it on the floor.

But yet it was not finished. ‘Twas the funniest thing you’ve seen,

For the flashes flyin’ out of it were orange, white and green.

Wee Willie’s up in Purdysburn. He’s crazy as a coot.

He just sits there in his padded cell and tootles on his flute,

And when he tries to play “The Sash”, he always gets it wrong,

For halfway through, he always finds he’s playin’ “The Soldier’s Song”.

There’s a moral to this story. What it is I cannot say.

It may be just the ancient one that crime will never pay.

If you ask Wee Willie McFadyean, he says, “Ah, crime be blowed!

If you want to pinch a record player, do it up the Shankill Road!”

<<Some words may need explanation:

“Childer” is dialect for children.

Falls and Shankill are respectively Catholic and Protestant areas of west Belfast.

Deacon poles are (I think) the poles which support a banner as it is being carried in procession.

Purdysburn is a mental hospital near Belfast.>>

Re: The fenian record player

I will have to show this to Herself.

That’s her Clan!

Re: The fenian record player

This one is his masterpiece, well worth reading, with a great moral very relevant today.

Crawford Howard

Now they built a big ship down in Harland’s
She was made for to sell to the Turks-
And they called on the Yard’s chief designer
To design all the engines and works.

Now finally the engines was ready
And they screwed in the very last part
An’ yer man says `Let’s see how she runs, lads!
An’ bejasus! the thing wouldn’t start!

So they pushed and they worked an’ they footered
An’ the engineers’ faces got red
The designer he stood lookin’ stupid
An’ scratchin’ the back o’ his head.

But while they were fiddlin’ and workin’
Up danders oul’ Jimmie Dalzell
He had worked twenty years in the `Island’
And ten in the `aircraft’ as well.

So he pushed and he worked and he muttered
Till he got himself through to the front
And he has a good look roun’ the engine
An’ he gives a few mutters and grunts,

And then he looks up at the gaffer
An’ says he `Mr Smith, d’ye know?
They’ve left out the Diagonal Steam Trap!
How the hell d’ye think it could go?’

Now the engineer eyed the designer
The designer he looks at the `hat’
And they whispered the one to the other
Diagonal Steam Trap? What’s that?’

But the Gaffer, he wouldn’t admit, like
To not knowin’ what this was about,
So he says `Right enough, we were stupid!
The Diagonal Steam Trap’s left out!’

Now in the meantime oul’ Jimmie had scarpered
Away down to throw in his boord
And the Gaffer comes up and says `Jimmy!
D’ye think we could have a wee word.

Ye see that Diagonal Steam Trap?
I know it’s left out - it’s bad luck
But the engine shop’s terrible busy
D’ye think ye could knock us one up?’

Now, oul’ Jimmy was laughin’ his scone off
He had made it all up for a gag
He’d seen what was stoppin’ the engine -
The feed-pipe was blocked with a rag!

But he sticks the oul’ hands in the pockets
An’ he says `Aye, I’ll give yez a han’!
I’ll knock yes one up in the mornin’
An’ the whole bloody thing will be grand!’

So oul’ Jim starts to work the next morning
To make what he called a Steam Trap,
An oul’ box an’ a few bits of tubing
An’ a steam gauge stuck up on the top,

An’ he welds it all on to the engine
And he says to the wonderin’ mob
As long as that gauge is at zero
The Steam Trap is doin’ its job!’

Then he pulls the rag outa the feed pipe
An’ he gives the oul’ engine a try
An’ bejasus! she goes like the clappers
An’ oul’ Jimmy remarks `That’s her nye!’

Now the ship was the fastest seen ever
So they sent her away to the Turks
But they toul’ them `That Steam Trap’s a secret!
We’re the only ones knows how it works!

But the Turks they could not keep their mouths shut
An’ soon the whole story got roun’
An’ the Russians got quite interested…
Them boys has their ears to the groun’!

So they sent a spy dressed as a sailor
To take photies of Jimmy’s Steam Trap
And they got them all back to the Kremlin
An’ they stood round to look at the snaps.

Then the head spy says `Mr Kosygin!
I’m damned if I see how that works!
So they sent him straight off to Siberia
An’ they bought the whole ship from the Turks!

When they found the Steam Trap was a `cod’, like,
They couldn’t admit they’d been had
So they built a big factory in Moscow
To start makin’ Steam Traps like mad!

Then Kosygin rings up Mr Nixon
And he says `Youse’uns thinks yez are great!
But wi’ our big new Russian-made Steam Trap
Yez’ll find that we’ve got yez all bate!’

Now oul’ Nixon, he nearly went `harpic’
So he thought he’d give Harland’s a call
And he dialled the engine-shop number
And of course he got sweet bugger all!

But at last the call came through to Jimmy
In the midst of a terrible hush,
`There’s a call for you here, from the White House!’
Says oul’ Jim, `That’s a shop in Portrush!’

There’s a factory outside of Seattle
Where they’re turnin’ out Steam Traps like Hell
It employs twenty-five thousand workers
And the head of it… Jimmy Dalzell!

Re: The fenian record player


Thanks belfastrab

Just Brilliant ! : )


Re: The fenian record player


And here’s me thinking that was a reference to The New Avengers.

Well, I live and learn……….

Re: The fenian record player

i have a tape of ‘the diagonal steam trap’, i think recited by the poet himself - took me quite a few listens before i could understand it at all, though it always made me laugh. great to see it here in ‘print’ so to speak. thanks.

Re: The fenian record player

two crackers.. the steam trap one is the best just for pure madness but the fenian record player was clever too.. mite try an learn the steam trap one off. fair play.

Re: The fenian record player

Ah, Just when I needed the words to the "other" Willie McBride.

Heading to the Somme in a few weeks with the local GAA club, this song will do grand.

Saw Crawford a few times at "Poets and Pints" nights, usually with John Campbell the dockers poet.

Those were the days…….my friend.

Re: The fenian record player

I hear Crawford is still doing the rounds , anybody know for sure

Re: The fenian record player

The late Freddie McKay was renowned for singing this and other fine witty songs at the Islington Folk Club. I believe you can get an album of his performances.