Kevin Burke Singing
I’ve always admired Kevin, but my admiration has just rocketed —
I’ve always admired Kevin, but my admiration has just rocketed —
That’s a gem. Thanks!
oh thanks for that, brightens a gray day. i guess i was that young once, but i hardly remember it. what a treat.
Thank you Gam, that was wonderful.
It reminds me, years ago I ran across Mr. Burke playing at an Irish communijty center in New Haven, Ct.
He sang this song of a town in Ireland, most amusing.
The song praised such normally mundane things as their public utilites, traffic lights (apparently they had a feud with a neighboring town as to who first had traffic lights in Ireland), parking lots, etc. I cannot recall what town it was, but it ended with "AR".
I have not had the chance to ask himself about it since, but I am wondering if any of this scant information I offer rings a bell as to what song it was.
Kevin also sang a song during the recent Patrick Street UK shows.
You’re probably thinking of this, Piece. There are several variants.
IN PRAISE OF THE CITY OF MULLINGAR
You may strain your muscles To brag of Brussels,
Of London, Paris or Timbuctoo
Constantinople Or Sebastople,
Vienna, Naples or Tongataboo
Of Copenhagen, Madrid, Kilbeggan
Or the capital of the Rooshian Czar
But they’re all infarior to The vast, suparior,
And gorgeous city of Mullingar
That fair metropolis So great and populous,
Adorns the region of sweet Westmeath,
That fertile county Which nature’s bounty
Has richly gifted with bog and heath.
Them scenes so charming Where snipes a-swarming
Attract the sportsman that come from far;
And whoever wishes May catch fine fishes
In deep Loch Owel near Mullingar
I could stray forever By Brusna’s river,
And watch its waters in their sparkling fall
And the ganders swimmin’ And lightly skimmin’
O’er the crystal bosom of the Roy’l canal;
Or on Thursdays wander ‘Mid pigs so tender,
And geese and turkeys on many a car,
Exchangin’ pleasantry With the fine bold peasantry
That throng the market at Mullingar.
Ye nine, inspire me, With rapture fire me
To sing the buildings, both old and new,
The majestic court-house And the spacious workhouse,
And the church and steeple which adorn the view.
Then there’s barracks airy For the military,
Where the brave repose from the toils of war;
Five schools, a nunnery, And a thrivin’ tannery,
In the lovely city of Mullingar.
The railway station With admiration
I next must mention in terms of praise,
Where trains a-rollin’ And ingines howlin’
Strike each beholder with wild amaze.
And then there’s Main Street That broad and clean street,
With its rows of gas-lamps that shine afar;
I could spake a lecture on the architecture
Of the gorgeous city of Mullingar.
The men of genius, Contemporaneous
Approach spontaneous this favoured spot,
Where good society And great variety
Of entertainment is still their lot.
The neighbouring quality For hospitality
And conviviality unequalled are;
And from December Until November
There’s still divarsion in Mullingar.
Now, in conclusion, I make allusion
To the beauteous females that here abound;
Celestial creatures With lovely features
And taper(ed) ankles that skim the ground.
But this suspends me, The theme transcends me -
My muse’s powers are too weak by far;
It would take Catullus, Likewise Tibullus,
To sing the beauties of Mullingar.
I was thinking of the same song, "MacC". I remember Tim Lyons singing this at a concert in Dundee when he was a member of "De Danann". Did he perhaps write it, do you know? It’s very much his style of humour.
"Kevin also sang a song during the recent Patrick Street UK shows. "
Yes - that surprised me when I saw PS earlier this month in York
Fantastic stuff, thanks for posting. Can’t help but smile at hearing it.
Can anyone help me out with a few lyrics? I’ve searched & come up with just one account of them in print — not quite the same as Kevin’s (though similar) — but even these were correct, I don’t know what they mean anyway.
And his _____ (sounds like "kittle?) got working in fast-hammer style
And he landed them under the jaw
But if trouble should start, keep out of his way
For he carries this awful _____ (sounds like "pal togue"?)
You won’t feel it comin’ but Whoo! when it lands
You’ll find he’s an Irish ______ (sounds like "getogue"?)
I wish I could find a site for songs that was anything like The Session is for tunes, with the music (just for reference, of course!), lyrics, & discussion. That would double our fun in this house!
The Mullingar song’s origins are much earlier than Tim Lyons. It appears in Professor W.J. Rankine’s ‘Songs and Fables’, first published in 1874.
Séamus Creagh, a Westmeath man himself, sings a fine version on the ‘It’s No Secret’ album.
! forgot to add for Mulcreevy - check http://mudcat.org, the best source for song lyrics.
"In praise of the city of Mullingar" also appears in Colm O Lochlainn’s "More Irish Street Ballads" (Dublin, 1965). He claims to have written the tune 35 years previously (for Preab san Ól by Ruchard Barrett) but acknowledges Rankine as a source for refreshing his memory of the words.
I had a friend who used to sing it frequently and I was always intrigued by the image of women with no feet whose ankles skimmed the ground!
That should be Richard Barrett - thought I’d corrected that before I posted, but clearly not.
MacCruiskeen: Thanks for the link. That’s where I found the lyrics that were close to Kevin’s but quite the same. It’s posted there with the bit I’m asking for totally different in the 2nd verse.
As for the 3rd verse, it has:
For he carries an awful PACKTOE
Ah, you won’t hear it comin’ but whoop when it lands
Sure, you’ll know it’s an Irish GATEAU.
Well, a google on packtoe gets me nothing, & on gateau gets me "sponge cake" — can’t quite figure that one!
A mudcat.org discussion also led me back to a session post that had the lyrics as a poem: https://thesession.org/discussions/22805
That version had the 3rd verse bit as:
for he carries an awful PULL-TOGE
You won’t hear it coming but O when it lands, you’ll find its an Irish KIT-OGE
Again, no good answers with google, which has me thinking perhaps packtoe, pull-toge, gateau, kit-oge are all a bit off. So I was hoping someone here might know what it really is.
Kevin will be around these parts next month. Maybe I just need to get meself out & ask him! ;)
Grrrrr! How ‘bout ;-)
Many thanks, I do believe that is it.
And, to my relief, simply brilliant, as I had thought.
(nostalgia tends to elevate, elaborate and generally resuscitate with our fondly recalled memories, as in "there was never so grand a time" "there was never such a gathering" "there was never such music", etc. etc. ;-))
Many thanks again.
does anyone know the melody?
poltogue = hard punch
Kitogue = left handed
If you check this link, Piece, you’ll find both a midi file and the ABC for the melody.
gooseinthenettles: Thanks much. Perfect!
Re. the blanks in Mulcreevy´s text: gooseinthenettles translation is correct but his spelling of the words is actually a phonetic version of the words in the song which are actually in irish/gaelic and would maintain the irish spelling even if used in an english text. They are commonly used words by english-speaking Irish.
paltóg and citóg
deirjon: Lovely! Thank you!
Sounds great - however, I do believe Kevin Burke speaks with an English accent - his parents come from Sligo, but he sings in an accent from somewhere else! Not sure where?
Bit of a stage parody I think.
If you listen to singers, singing in the accent of where they are from, it just seems so much more authentic.
Have a listen here:
Imagine Geordie Hanna or Tim Denehey singing in a cockney accent?
By the way mulcreevy, forgot to mention, the blank in the 2nd verse is also citóg, meaning his left hand got working………
Wors cannot express my gratitude.
Thank you very much, I shall now strive
to learn it and do it justice.
It should be "words", not "wors" -
See, told you they could not express it.
A lot of talk about singing on here lately.
Now this is a song!
Sorry, but you’ve not been checking recent threads.
it’s the feel good hit of the year