The Limerick Rake waltz

Also known as Darby O’Leary, Juice Of The Barley.

There are 13 recordings of this tune.

The Limerick Rake has been added to 59 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Three settings

X: 1
T: The Limerick Rake
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
|:E2|E2 G2 F2|E2 D2 E2|G2 A2 B2|e4 ee|d2 B2 B2|A2 F2 G2|A2 F2 E2|D4 D2|
E2 G2 F2|E2 D2 E2|G2 A2 B2|e4 e2|d2 B2 G2|A2 F2 D2|E2 E4|E4 B2|
B2 e2 e2|e2 f2 e2|d3 B ^c2|d4 d2|e2 d2 B2|A2 F2 G2|A2 F2 E2|D4 DD|
E2 G2 F2|E2 D2 E2|G3 A B2|e4 ee|d2 B2 G2|A2 F2 D2|E2 E4|E4:|
X: 2
T: The Limerick Rake
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
(3EFG|:AcB AGE|Ace a2a|gdd dBc|dBA G2G|AcB AGE|Ace aba|gdc BAG|A3A3:|
|:eaa aba|gdd def|gdd dBc|dBA G2G|AcB AGE|Ace aba|gdc BAG|A3A3:|
X: 3
T: The Limerick Rake
R: waltz
M: 3/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
AG|F2 E2 F2|D2 F2 A2|G2 F2 G2|E4 AG|F2 D2 D2|D2 F2 A2|G2 F2 G2|
E4 AG|F2 E2 F2|D2 F2 A2|G2 B2 d2|d4 de|f2 e2 c2|d2 c2 A2|G2 F2 G2|E4||
AG|F2 E2 F2|D2 E2 A2|d6|A4 GG|F2 E2 F2|G2 E2 C2|(D6|D4)||

Eight comments

The Limerick Rake

This is the tune of a fairly well-known song. I haven’t found it in the database and don’t know if it has ever been tweaked up into a jig or any other of the faster dance forms. It’s a nice 3/4 tune. I remember an Irish duo called The Mathews Brothers singing it effectively in folk clubs round 1980.

A 6/8 Version

Seems to me… related to Balqhidder Lasses
Here’s a 6/8 version I heard somewhere….

R: jig
K: Ador

(3EFG |:AcB AGE | Ace a2a| gdd dBc | dBA G2G | AcB AGE | Ace aba| gdc BAG | A3A3 :|

|: eaa aba | gdd def | gdd dBc | dBA G2G| AcB AGE | Ace aba| gdc BAG | A3A3 :|

Limerick Rake

The melody is a quite commonly used one in numerous songs, like Darby O’Leary and The Juice of the Barley.

Oh, and it has been recorded in several versions by The Dubliners, as "The Limerick Rake" on "A Drop of the Pure", and as "Darby O’Leary" on one of the Best Of-collections.

This song was also done by The Pogues and although all the lyrics are not there, it’s still my favorite version. I’ve been learning this on my mando and it’s the first tune/song I’ve really learned entirely by ear, no ABC or dots. Yea me!

Here are the full lyrics to the song;

The Limerick Rake

I am a young fellow that’s easy and bold,
In Castletown Conners I’m very well known;
In Newcastle West I spent many a note
With Kitty and Molly and Mary.
My parents rebuked me for being such a rake
And spending my time in such frolicsome ways,
But I ne’ve could forget the good nature of Jane,
Agus fagaimid siud mar ata se.
My parents, they reared me to shake and to sow,
To plough and to harrow, to reap and to mow;
But my heart was too airy to drop it so low,
I set out on a high speculation.
On paper and parchment they taught me to write
And in Euclid and grammar they opened my eyes,
But in multiplication, in truth, I was bright,
Agus fagaimid siud mar ata se.

To quarrel for riches I ne’er was inclined,
For the greatest of misers must leave them behind;
I’ll purchase a cow that will never run dry
And I’ll milk her by twisting her horn.
John Damer of Shronel had plenty of gold
And Devonshire’s treasure was twenty times more,
But he’s laid on his back among nettles and stones,
Agus fagaimid siud mar ata se.
If I chance for to go to the market at Croom,
With a cock in my hat and my pipes in full tune,
I am welcome at once and brought up to a room
Where Bacchus is sporting with Venus.
There’s Peggy and Jane from the town of Bruree,
And Biddy from Bruff and we all on the spree,
Such a combing of locks as there was about me,
Agus fagaimid siud mar ata se.

There’s some say I’m foolish, there’s more say I’m wise,
For love of the women I’m sure ‘tis no crime;
For the son of King David had ten hundred wives
And his wisdom is highly recorded.
I’ll till a good garden and live at my ease
And the women and children can partake of the same,
If there’s war in the cabin, themselves are to blame,
Agus fagaimid siud mar ata se.
And now for the future I mean to be wise,
And I’ll send for the women that treated me kind;
And I’ll marry them all on the morrow, by and by
If the clergy agree to the bargain.
And when I’m on my back and my soul is at peace
The women will crowd for to cry at my wake,
And their sons and their daughters will utter their prayers
To the Lord for the sake of their father.

The Limerick Rake, X:3

This is a commonly sung tune for "The Juice of the Barley", a song that appears in Soodlums Irish Ballad
Book. Words as follows:-

In the sweet county Lim’rick one cold winter’s night
All the turf fires were burning as I saw the light,
And a drunken old midwife grew tipsy with joy
As she danced round the room with her slip of a boy.

CHORUS: Singing ban-ya-na mo is an-ga-na
And the juice of the barley’s for me.

Well when I was a gossoon of eight years or so,
With me turf and me primer to school I did go.
To a dusty old school house without any door
Where lay the schoolmaster blind drunk on the floor.

At the learning I wasn’t such a genius I think
But I soon beat the master entirely at drink,
Not a wake nor a wedding for five miles around,
But meself in the corner was sure to be found.

One Sunday the priest thread me out from the altar,
Saying you’ll end up your days with your neck in a halter,
And you’ll dance a fine jig between heaven and hell -
And his words they did frighten me the truth for to tell.

So the very next morning as the dawn it did break,
I went down to the vestry the pledge for to take,
And there in that room sat the priests in a bunch,
Round a big roaring fire drinking tumblers of punch.

Well from that day to this I have wondered alone,
I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none,
With the sky for me roof and the earth for me floor,
And I’ll dance out my life drinking whiskey galore.

Good song!

Re: The Limerick Rake

The melody for this song is connected to other lyrics and was posted before ;

(e.g. Co Waterford song in Irish; Between the hills…)

Re: The Limerick Rake

Cool, time tested and often used tune. Ewan McColl’s "Champ at Keeping ‘Em Rollin" is one modern use. The first setting would be more simply presented in two sharps. The tune is in the E Dorian scale: E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D, E, the same notes as in a D Major scale. The notation correct for where notes are placed but the two sharp signature eliminates need of an accidental to indicate C#.

Posted by .