[From William Cashen's Folk-Lore, 1912]



* For music see " Manx Ballads & Music "


Lhig eh bullad veih yn sheear,
As woaill eh Juan y jaggad keear ;
Ren eh howlley gollrish creear ;
As Juan y Quirk va keayney. (3 times)
Ren eh howlley gollrish creear ;
As Juan y Quirk va keayney.


He sent a bullet from the west,
And it struck Juan of the grey jacket ;
Like a sieve it bored him through;
And Juan Quirk was mourning. (3 times)
Like a sieve it bored him through;
And Juan Quirk was mourning.


Hi, Haw, Hum;
Ta my ven olk rhym.
Baillym dy beagh ee creckit,
As yn feeagh eck aym ayns lune;
Son woaill ee orrym riyr,
As woaill ee orrym jiu,
As va shen yn builley boght.
Hi, Haw, Hum.


Hi, Haw, Hum;
My wife is bad to me.
I would that she were sold,
And I had her value in ale;
For she struck me yesterday,
And she struck me to-day,
And that was a poor blow.
Hi, Haw, Hum.


Snieu, wheeyl, snieu ;
Dy chooilley vangan er y villey
Snieu er-my-skyn.
Lesh y ree yn ollan,
As lesh mee-hene y snaih ;
Son shenn Trit-Trot cha vou ish dy braa.


Spin, wheel, spin;
May every branch on the tree
Spin overhead.
The wool is the king's,
The thread is my own;
For old Trit-Trot thou wilt never find her.


Ny mraane Kilkenny hie ad dy Ghoolish,
Hie ad dy Ghoolish lesh y vainney-geyre;
Agh cre-erbee aggle haink er y chabbyl,
Va jeeyl mooar jeant er y vainney-geyre.

Ren ny mucyn chaglym as ren ad scryssey,
Mygeayrt y dubbey ren ad chloie Tig ;
Cha jinnagh 'nane iu jeh yn vainney,
Agh daa vuc starvit lesh Kinleigh beg.


The Kilkenny women went to Douglas,
They went to Douglas with the butter-milk;
But what e'er the fear that came on the horse,
There was great waste of the butter-milk.

The pigs they gathered there and scratched about,
All around the pool they played at Tig ;
But none of them would drink of the milk,
Except two starved pigs of Kinley beg's.


My vannagh er shiu paitchyn veggey,
Honnick shiu daunsin jiu;
Trooid uss er my ghlioon Kirry,
As veryms daunsin diu.

Shooyl uss veyms, Kirry veg,
As ghauns er mooin y laare
As trooid uss hyms, Jenny veg,
Oo-hene y lhiannoo share.


My blessing on you, little children,
I saw you dance to-day;
Come on my knee, little Kitty,
And I'll give you a dance.

Walk out from me, little Kitty,
And dance upon the floor;
Come to me, little jenny,
Thou art the better child.


Va couple beaghey ayns skeayll Andrase,
V'ad ceau nyn draa ayns corree,
Va yn ennym echeysyn "Tayrn dy Rea,"
As v'ee ish " Mary Willy."

Cha row ec y '` Tayrn" braag ny carrane,
Dy chur er baare y coshey ;
Tra ve cheet thie dys Mary vie;
Va eh yeealley ee myr moddey.

Va "Tayrn" ny lhie 'sy lhiabbee dhunt,
As Mary ayns y cuillee ;
Robin y Christeen shooyl mygeayrt,
Booishal dy gheddyn maree.

Hie ben y ''Tayrn" dys y vargey-beg,
Er y chied laa jeh'n tourey ;
Raad chionnee shenn laair, as v'ee geddyn daill,
Dys Laa Andrase 'sy geurey.

V'ee tayrn dy rea as bliass-y-ve,
Derrey v'ee er ny villey;
V'ee fit dy violaght ben erbee,
Tra heeagh ee yn chied shilley.

V'ee cretoor boght, v'ee cretoor annoon,
V'ee cretoor meen as imlee ;
Ghow Mary ee dys vargey Calmane,
Agh fail ee ec Cronk Sharree.

V'ee gleck dy piantagh noi dagh brow,
Cheet niar er slyst ny marrey ;
Dy chooilley peiagh v'ad meeteil
Gra, nagh yinnagh ad phurt ny valley.

Moghrey Laa Andrase va "Tayrn" troiddey
Mysh argid y shenn laairey,
Gra, ',Row nearey ort dy chionnagh lheid
Y trustyr breinn as donney."


A couple lived in Andreas Parish,
They spent their time in anger,
The nickname he had was "Draw smoothly,"
And she was -Mary Willy."

"Draw" had not either shoe or carrane
His foot's top to put upon;
When he came home to good Mary,
Like a dog he her chastised.

In the folded bed "Draw" was lying,
And Mary in the bedroom;
Robin Christian was walking about,
Desiring to get with her.

"Draw's" wife unto the fair did go
On the first day of the summer ;
Where she bought an old mare, getting credit,
Till Andrew's day in winter.

She drew as smoothly as could be,
Until she had been spoiled;
She was fit to tempt any woman,
When she saw her the first time.

She was a poor and feeble creature,
A creature meek and humble ;
Mary took her to Columb's fair,
But she failed at Cronk Sharree.

Painfully she struggled 'gainst each hill,
Coming east on the sea coast;
Every person they encountered said
That they'd not make port or home.

Andrew's day morn "Draw" was scolding
'Bout the price of the old mare,
Saying "Art not ashamed to buy
Such a foul, foolish creature."


My sallliu geaistagh
Gys my arrane,
Singyms diu dy meeley ; Va mraane y Jiass,
Bunnys roit ass,
As cha der ad bee da ny deiney.

Moghrey Jyluain,
V'ad cheet veih yn thie,
My saillish daue cheet voish Ronnag,
As wheesh my ghoarn
jeh arran oarn,
Ayns derrey corneil jeh'n wallad.

Moghrey Jymart,
Tra va'd ayns phurt,
Dy vroie un warp jeh skeddan
Va Madge boght role
Choud's va'n phot cloie,
As chionnee feeagh ping dy arran.

T'eh feer drogh chliaght
Ta ec °'weedyn" y Jiass Barrail yn cosney 'n season;
Ny feedjyn jeh
Ta adsyn coyrt Son turnipyn as cakyn.

Ny keayrtyn yoghe shiu voue
Jyst veg phraase,
Keayrtyn elley peesh dy hoddag ;
Agh ny s'mennick foddey
Yiow shiu eh vcue,
Lesh maidjey'n phot 'sy vollag.

Yn blein shoh cheet,
My vees eh chirrym as fit,
Un peesh ayns nyn phoggad ;
Bee'n wallad liauyr Ocysn nyn gour
Dy chur lesh thie ny aanyn gobbag.

Ec yn Oie'1 Vaayl,
Bee ad cheet dys Pheel,
Gra "Vel baatyn eu dy hoiagh ;"
As my ver shiu
Ny baatyn daue,
Cha yiow shiu ping son juys ny darragh


If you will listen
Unto my song,
Softly I'll sing to you
The Southern wives,
They were run out
And would give no meat to the men.

On Monday morning,
They were leaving home,
Should it please them to come from Ronnag,
My fistful of Barley bread
In each corner of the wallet.

On Tuesday morning,
When they were in port,
To boil one warp of herring;
A poor Madge ran,
While the pot boiled,
And bought a pennyworth of bread.

'Tis a bad custom
Of the Southern "Weeds"
To spend the season's profits ;
The scores of it
They were giving
For turnips and for cakes.

Sometimes you'd get from them
A small dish of praties,
At others a piece of bannock ;
But far oftener
You'll get it from them
With the pot-stick upon the head.

This coming year,
If 'tis dry and fit,
There'll be one piece in their pocket;
There'll be the long
Wallet for them
To bring home the gobbags' livers.

On Michael's Feast Eve,
They will come to Peel,
Saying " have you boats to hire out ? "
And if you give
The boats to them,
You'll not get paid for fir or oak.


Ta mish eirey Cronk-yn-Ollee Beg,
She shoh t'ad ooilley gra;
As ver Bella lane yn caart don,
Dy chooilley traa t'ayms paa.


I am the heir of little Cattle Hill,
That is what they all say ;
And Bella will fill the quart for me,
Whenever I am thirsty.



O ! my ghuillyn vie,
Ta shin nish ec y thie,
Cha jig mayd dys yn 'aarkey ny sodjey ;
Cha jean mayd jarrood
Yn sterrym haink shin trooid,
Ec aker ayns y vaie Purt-le-Moirrey.

Dooyrt Neddy Horn Ruy,
"T'eh sheidey feer creoi,
As dy baare doom ny caableyn y yiarey."
"Cha jean," dooyrt Chalse Beg,
"Bee mayd stiagh er y chreg,
As caillit ayns tonnyn ny marrey."

Yn "Good Intent"
Va baatey vie jeant,
Vie plankit voish toshiaght dys jerrey. She sheshaght feer voal
Va er y "Midsummer Doal,"
Agh Neddy Hom Peg va yn fer s'messey.


Oh! my good boys,
Now that we are at home,
We'll not go to the sea any longer ;
We will not forget
The storm we went through,
Anchored in the bay of Port St. Mary.

Said Neddy Tom the Red
"'Tis blowing very hard,
And 'tis better to cut the two cables." "
Don't," said Little Charles,
"We'll be in on the rock,
And lost in the waves of the ocean."

The -Good Intent"
Was a well-built boat,
From the stem to the stern well planked.
A very poor crew
Had the " Blind Midsummer,"
But Neddy Tom Peg was the worst of them.


Trooid marym, trooid marym nish,
Trooid marym, graih my chree,
As inshyms dhyt cre haink orrym,
Er bankyn yn Italee.

Ta'n lhong ayms nish lhie ayns y phu't,
Lughtit lesh airh ta buigh,
Shen ooilley neem's bestozoal ort
Trooid marym, graih my chree.

Neem's coamrey oo lesh sheeidey bwaagh,
Sheeidey bwaagh foddee eh ve,
My hig uss marym, graih my chree,
Dys bankyn yn Italee.

As braagyn berchagh veryms dhyts,
Braagyn jeh airh ta buigh,
My hig uss marym, graih my chree,
Dys bankyn yn Italee.

Myr v'ee ny-hoie sheese er y deck,
Geaishtagh rish yn chiaulleeaght v'ayn,
Huitt ee er cheayney as dobberan
Er son y lhlannoo Juan.

" My lhiannoo Juan t'eh faagit noght,
Gyn ayr ny moir erbee ;
T'eh faagit noght gyn kemmyrk, boght,
Faagit fo myghin Jee."

" O sole uss rish my lhiattee nish,
Sole liorym, graih my chree,
As inshyms dhyts c'e hig orrin
Er bankyn yn Italee."


Come with me, come with me now,
Come with me, graih my chree,'
And I'll tell thee what came on me,
On the banks of Italy.

My ship now lies within the port,
Loaded with yellow gold,
All this I will bestow on thee ;
Come with me, graih my chree.1

I will clothe thee with beauteous silk,
Silk beauteous as can be,
If thou'lt come with me, graih my chree,
To the banks of Italy.

And costly shoes I'll give to thee,
Shoes made of yellow gold,
If thou'lt come with me, graih my chree,
To the banks of Italy.

As she was sitting on the deck,
List'ning to their melody,
She was weeping and lamenting
For the infant Juan.

"My infant Juan is left to-night,
Without father or mother ;
He's left to-night helpless, poor thing,
Left under God's mercy."

"O sit thee now close by my side,
Sit with me, graih my chree,
And I'll tell thee what came on us,
On the banks of Italy."

1 Love of my heart.


Ny smoo vees er y tailley, ny strimmey vees yn eeck.
The more on the tally, the heavier the payment; that is, the worse the crime the heavier the punishment.

Veryms y banjagh dhyt.
I will give thee the fallow or commonland ; this is said when a worthless ne'er-do-well is in the house:-
" If thy behaviour is not better,
I'll,make thee go out to do for thyself." All young cattle, when able to do for themselves, were sent to the common or fallowland to pick up for themselves : - " Thou wilt have to root for thyself."

Astan er e amman, Yernagh er e ockle.
An eel by his tail, as an Irishman by his word ; slippery, very.

Baase mraane as bishagey kirree.
Death of women and increase of sheep : a farmer who could marry two or three wives, each one having a fortune, and his sheep multiplying, would be supposed to do well.

Cre'n aght oddys sack follym shassoo.
An empty sack cannot stand.

Eshyn to litcheragh ayns yn arragh, t'eh mooaragh ayns yn ouyr.
He who is lazy in spring begrudges in harvest.

Neear as neear-ass, dy vishagey yn eeast-glass.
West and Sou'-West to increase the grey-fish or herring: alluding to the wind wished for at Christmas by fishermen.

Chiu yn chenn vroit.
Warming the old broth: this is said when two sweethearts who have quarrelled make it up.

Stroie yn fodder er yn grunt.
Spend the fodder on the ground : that is, spend what you have where you live; do not save for others.

Cha lane as mollag.
As full as a mollag: this is said of one who is as full of ale as a mollag (sheepskin buoy) is full of wind.

T'eh er gheddyn famman scryss.
He has got his tail or end net pared off : this is a fisherman's saying which means that so-and-so has met with loss or disappointment.

Ta'n arroo 'syn uhllin as ooilley dy-kiart,
Cha nel oo enn ayn yn furriman shaghey yn gart.
The corn is in the haggard and all made right,
You will not know which reaper was first or last.

Gow magh dy lhome as trooid thie dy mollagh,
Lesh yn eayn-bwoirrin as yn coamrey sonney ;
My heeys oo moddey croym dty chione,
My heeys oo maarliagh roie er-e-hon.

Go out bare and come home rough,
With the she-lamb and the plentiful covering;
If you see a dog stoop your head,
If you see a thief run for it.

This was a charm said at sheep shearing.

Innyd dyn eayst ayn-Innyd doo-cheeiragh,
Oie feailley noght as laa obbyr mairagh.
An Easter without a moon-an Easter very dark,,
A holiday night and work day morrow.

Clagh ny killagh ayns corneil dty hie.
The stone of the church in the corner of thy house. This is said to be the bitterest curse in our language. The houses usually contained one room, a corner was partitioned off by a choolley of straw, and in this the sick were kept. If a sick person was dying, the priest gave him the last sacrament : the vessels used were placed on the altar, or church-stone, - a flat stone marked with a cross which he brought with him. So when a person said "Clagh ny killagh ayns corneil dty hie," he wished that the priest might soon be in your house to administer extreme unction.

Ooir ny three cagleeyn.
Earth of three boundaries ; that is, earth from a spot where three proprietors' lands meet, was sprinkled on a person afflicted with the evil eye. It was considered one of the best of remedies. The earth from cross-four-ways or from any spot where numbers of people were passing was also considered very good. I saw a spot at Dalby where three boundaries meet, where so much earth had been taken out that a small pit had been made.

No person could practice the Black Art or any necromancy on any person who had in his possession a four-leaf clover.


Guess c'red tort as ny ennee oo ort, cha nee crane nyn grauayn, ny renaig nyn olt.
Ennym dooinney.
Guess what is upon thee, and thou dost not feel it on thee, it isn't thy bones, it isn't thy hair, and it isn't thy locks.
The man's name.

Kione ny bio ayns beeal ny varroo,
Three cassyn erskyn ny kione,
As daa chass dys y thalloo.
Dooinney lesh phot er e gione.
The head of the living in the mouth of the dead,
Three feet overhead,
And two feet on the ground.
Man with (three-legged) pot on his head.

Kiare roie, kiare ny hoie,
Jees yeeaghyn,jees geaishtagh,
fees yeealley yn moddey
As yn moddey geamey.
Four running, four sitting,
Two looking, two listening,
Two striking the dog
And the dog crying.
A cow.

Myr yeeagh mee harrish boalley chashtal my ayrey honnick mee yn marroo curlesh ny bioee ersooyl. Lhong. As I looked over my father's castle wall I saw the dead carrying the living away.
A ship.

Va boght doal dy row va shooyl ny dhieyn, as va braar ec yn boght shoh as hie eh dys yn cheayn as v'eh baiht. Cha row braar ec yn braar shen. Cre mooinjerey va'n boght va shooyl ny dhieyn da'n dooinney baiht ?
There was a blind beggar who walked the houses, and this beggar had a brother who went to sea and was drowned. That brother had not a brother. What relation was the beggar who was walking the houses to the man who was drowned ?
A sister.

Quoid duirn as uiljyn ta er mummig dty mummig, ben dty shan'er, as dty warree ?
Cha row urree agh daa uillin as daa ghoarn.

How many fists and elbows have your mother's mother, your grandfather's wife, and your grand-mother ?
Two elbows and two fists.




Back index

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2002