Finnegan's Wake

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Finnegan's Wake
by Unknown
An Irish street ballad thought to have been written in the 1850s. It is the basis of James Joyce's novel Finnegans Wake.
Tune for Finnegan's Wake (help | file info or download)

An alternate choice for Thanam o'n Dhoul (Irish d'anam don Diabhal, "your soul to the devil") is Thunderin' Jaysus. Note that there are variants of many of the names and terms in the song.


Tim Finnegan lived in Watling Street
A gentleman Irish, mighty odd;
He'd a beautiful brogue so rich and sweet
And to rise in the world he carried a hod.
Now Tim had a sort o' the tipplin' way
With a love of the liquor poor Tim was born
And to help him on with his work each day
He'd a drop of the craythur ev'ry morn.


Chorus

Whack fol the dah now dance to your partner
Welt the flure, your trotters shake;
Wasn't it the truth I told you
Lots of fun at Finnegan's wake!


One mornin' Tim was rather full
His head felt heavy which made him shake,
He fell from the ladder and broke his skull
And they carried him home his corpse to wake.
They wrapped him up in a nice clean sheet
And laid him out across the bed,
With a gallon of whiskey at his feet
And a barrel of porter at his head.


His friends assembled at the wake
And Mrs. Finnegan called for lunch,
First they brought in tea and cake
Then pipes, tobacco and whiskey punch.
Biddy O'Brien began to cry
"Such a nice clean corpse, did you ever see?
"Arrah, Tim, mavourneen, why did you die?"
"Ah, shut your gob" said Paddy McGee!


Then Maggy O'Connor took up the job
"O Biddy," says she, "You're wrong, I'm sure":
Biddy gave her a belt in the gob
And left her sprawlin' on the floor.
And then the war did soon engage
'Twas woman to woman and man to man,
Shillelagh law was all the rage
And the row and the ruction soon began.


Then Mickey Maloney ducked his head
When a flagon of whiskey flew at him,
It missed, and fallin' on the bed
The liquor scattered over Tim.
Tim revives! See how he rises!
Timothy rising from the bed
Sayin': "Whirl your liquor around like blazes!
Thanam o'n Dhoul! D'ye think I'm dead?"
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.