Juice of the Barley

This is a song that was first introduced to me by my Austin Irish teacher, Rollin MacRae.  His enthusiasm for Irish language and culture is unmatched, and adore him for it.  This is a great story pub type song.  We recorded it with everyone freely singing the chorus how they might at a pub.

In the sweet county Lim'rick, one cold winter's night

All the turf fires were burning when I first saw the light;

And a drunken old midwife went tipsy with joy 

As she danced 'round the floor with her slip of a boy,

   Singing bainne na mbó ar na gamhna and the juice of the barley for me.

             (milk of the cow is for calves) 

Then when I was a young lad of six years or so,

with me book and me pencil to school I did go,

To a dirty old school house without any door

Where the schoolmaster lay blind and drunk on the floor,


At the learning I wasn't such a genius I'm thinking,

But I soon best the master entirely at drinking.

Not a wake or a wedding for five miles around

But meself in the corner was sure to be found,

Then one Sunday the priest called me out from the altar,

Saying you'll end your days with your neck in a halter,

And you'll dance a fine jig betwixt heaven and hell.

Well, his words they did haunt me, the truth for to tell,

So, the very next morn as the dawn it did break,

I went down to the priest house the vows for to take, 

And there in a room sat the priests in a bunch

'Round a big roaring fire drinking tumblers of punch,

Well from that day to this I have travelled 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 days drinking whiskey galore,

Please email Abby at info@abbygreen.com.