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THE IRISH FIRE BRIGADE
by
Jay Hickory Wood

'Twas a stormy winter evenin' at the back-end of the year,
We was sittin' at the station, smokin' pipes and drinkin' beer,
When a telephonic message came along the private wire
"That the Fire Brigade was wanted, for the village was on fire."
So we begged a box of matches, and the engine fires we lit,
And we had a glass of whiskey when the water boiled a bit.
We borrowed Mickey's ould blind horse, that didn't shy at light,
And, well within three hours, we'd started out the flames to fight.
Now, Mickey's was an ouldish horse, and, sure, he'd quite forgot
The way a horse should gallop, and he'd nivver larnt to trot ;
He had a funny gait wid him, an action all his own
'Twas somethin' betune walkin' slow, and lavin' it alone.
That's how he wint on level ground but, when he had to climb,
Ov course, we all got out to help the craythur ivery time ;
We used to tie him on behind when goin' down a hill
For fear we overtook him. He was best at standin' still.
That's why, at fires, we always sent a lad in front to say
They might expect us any time, for we was on the way.
We hadn't gone so, far, before we shouted out, "Bedad!
It's Mrs. Dooley's shanty, and the chimney's smokin' bad."
And, Mrs. Dooley, dacent soul, was standin' at the door
We swore we'd save the woman's life, if we could do no more.
We didn't go inside, for fear the smoke would make us cough,
But we pumped on Mrs. Dooley till we'd pumped the water off,
Then Mrs. Dooley disappeared. She hasn't since been found,
And some there are who'll tell you they belave that she was drowned,
But we played upon her shanty till we'd washed it clane away,
And, where the pigsty used to be, there stands a lake this day.
We called on Pat O'Rafferty, and found the boy in bed,
So we woke him up and tould him he was just as good as dead,
And he climbed out of the windy, though he hadn't much to wear,
And then shinned down the water-spout, while we came down the stair.
By this, the population was awake, and shoutin' mad,
And throwin' out of windies ivery blessed thing they had.
'Twas risky work for us below, but, with undaunted heart,
We picked 'em up, and hid 'em safe insoide the salvage-cart.
There were people sittin' on the roofs of ivery house in town,
And so we threw up ropes to them, and then we pulled 'em down.
We dived into their cellars... we were boys that knew no fear
And we saved ten jars of whiskey and a cask of bitter beer.
Then, when we reached the lawyer's house, he asked us for a match
Bekase he was insured, and was afraid it mightn't catch,
But he wouldn't stand us anythin', and so we hung about
Until he'd got it well alight, and then we blew it out.
Then we tried the " Pig and Whistle," though it hadn't got alight,
But we went inside the tap-room, to be there in case it might.
They said there was no danger, but we thought, at any rate,
As precautionary measure, we would play upon the slate.
So, when we'd washed the slate quite clean, and wiped off all the score,
We spent the night in drinkin' there and runnin' up some more.
And, when the score we're runnin' now has got a little higher,
We'll bring the engine round again, and have another fire.
 
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