We read the English papers, and it seemed to us, bedad
That all thye boys in England had been taken walking mad
So we thought we'd show the Englishmen how Irishmen could walk
And we organised a walking match from Ballyslush to Cork
We couldn't walk for nothing so we thought we'd advertise
To see if anybody would present us with a prize
But nobody responded, so we charged an entrance fee
We all gave what we could, and if we couldn't we were free.

Refrain: I gave them a threep'ny bit and Micky gave them a bob
Because he had a child at home with a money box to rob
Barney and Pat gave nine-pence each,
But Shaughnessy gave the most
And the prize was a gallon of whiskey neat
To be drunk at the finishing post.

Then Shaughnessy came along - an interfering chap
And said that everybody ought to have a handicap
He thought it would be a very interesting match
If he had half an hour of start, and we were all at scratch
But Barney said, the older that you were, you got the more
And he would take a good half day, for he was sixty-four
We had a nasty argument about it then and there
But, in the end, we settled it and got it fair and square.

Refrain: I started first of all because of the corns I had
Barney started in front of me, because of his leg that's bad
Micky started in front of both because of his feet that sore
But Shaughnessy wanted to be in time,
So he started the night before.

Then, first of all, the judges to the winning-post were sent
And, with the prize they waited there the winner to present
We all of us got ready - quite prepared to do or die
And to our wives and families we bid a last good-bye
The starter cried, 'Now for it, boys, - Get Ready, one-two-go.'
And while we were in sight of him, we walked it heel and toe
But, when we'd walked a mile or two, and left the public gaze
We thought we'd do the rest of it in other kinds of ways.

Refrain: I went in an omnibus, Micky went by car
Barney took the railway train, because it was so far
Shaughnessy went on a bicycle, and had a nasty fall
And the funniest thing about the walk was,
That nobody walked at all.

Then, when I got within about a mile or so of Cork
I got out of the omnibus and started on the walk
The people came to meet me, and they naturally cheered
'Hurrah, here comes the winner, boys,' as soon as I appeared
The other ones were not in sight, and so, of course, I knew
That I was number one, whoever else was number two
And everybody shouted, as I reached the winning post
But, as I'd won the prize, I was the one that shouted most.

Refrain: I came in a half past four, Micky got in at five
Pat and Barney missed the train, and so they didn't arrive
Shaughnessy fractured his ankle-bone, in hospital he lies
And I found when I got to the winning post
That the judges had swallowed the prize.

Written and composed by Wood & Ernest Hastings - 1903
Performed by Ernest Hastings
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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