Lannigan's Ball


In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan
Betted away 'til he hadn't a shilling.
His father died and made him a man again
Left him a farm and ten acres of ground.
Myself to be sure got invitations,
For all the girls and boys I might ask,
Even your lost friends and relations
Danced like bees around a sweet cask.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

There was lashings of drink, wine for the ladies,
Potatoes and cakes, there was bacon and tea.
Nolans, Dolans, all the O'Gradys
Courting the girls and dancing away.
Well the songs went 'round as plenty as water,
"The harp that once sounded through Tara's old hall,"
"Sweet Nelly Gray" and "The Rat Catcher's Daughter"
All singing together at Lanigan's Ball.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

They were doing all kinds of nonsensical dances
All around in a whirligig.
Julia and I soon banished their nonsense
Out on the floor for a reel and a jig.
All the girls, the girls got all mad at me
For they thought the ceiling would fall.
I spent six months at Brooks' Academy
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

Boys were all merry, the girls they were hearty
Dancing around in their couples and groups,
An accident happened, young Terrance McCarthy
He put his foot in Miss Carmody hoops.
She fell down on the furniture, cried holy murder
Called for her brothers and gathered them all.
Carmody swore that he'd go no further
'Til he had revenge at Lanigan's Ball.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

In the midst of the row miss Kerrigan fainted,
Although her cheeks were as red as a rose.
All the boys they said she was painted
Too thick and the smoke was too much, I suppose.
Her boyfriend, Ned Morgan, so powerful and able,
When he saw his girl stretched out by the wall,
Tore the left leg from under the table
And battered around at Lanigan's Ball.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

Boys, oh boys, 'twas then there were runctions.
I got a kick from Phelim McHugh.
I replied to his introduction
And kicked up a terrible hullabaloo.
Maloney, the piper, was near being strangled.
They squeezed up his pipes, bellows, chanters and all.
Pints and pipes all got all entangled
And that put an end to Lanigan's Ball.

Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Six long months doing nothing at all.
Six long months I spent on Dublin,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
She stepped out and I stepped in again,
I stepped out and she stepped in again,
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball.

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