The Ghost of Mountkelly

‘Twas the night before Christmas, I walked into town
Straight into Jack Garveys I sat myself down.
With the heat to my back and a pint in my hand
We talked of old times and the comfort was grand.

There was Anthony Egan and his neighbour Jack Dowd
And Oliver Fahy completed the crowd
In came John Concannon to add to the fold
And for two solid hours the stories were told.

They told of the days they remembered so well
When Brady was Chemist – and Doctor as well
And if you had an animal sick on your farm
What Brady prescribed wouldn’t do her no harm.

To the famous old Workhouse the stories returned.
“What a great place it must be, before it was burned”
A home for the wayward, the poor, the deprived
‘Twas once a fine building that should have survived.

And ‘twas many a tramp who departed this life
Leaving no one behind, – not a child or a wife
To grieve and to pray that salvation he found.
(They were buried behind in a small plot of ground).

They said that at midnight when walking alone
And passing the Workhouse you’d hear a sad moan
Of some restless soul who has buried in there
And who couldn’t get by for the want of a prayer.

Well, I emptied my glass of the last drop of beer
For the tales they related had filled me with fear
I started for home but approaching the bend
The hair on my head it stood up on its end.

For over my head when the graveyard I passed
Was the devil himself, come to take me at last
Full twenty foot tall with big horns that looked strange
Not since I was in nappies did I need a change.

I must have collapsed for I fell to the ground
And after an hour or so I came around.
The neighbours had found me, they thought ‘twas the beer
And I couldn’t tell them the cause of my fear.

The lights of the car they shone over the wall
And there was my “Devil” still noble and tall.
Did I feel ashamed? – Oh I must have been full

Source: Glan to Glan 1979