Sunday 18 March 2018

The ballad of Leo Carthy

THE LATE Leo Carthy may have been renowned as a great writer of ballads of recitations, but another great Wexford writer, Tom Williams, penned one about Leo himself after the long-serving councillor enjoyed a meeting with the King of Spain: As I walked out one evening in Wexford, A great group of people I spied, They were listening to music and singing, And I stopped for a while by their side.

Then I heard the most beautiful jigging, So tuneful, uplifting, and true, And I stopped and I said, with a shake of my head, 'I don't know that man, do you?' CHORUS 'Do you mean you don't know Leo Carthy? Are you deaf? Can you read? Are you blind? From the streets of Baghdad to the Cross of the Shad, That fellow from Broadway you'll find. On the great sod or at the Eistedfodd, In Brussles or even Bahrain, Or in Terremolinos, a-knocking back vinos, With his friend, the King of Spain.' I spent a long weekend in London, And I went to the great Albert Hall, The mummers from Carne were performing, Their leader enraptured us all. The Queen, she then said to her escort, 'To meet him, good money I'll pay, And I'll give up my lands, if they'll let me shake hands, With the councillor from Broadway.' He's well known for camogie and handball, He's organised threshings galore, For orations and good recitations, Steam rallies, and songs by the score. And when Captains and Kings are forgotten, They'll remember for many a day, In cities and towns, the man from Airdownes, The councillor from Broadway.'

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