The rangey ribs, song

Maoliosa Doherty, singing in English
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Patrick Crowley is my name I am not unknown to fame
By the many voyages and adventures that I’ve made
In that land of craft and famed that unwary path I’ve trod
That deed uncommonly called the cattle trade
Of Herfords and Ayrshires that grace my humble byre
I’ve had them red and white and black and blue
But there’s none sticks in my mind or leaves me so far behind
As the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Of his failings to begin he was rangey ribbed and thin
He was ring-boned and wrecked with the hoose
He was flucked and timber-tongued and he shivered when he dunged
To masticate his grinders did refuse
He had T.B. for a fact pig-mouthed and humpy backed
The warble fly had paid a visit too
Had there been a sale for lice I’d have doubled on the price
Of the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh

His hair was patched and dry he had ringworm round the eye
And his kidneys did fail him as sorely he did try
I still can see the rings of excruciating strings
Where the garlic to his tail was often tied
He had neither length nor breath walked more by skill and strength
And his hurdy bones the skin had broken through
Dissipated and forlorn there was just but a single horn
On the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Mick was anxious for the sale so he hurried on the deal
And to me it was obvious from the start
As he sang his praise to me and outlined his pedigree
From Rangey Ribs he was inclined to part
He’s a calf by Hulton’s Bull he’s the kind you want to kill
And his mother won the cup at Killaloo
I sure would give a pile if I possessed the style
Or could muster half the gab of Mickey Dubh.

He’s a thoroughbred says Mick as he poked him with a stick
You can recognise the lines on which he’s made
He’s the kind that’s easy beefed and I’ll miss him to my grief
If you feed him well to spring he ought to graze
So the bargain was struck and Mick handed out the luck
To the Rangey Ribs he bade a fond adieu
Then I brought my stick to play and I headed for the brae
With the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Well I nursed him for a year and it was soon becoming clear
Condition to his ribs would never cling
The conclusion I came to that the only thing to do
Was to enter him and try him in the ring
So I groomed him up and down and when the Monday came around
I was up before the sun had dried the dew
I greased and oiled my hair headed to Carndonagh fair
With the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

I remember well the day that I went up Malin Brae
Outside the Sportsman Inn he let a roar
And he stopped right in his track and he arched his humpy back
As if to say I’ve anchored here before
There he stopped me in the street in the blinding rain and sleet
The interest and the offers they were few
And though they looked him up and down yet they never bid a crown
On the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

He was grazed from Derryart from the snow-capped cold Glenard
From the fertile fields of Feeney to the Pass
From clover clad Finncairn to the meadows of Drumsurn
So he must have been a specialist in grass
At the Leg of Allen Pot The Specials nearly shot
And battle-scarred he ranged through Derry too
And Larry Quigley said he often scared his waens to bed
With the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Though he lent but little grace or distinction to the place
He was useful times as Madge would often say
For on that heap of bones and thrash we would hang the weekly wash
Since the uprights on the line had gone astray
And it was a common sight to see the green and white
Of shifts and shirts and often bloomers too
And when Auntie Jane had passed we flew them at half-mast
From the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

But a tear comes to my eyes when I think of his demise
And the circumstances after which he died
I got him housed at last from November’s icy blast
And had him in the byre strongly tied
I was doing my last rounds before Madge and I lay down
As any careful man would always do
When I found him cold as clay choked by Ramsey’s mustard hay
The Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Now when Madge she heard the news she trembled in her shoes
And I wondered if her heart would stand the blow
We neither ate nor slept but an all night vigil kept
And we waked him till the cocks began to crow
At the first grey light of dawn I pulled my waders on
And thinking it the proper thing to do
With what light the candle gave I washed and soaped and shaved
The Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.

Well we buried him next day where the sunlight strikes the braw
The neighbours came from miles and miles around
To pay their last respects for you never know who’s next
And helped commit his carcass to the ground
There with willing pick and spade his last resting place was made
His body was gently lowered from the brae
Even more to be at rest Ramsey’s hay had proved the test
For the Rangey Ribs I bought from Mickey Dubh.