all lyrics (c) Emerald Rose 1998-2004 except where noted

Red Haired Mary

This is an old Irish ballad about the trials of love in a strange town. We interpret this in a rather upbeat, pop style...after all, it's a pretty active day for our hero.

As I was going to the fair in Dingle
One fine morning last July,
On the road I saw before me
A red-haired maiden passing by.
"Come ride with me, my red-haired maiden.
My donkey can carry two."
She looked at me, her eyes a-twinkling
And her cheeks a rosy hue.
Keep your hands off red-haired Mary
Her and I will soon be wed
We'll see the priest this very morning
Tonight we'll lie in a marriage bed.

When we reached the town of Dingle
I took her hand to say good-bye
A tinker, he walked up beside me
And punched me hard in my left eye.
I was feeling kind of peevish
And my left eye was sad and sore
I tapped him gently with my hobnail,
And he flew back to Murphy's door


He ran off to find his brothers
Larger men I ne'er did see
They rapped me gently with their knuckles
And I was minus two front teeth
And then a peeler* came round the corner
He said, "Son you done broke the law."
When my donkey kicked him in the kneecaps
He fell down and broke his jaw.


The red-haired maiden just stood there smiling
"I'll come with you, young man," she said.
"We'll skip the priest this very morning,
Tonight we'll lie in Murphy's shed!"


* "Peeler", a term for British "town militia" stationed
in Ireland in the early 1900's.

Arthur Hinds--vocals, guitar
Brian "Logan" Sullivan--vocals, guitar
Larry Morris--congas, vocals
Clyde Gilbert--vocals, bass
back to lyrics
back to emeraldrose.com mainpage