Saturday, June 23, 2012

Barney and Katie

by Desmond Ryan and F. N. Crouch
Thanks to the rummest of chums, Sharla, for introducing me to this one. I find it adorable, though by singing it I do not mean to imply that I approve of the main characters' behavior. Shocking, simply shocking. 

'Twas a cold winter night and the tempest was snarling
The snow like a sheet covered cabin and sty
When Barney flew over the hills to his darling
And tapped at her window where Katie did lie

"Arrah, jewel," said he, "are ye sleeping or waking?
The night's bitter cold and my coat it is thin;
The storm is a-brewing, the frost is a-baking,
Katie, mo mhuirnin, you must let me in."

"Barney," said she, and she spoke at the window,
"How can ye be taking me out of my bed?
To come at this time is a sin and a shame, sir,
It's whiskey, not love, that's got into your head."

"If your heart it was pure of my fame you'd be tender,
Consider the time, and there's nobody in;
What has a poor girl but her name to defend her?
No, Barney, mo mhuirnin, I won't let you in."

"A chuisle," said he, "it's my eye is a fountain
That weeps for the wrong I might lay at your door!
Your name is as white as the snow on the mountain;
Barney would die to preserve it as pure!"

"I'll go to my home though the winter winds face me
I'll whistle them off, for I'm happy within;
The words of my Katie will comfort and bless me:
'No, Barney, mo mhuirnin, I won't let you in.'"

*Alternate titles: "Barney and Katty", "Barney and Katy", "Katty Avourneen", "Katy Avourneen", "Katie Avourneen", or "When Barney Flew Over the Hills".

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