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Farmer Michael Hayes

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Farmer Michael Hayes

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Farmer Michael Hayes

I am a bold undaunted fox that never was before on tramp
My rent, rate and taxes I was willing for to pay
I made my name in fine good land
Between Tipperary and Ochlong
Where my forefathers lived and died
A thousand years or so

But then of late I was betrayed
By one who was a fool I know,
He told me I should leave the place
And show me face no more
And soon as he evicted me,
I thought it time that I should flee
So late one night I took his life and left him laying low.

But by telegraph they did insert a great reward for my arrest
My figure, size and form, my name without mistake,
They broke their brogues, one thousand pairs,
This great reward for to obtain,
But still their search was all in vain,
For Farmer Michael Hayes.

They searched Tipperary o'er and o'er
The corn fields near Baltimore,
They went across to Wexford then,
But they'd not long delay,
By Ballyhill and Stridmore Strand
They searched the woods as they came on.
Till they were hungry, wet and cold,
At the approach of day.

Then round the coast they made a steer
From Pulbeg lighthouse to Cape Clear,
Kilarney town and the sweet Tralee,
They then crossed into Clare,
And when they landed on the shore,
They searched Kilrush from tip to toe,
They searched the baths near sweet Lisdoon,
Likewise Miltown Malbay.

And Galway being a place of fame,
They thought twas there I might remain,
But still their search was all in vain,
For I gave them all legbail,
They searched the train at Oranmore,
As she was starting for Drumore,
And every carriage, car and coach
They met upon the road.

And Connemara being remote,
They thought that there I might resort,
When they were getting weary, they resolved to try Mayo,
In Swinford town as I sat down,
I heard a dreadful cry of hounds,
So I lay there in an manger, till the approach of day.

Then to Dublin town I made my way,
And then to Cobh and Amerikay,
And left the hounds to search away
For Farmer Michael Hayes,
And as the moon began to shine,
I thought I'd make a foreign clime,
Now I'm in the land of liberty, and fig for all my foes.

recorded by John Faulkner (with Dolores Keane) on "Farewell To Eirin"
and by Planxty (Christy Moore) on "After The Break" (1979), who notes:

"Christy heard versions of this song sung by John Lyons, Tom Lenihan
an unknown singer on Donnacha O'Dulaing's "Highways And Byways". He
received written versions from Mike Flynn and Seamus Mac Mathuna and
there's another in Zimmerman's Songs of Irish Rebellion.

This seems like a sort of crash course in Irish geography. The lyrics
are those of Faulkner, Moore sings a couple of additional lines and
lists even more place names!

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