American Old Time Song Lyrics: 12 The Cow That Ate The Piper

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 12

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The Cow that Ate the Piper.

In the year '98, when our troubles were great.
And it was, treason to be a Milesian;
That black whiskered set we will never forget,
Tho' history tells us they were Hessians.
In this troublesome time, oh, 'twas a great crime.
And murder never was riper;
At the side of Glenshee, not an acre from me,
There lived one Denny Byrne, a piper.

Neither wedding or wake would be worth a shake,
Where Denny was not first invited;
At squeezing the bags and emptying the kegs
He astonished as well as delighted.
In these times poor Denny could not earn one penny,
Martial law had him stung like a viper;
They kept him within, till the bones and the skin
a ere grinning through the rags of the piper.

One evening in June, as he was going home,
After the fair of Rathnagan;
What should he see, from the branch of a tree,
But the corpse of a Hessian there hanging.
Says Denny: These rogues have boots, I've no brogues-
On the boots then he laid such a griper;
He pulled them with such might, and the boots were so tight.
That legs and boots came away with the piper.

Then Denny did run, for fear of being hung,
'Till he came to Tim Kennedy's cabin;
Says Tim, from within: I can't let you in,
You'll be shot if you're caught there a rapping.
He went to the shed, where the cow was in bed,
With a wisp he began for to wipe her;
They lay down together on a seven-foot feather,
And the cow fell a hugging the piper.

Then Denny did yawn, as the day it did dawn,
As he streeled off the boots of the Hessian;
The legs, by the law, he left them on the straw,
And he gave them leg-bail for his mission.
When the breakfast was done Tim sent out his son,
To make Denny jump up like a lamp-lighter;
When the legs there he saw, he roared like a jack daw;
Oh! daddy, the cow's ate the piper!

Musha bad luck on the beast-she'd a musical taste,
For to eat such a beautiful chanter;
Anah! Patrick, avie, take a lump of a stick,
Drive her off to Glenhealy-we'll cant her.
Mrs. Kennedy bawled, the neighbors were called,
They began for to humbug and gibe her;
To the churchyard Tim walked with the legs in a box,
And the cow will be hung for the piper.

The cow she was drove a mile or two off,
To the fair at the side of Glenhealy;
And then she was sold for four guineas in gold.
To the clerk of the parish, Tim Daley.
They went to a tent, the lucky penny was spent,
The clerk being a jolly old wiper;
Who d'ye think there was there playing the "Bakes of Kildare?"
But poor Denny Byrne, the piper.

Then Tim gave a bolt, like a half-drunken colt,
At the piper he gazed like a gommock;

He said: By the powers! I thought these eight hours
You were playing in Drinan Dhu's stomach.
Then Denny observed how the Hessian was served,
And they all wished necks secure to the griper;
For grandeur they met, their whistles they wet,
And like devils they danced round the piper.
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