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31 August 2009

Virginia, Co. Cavan









Virginia, Co.Cavan

Photographed August 2009 by A.Ryan

Handball Poem

Some time ago ‘twas whispered ‘round
That if we got a piece of ground
We’d spend at least five hundred pounds
to build a grand ball alley
we held a meeting in the hall
and every lover of the ball
attended there both great and small
it was a mighty rally

They said that golf had lost its fame
that football was a vulgar game
we see so many young men lame
it’s quite a serious matter
but handball as the people knew
was patronised by Brian Boru
he built a famous alley too
somewhere in Stoneybatter

The next thing was the hat went round
and fowler gave a plot of ground
it only cost about five pound
to buy it out for ever
the site was chosen on a spot
not far away from Fairview cot
you could not find a nicer spot
convenient to the river

The next thing was to clear the ground
and if some people could be found
that had some land about the town
perhaps he’d do it gratis
they searched about to find a man
they sounded Arnold, Matt and Dan
but no one could adopt their plan
and then they thought of Matthews

As soon as Jimmy crossed the style
we saw at once ‘twas virgin soil
he rubbed his hands and with a smile
said he “twill be a winner”
I’ll send the men without delay
to cart the blooming stuff away
‘Twill be of use some other day
we’ll start it after dinner

‘Twas master Reilly drew the plan
the clerk of works was patent Dan
you could not find a better man
from Derry to the Shannon
He’ll build the walls two feet thick
all lined with white enamelled brick
with granite coin from Carrick click
the architect was Brennan

He says the roads are now complete
except some potholes in the street
from now until the council meet
all work has been suspended
His men are now improving lanes
or clearing up some boggy drains
so if they want his time and brains
he’s quite prepared to lend it

The cutting of the sod was made
by that young sportsman Sam McQuade
He did it with a brand new spade
I don’t know where he got it
He’s not a man for buying tools
but when he meets some careless fools
He quite forgets the golden rules
i’m sure he never bought it

And now the work is well in hand
they’ll want to buy the lime and sand
a concert by the new string band
should be announced for Sunday
And if the day is fine and fair
we’ll hold it in the open air
and charge them half a crown a pair
then start the work on Monday

The masons came from far and near
with shining trowlers bright and clear
they said the porter was to dear
and none of them could buy it
In every place they worked before
‘twas just a tranner and no more
unless the sell it something lower
we can’t afford to buy it

McDonnell sent his foreman round
and every trader in the town
agreed to pull the porter down
they said we can’t deny it
The workman is our only friend
the farmers very seldom spend
unless to gain some selfish end
they’re not linclined to buy it

A neat contrivance fixed in place
just fifteen cubics from the base
records correctly every ace
I don’t know what they call it
But experts say that this machine
reflects the numbers on a screen
twas patented by Paddy Green
and Murray that installed it

by Jack Robinson (circa 1930)

Source: http://www.irishidentity.com/extras/gaels/stories/cavanpoems.htm. Thanks to Handball Poem

Some time ago ‘twas whispered ‘round
That if we got a piece of ground
We’d spend at least five hundred pounds
to build a grand ball alley
we held a meeting in the hall
and every lover of the ball
attended there both great and small
it was a mighty rally

They said that golf had lost its fame
that football was a vulgar game
we see so many young men lame
it’s quite a serious matter
but handball as the people knew
was patronised by Brian Boru
he built a famous alley too
somewhere in Stoneybatter

The next thing was the hat went round
and fowler gave a plot of ground
it only cost about five pound
to buy it out for ever
the site was chosen on a spot
not far away from Fairview cot
you could not find a nicer spot
convenient to the river

The next thing was to clear the ground
and if some people could be found
that had some land about the town
perhaps he’d do it gratis
they searched about to find a man
they sounded Arnold, Matt and Dan
but no one could adopt their plan
and then they thought of Matthews

As soon as Jimmy crossed the style
we saw at once ‘twas virgin soil
he rubbed his hands and with a smile
said he “twill be a winner”
I’ll send the men without delay
to cart the blooming stuff away
‘Twill be of use some other day
we’ll start it after dinner

‘Twas master Reilly drew the plan
the clerk of works was patent Dan
you could not find a better man
from Derry to the Shannon
He’ll build the walls two feet thick
all lined with white enamelled brick
with granite coin from Carrick click
the architect was Brennan

He says the roads are now complete
except some potholes in the street
from now until the council meet
all work has been suspended
His men are now improving lanes
or clearing up some boggy drains
so if they want his time and brains
he’s quite prepared to lend it

The cutting of the sod was made
by that young sportsman Sam McQuade
He did it with a brand new spade
I don’t know where he got it
He’s not a man for buying tools
but when he meets some careless fools
He quite forgets the golden rules
i’m sure he never bought it

And now the work is well in hand
they’ll want to buy the lime and sand
a concert by the new string band
should be announced for Sunday
And if the day is fine and fair
we’ll hold it in the open air
and charge them half a crown a pair
then start the work on Monday

The masons came from far and near
with shining trowlers bright and clear
they said the porter was to dear
and none of them could buy it
In every place they worked before
‘twas just a tranner and no more
unless the sell it something lower
we can’t afford to buy it

McDonnell sent his foreman round
and every trader in the town
agreed to pull the porter down
they said we can’t deny it
The workman is our only friend
the farmers very seldom spend
unless to gain some selfish end
they’re not linclined to buy it

A neat contrivance fixed in place
just fifteen cubics from the base
records correctly every ace
I don’t know what they call it
But experts say that this machine
reflects the numbers on a screen
twas patented by Paddy Green
and Murray that installed it

by Jack Robinson (circa 1930)

Source: http://www.irishidentity.com/extras/gaels/stories/cavanpoems.htm. Thanks to Alan Clynch


1 comments:

Anonymous said...

`One year my cousin Connal reached the All ireland semi, in either Tailtean or Community Games, I only got as far as Roscommon, in the Connacht.

Virginia was his alley, mine was Athenry. I did not even know he played Handball at the time.With out HB we would not have been able to continue with life. This is the first time I have seen Virginias set up.

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