Copyright © 28 September 2011 by Bob Hurt. All rights reserved.
We set off in dark of night from Tipperary,
Three of the girls I could, but two I couldn’t, carry.
The wee ones I nestled warmly in a potato sack.
Faith, I heaved those bulky treasures o’er my back,
While the bigger girls took bundles under arm.
We skittered from our loft at Widow’s Inn farm.
I had tried to save my wife Oh Lord I tried,
But she worsened in that terrible winter and died.
I couldn’t pay the fees for inn or car,
So we snuck out in the wee hours to go afar.
We skittered over rooftop – it covered us in soot-
And betook our torturous journey on foot.
The wind howled at our departure from the town.
We trekked the hills and woods; rain poured down.
We warmed us beside fires of sticks and peat,
And sucked cows’ milk freshly from the teat.
I made the girls smile with tales of elf and fairy,
To forget their mum, dead and cold in Tipperary.
Now and then we’d stop; I’d dry their tears;
Give hope for better lives; calm their fears.
In a week and more our travel finally ended;
The girls’ aching, broken hearts eventually mended.
I found farm work near Cleggan, by the sea
And a small cottage for my girls and me.
Though they all grew up, and fine men did marry,
Sure, we deeply miss her who stayed in Tipperary.