by Marshall Jamison

Did you ever go down to an Irishman’s shanty
Where the water was scarce and the beer is a’plenty
A three legged stool and a table to match it,
A door without hinges and nothin’ to latch it?
Tread on the tail of me coat! hah, hah!
Tread on the tail of me coat!
If you’re in for a row or a ruction
Just tread on the tail of me coat!

Golden-haired Bobby Bell sang the old songs in his
clear tenor voice
And after I’d heard them any number of times – I’d join
in with him. He really had no choice.
My friend he was, and as true blue as his Irish
heart was green.
And when we sang together, well, we sure lit up
the scene.
So on Saturday night we’d close the shop when the
clock struck ten
And head for Rafferty and Kilgariff’s ancient, cobwebbed
Deep in God’s true Irishmen. There, they welcomed us,
My friend Bobby and me
And often sang with us the words of many a come all ye.

The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knoll was a favorite
often called for
And even good old Mother McRee brought out
a loud encore.
But the choice of all for Bobby and me
Was the lovely and haunting Rose of Tralee

The pale moon was shinin’ way out on the mountain
The sun was declinin’ into the blue sea
As I strayed with my love by the clear crystal
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as a rose of the Summer
But it was not her beauty alone that won me
Oh, no ’twas the truth in her eyes ever shinin’
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.

And so we sang until closing at that kindly
When we left those good friends – every one
wore a smile on his face.
But I saw that Bobby had a tear in the eye,
He just hated to say good-bye.