Paddy's Voyage to Glasgow, A new song

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The poet casts himself in the role of an Irishman coming to Scotland in search of work and his reaction to the paddle steamer on which he travels and to the sights he sees in Glasgow. 

[Note 307.11]


When I took a notion from home for to stray,
It was three weeks and four months before Lammas(1) day,
You'll pardon me, Sir, I can't tell the month's name.
It's the front's after June, Sir, and that's all the same,
Some calls me Paddy and some calls me chim (sic),
But that is no matter, to me it's the same
I never was learned my name for to spell,
I know when I'm hungry and that does as well.
Harvest came on, and the times bad at home,
When I took a notion for Scotland to roam,
My journey for Belfast I did not delay,
Where steam-boats were ready to sail on their way.
A number of people I saw great and small,
All running on board of the steamboat Fingaul [Note 307.1]
The Captain he spoke like a man of good sense,
Says I'll take you to Glasgow for only sixpence[Note 307.2]
I thought by the number that stood on the beach [Note 307.3]
A sixpence would scarce be a farthing to each,
But I took a wrong notion of what he did say,
For I on the way had my sixpence to pay,
With courage undaunted we steered on our way,
We ran without sails for the length of a day.
The ship had a wheel fixed on every side
And went Like a mill by the force of the tide.
The captain bad me go below if I chose,
I answered no, for my passage I'd lose; 
A sailor says to me, friend, down you should go,
And you'll see some sport in the world below,
By many persuasions down then I did go,
Where I saw a sight was as good as a show,
There was fiddling. and dancing, and drinking all there,
Which put me in mind of sweet Donnybrook fair(1);
But a man he went round with a book in his hand,
A sixpence from each man he then did demand,
I seemed to grudge, but he soon gave me word,
That I must pay my passage or walk overboard.
He said, honest fellow you'll pay down the clink,
There's a sixpence to pay besides for your drink.
That instant the money I had for to pay,
For no justice I'd get if I made a delay ;
But early next morning fair Glasgow we saw
We landed at a place that they call Broomielaws [Note 307.4]
The first thing I saw in the town for to sell
Was fish they call spaldings was fray'd In a creel [Note 307.5]
When took a notion I would see the show
Of large wooden houses set all in a in a row.
They were filled with wild beasts, few of them were tame [Note 307.6]
The nobles of Scotland came there to see them,
Young Bonapart I on him did stare
I wondered what brought his from Germany there. [Note 307.7]
For to shake hands with him I did not seem slack,
But a man with a red neck be made me stand back, [Note 307.8]
That very same night as I lay on my bed
The noise of the streets disturbed my head,
A man I thought drunk did me sore affright,
He was telling the people the hours of the night, [Note 307.9]
But early next morning I left my abode,
I packed up my bundles. and then took the road,
Now I'm off for the Lothians my fortune to try, [Note 307.10]
As now for a time I bid Glasgow good bye

 

 

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