IRISH BALLADS

PART I

THE BALLAD OF BALLAGHISHEON PASS
(Pronounced "Ballysheen")

Hardships, oh yes, I've had 'em
but a worse hell I've never seen
than driving on the left side
through the pass at Ballaghisheon.

We had headed down to Waterville
after stopping at Cahersiveen,
then cut Kerry's Ring in half
with a shortcut through Ballaghisheon.

Way high above the tree-line
midst the rocks and mountain sheep,
we drove so steep and so narrow
ye skin couldn't help but creep.

On returning to Killorglin,
we went our for the dinner meal.
It was only at O'Shea's Pub that
me fingers were pried from the wheel.

O, you'll go through many good times
and tough times, hard and mean,
but life'll shine a bit brighter
after the pass at Ballaghisheon.

PART II

THE BALLAD OF SANDY SHEA

I thought our hell had now ended,
no more would life and death mingle,
but then we hit the road again
and pointed our car toward Dingle.

By now I was a nervous wreck,
and me spine had lost its steel.
The hedges and curves had bested me
so Sandy Shea she took the wheel.

Now Sandy drove like an Irishwoman,
great granddaughter of Erin is she.
I curled up with me thumb in me mouth,
while she drove to make Ireland free.

She felt no fear of those narrow lanes,
indeed her hair turned red like fire.
Her eyes they flashed like twin emeralds
that road seemed to just take her higher!

The road and the woman had melded as one,
suggestin' she had finally come home.
While I stayed in shock the entire time,
she flowed on like the River Laune.

When she told me that we'd have to push on
I retorted, "Lass, surely you're foolin'."
She looked at me with those flashin' eyes, and
said, "No, lad, the time's come for Doolin."

So to Doolin we went, in County Clare,
and this filled me with a great sorrow,
but she laughed like a crazed banshee girl,
chortlin', "It's Ballyvaughan tomorrow!"
By this time, she grew to love the roads,
playin' music and dancin' a jig,
keepin' one lone hand upon the wheel,
like a true Tinker she drove our rig.

Into Ballyvaughan we finally did come,
down Corkscrew Hill madly turnin',
all so we could take a ramblin' hike
on that rocky and desolate Burren.

"We've got to get off these twisty roads,"
said I, insistin' on havin' me say.
Sweet Sandy replied, just smilin' at me,
“We'll be rollin' on, lad, to Galway.

Now we're sittin' on the shore of Galway Bay
reflectin' on all we've been seein'.
Ah, 'tis a green and magical land, soon
we know that our hearts will be keenin'.


August 2001







All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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