(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 narrow
ye skin couldn’t help but creep.

On returning to Killorglin,
we went out for the dinner meal.
It was only at O’Shea’s Pub that
my 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.



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 grand-daughter of Eire 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’d finally come home.
While I stayed in shock the entire time,
she flowed on like the River Laune.

When she told me we’d have to push on
I retorted, “Lass, sure 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 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 long, ramblin’ hike
on that rocky, desolate Burren.

“We’ve got to get off these twisty roads,”
said I, insistin’ I have 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 our hearts, we know, will be keenin’.

August 2001