Doherty’s Ball


This is a version of a recitation which people recited at various gatherings. It was a favourite of Tadhg Hugh Twomey from Aharas, Ballingeary, Co. Cork




A long time ago my boys, an Irishman named Doherty

Was elected to the Senate by a very large majority.

He felt so elated that he sent for Dennie Cassidy

The owner of a ballroom of a very large capacity.

He said - Cassidy go over to the brewer

And order a thousand kegs of lager beer and give it to the poor.

Then go over to the butchers and order up a ton of meat

And be sure that all the boys and girls

Get all they want to drink and eat.

Send out invitations in twenty different languages

And be sure to tell them all to bring their own sandwiches.

They have made me their Senator and to show my gratitude

They will have the finest supper ever given in this latitude.

Tell them that the music will be furnished by our orchestra

Assisted on the bagpipes by Felix McCafferty.

Whatever the expenses be remember I will foot the bill

And they that do not come at all be sure and do not let them in.

Now Cassidy at once sent out the invitations

And all those who came were a credit to the nation.

Some came on bicycles because they had no fees to pay

And they that did not come at all made up their minds to stay away.

In twos by threes they marched into the dining hall

Young men, old men and girls who weren’t men at all.

Single men, double men and men who had their glasses on

Blind men, deaf men and men who had their teeth in pawn.

Before many minutes nearly every space was taken

The front rooms and back rooms were packed to suffocation

Then - said the manager - will you all try and find a chair

So they all sat down and looked at the bill of fare.

There were pigs heads, gold fish, mocking birds and ostriches

Ice cream, cold cream, Vaseline and sandwiches.

There were green fish, blue fish, fish hooks and partridges,

Meatballs, snow balls, cannon balls and cartridges.

There was hot corn, cold corn, corn shave and antelope.

The women ate the melons and the men said they’d cantaloupe

There was dressed beef, corn beef and beef that had no dressing on

Soda crackers, white crackers, Carrig Cheese a special one

They ate oaten meal ‘till they could hardly stir about

And finished off that session with a barrel of the finest stout.

There was fried liver, roast liver and Carter’s Little Liver Pills

Everyone was wondering who the Hell was going to pay the bill.

For dessert we had toothpaste, ice flip and skipping rope

And we washed it all down with a big bar of shaving soap.

The music started up to tell us that the meal was o’er

And everyone agreed that they never ate so much before.

Then the band played hornpipes, bagpipes and Irish reels

And we danced to the music of the wind that shakes the barley fields.

A finer set of dancers, you never set your eyes upon.

Those who couldn’t dance at all were standing with their britches on.

For Doherty the Senator everyone was full of praise

And wished that his Sláinte Mhaith would last for many many days.

They shook hands and said Goodnights in a manner most excited

And swore to come back again when next they’d be invited.