The Pass of Keimaneigh

T’was early in September in the year of ’53

When I received an order to take a 10 RB

To proceed westwards with all speed and not make delay

To help to cut the tourist road through the pass of Keimaneigh


My heart was not rejoicing as I journeyed to the west

For I was leaving my friends that I had loved the best

So I helped to drown my sorrows at each pub I passed that day

Till I reached my destination at the foot of Keimaneigh


The sun was sinking o’er Gougane when I reached my journey’s end

T’was there I met Dan Kearney who soon became my friend

He was famous for his Irish songs, he danced and he was gay

And he made a brew called Mountain Dew at the pass of Keimaneigh


Ere dusk had fallen o’er the pass where deep the shadows lurk

The boys has placed me in the care of the charming Sheila Burke

And since I stepped into that home and drank a cup of tay

My every wish was granted by the Burkes of Keimaneigh


T’was there I met Dan Connell, a sailor he had been

He changed his mind now sits behind a Thames for CIE

And with him Jimmy Murphy they could work as well as play

As they tipped their loads to make the road through the pass of Keimaneigh


Now the work is proceeding and the road is taking shape

From Toureen Dubh in sweeping curves to the Post Office gate

Now Katie’s rock is gone for it was blown away

To make a fine straight road through the pass of Keimaneigh


There stands Paddy Dolan as cool as any breeze

Directing operations with competence and ease

For it takes a man that knows his job to make the tourists say

There’s the finest road in Ireland through the pass of Keimaneigh


All credit too is surely due to the compressor team

And to Tanner bold the rocks he blew like flying autumn leaves

While Mahony Thade with his Bamford babe gently rolls away

Another stretch on the Bantry side of the road through Keimaneigh


Now Daly’s men are down the glen in a place called Cappaboy

While Dick Mikey thrills as his blast shrills through the crags above on high

And Timmy Crane sings a sweet refrain as he starts to clear away

Another stretch on the Bantry side of the road through Keimaneigh


One evening in October as the mist was falling low

A mighty landslide hit the site and completely blocked the road

T’was Healy’s timely warning that saved his gang of men

From being buried neath the avalanche in that wild and rugged glen


And when all was peaceful and settled in that scene

There in the midst of all the wreck stood Dan the Bull serene

They say it was a miracle how he escaped that day

When the rocks piled up around him in the pass of Keimaneigh


When the summer sun is shining and the tourist cars they glide

Where once the there leapt the noble deer up on Duachaill side

Oh the people gaze in rapture at the work that carved the way

Between Gougane Cross and Calvary through the pass of Keimaneigh


So now to bring a finish to my simple little song

For to mention everybody it would really be too long

But where e’er I go I always know at home or far away

I won’t forget the men who built the road through Keimaneigh