Skip to main content.
Navigation: Home | About | News | Schedule | Multimedia | Recordings | Tours | Links

Lanigan's Ball / The Side Door Jig

[Side Door]

Words: Possibly a Mr. Gavan (Galway Poet)
Music: Traditional
The Side Door Jig: Composed by Colin Farrell

I learned Lanigan's Ball from Colm O'Lochlainn's 'Irish Street Ballads'. I like singing these clever tongue-twisters. They keep the tongue loose and the mind focused. Colin's original jig compliments it very well.

In the town of Athy one Jeremy Lanigan
Battered away till he hadn't a shilling
His father he died and made him a man again
Left him a farm and ten acres of ground
He threw a grand party to friends and relations
Who didn't forget him when come to the wall
And if you but listen, I'll make your eyes glisten
At the rows and the ructions of Lanigan's Ball

Six long months I spent in Dublin
Six long months doing nothing at al
Six long month I spent in Dublin
Learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball

Meself to be sure got free invitations
For all the nice girls and boys I might ask
And just in minute both friends and relations
Were dancing like bees around a sweet cask
Miss Judy O'Daly that nice little milliner
Tipped me a wink for to give her a call
And soon I arrived with Peggy McGilligan
Just in time for Lanigan's ball

There was lashings of punch and wine for the ladies
Potatoes and cakes, there was bacon and tae
There was Nolans, Dolans and the O'Gradys
Courting the girls and dancing away
The songs went round as plenty as water
From the Harp that once sounded through Tara's old Hall
To sweet Nelly Gray and the Rat-catcher's daughter
All singing together at Lanigan's Ball

They were doing all kinds of nonsensical polkas
All round the room in a whirligig
But Julia and I soon banished their nonsense
And tipped them a twist of a real Irish gig
Och mavrone, how the girls they got mad at me
And danced till I thought that the ceiling would fall
For I spent three weeks at Brook's Academy
Learning the steps for Lanigan's ball

The boys were as merry, the girls all hearty
Dancing around in couples and groups
Till an accident happened, young Terence MaCarthy
Put his right leg through Miss Finerty's hoops
The creature she fainted and cried "Holy murder"
Called for her brothers and gathered them all
Carmody swore that he'd go no further
Till he'd have revenge at Lanigan's ball

In the midst of the row miss Kerrigan fainted
Her cheeks at the same time as red as a rose
Some of the lads said she was painted
She took a small drop too much I suppose
Her sweetheart Ned Morgan so powerful and able
When he saw his cailin stretched out by the wall
He tore the left leg from under the table
And smashed all the dishes at Lanigan's ball

Boys, oh boys, 'tis then there was ructions
I took a kick from young Phelim McHugh
But soon I replied to his introduction
And kicked up a terrible hullabaloo
Casey the piper was near being strangled
They leapt on his pipes, bellows, chanters and all
The girls in their ribbons they got all entangled
And that put an end to Lanigan's ball