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No Irish Need Apply

[Across The Great Divide]


I was aware of this song around the time I was thinking of recording an album like this. However I couldn't find the words till one night I heard the late Pete Seeger sing it on a PBS special. Luckily the VCR was running. He followed up the song by saying that although the practice wasn't prevalent anymore there were others who were hurting. He went on to sing Woody Guthrie's 'Deportees'. I was struck by the comparison and went on to write 'North of the Rio Grande' after seeing an ABC news story on the hard life of factory workers in Mexico.

I changed the name of the Irish town in the first verse from Ballypat to Kinnigad, which at least rhymes. Also, I have no idea where there is a town called Ballypat, if it exists at all.

I'm a dacent lad just landed from the town of Kinnegad
And I wants a situation boys, I wants it very bad
I've seen employment advertized, tis just the thing says I
But the dirty spalpeen ended with 'No Irish Need Apply'
Say's I, "Now that's an insult but to get the place I'll try"
I went to see the blaggard with his 'No Irish need apply'

Some do think it a misfortune to be christened Pat or Dan
But to me it is an honor to be called an Irishman

I started out to find the place and I got it mighty soon
I found the ould boy seated, he was reading the tribune
I told him what I came for when in a rage he did fly
Saying, "no, you are a Paddy, and no Irish need apply"
Oh, it gets me blood a boilin', I'd love to black his eye
To tell an Irish gentleman that no Irish need apply


I couldn't stand it longer, so a hold of him I took
And I gave him such a hiding as he'd get at Donnybrook
He shouted "Melia Murther" and to get away did try
And he swore he'd never write again, 'No Irish need apply'

He made a big apology, I bid him then goodbye
Saying, "when next you want a hidin', write 'No Irish need apply'"