They're Pickin' 'Em by Degrees

'Twas the year of the Exhibition in Eighteen Ninety-nine,
We met them in the Cork Park when they were in their prime;
They raised a silly objection about a light ball,
But maybe the ball was heavy enough and we played them down in Youghal.

So they're picking them by degrees,
They're picking by degrees,
Six or seven picked men came up
To play for Gustie Roche's cup
From Evergreen and from Blarney too,
But they had to bring 'em from Ballincollig to bate the boys in blue.

Ballincollig and Blarney, Redmond and Evergreen,
They all combined together to make a champion team,
For to bate the 'Barrs, but wasn't it a sight!
And when we had beaten them upside down, they said the ould ball was light.

From my memory of my mother's singing of this song the first two lines went:

In the year of the Exhibition,in the year of 99,
We played them a game of hurly and they were in their prime.