The Growling Old Woman

Tune: When the Cock Crows it is Day

I have no one to help with the churning
Or bake a slim cake without burning,
Or get a bit ready for Nickeen and Neddy
When hay in the meadow they're turning.
The pig never stops with her bawling,
The banbh (1) go rooting and squalling,
The ducks and the hens lay away in the glens
And the roof of the cow house is falling.


Oh, you growling old woman
Be easy, the neighbors are coming,
Tobacco full ripe they will put in your pipe
For to make your heart happy and human.

The cow gives her milk to the fairies,
The calf's not as handsome as Mary's,
My bonnet and bow are a shame and a show
And my gown in the clauber contraries.
My man takes his time fair and easy
The boys are light headed and lazy
The girls do be singing when washing or wringing
No wonder myself is half crazy.

Old woman, I'm thinking your joking,
You sit by the fire always poking
To give your tongue loose you give tons of abuse
And the devil wouldn't beat you for smoking.
Your man works the hardest in Erin,
Your boys are both brave and unfearing,
Your girls are the sweetest, the fairest and neatest
Yourself is the pig by the mearing!

(1) pronounced bawnave - a piglet.