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Broadside ballads entitled 'Irish Castles in the Air' and 'The First Bawbee'



Castles in the Air.

This world is all a bubble, no matter where we go,
There's nothing here but trouble, hardships, toil, and woe;
Go where we will, do what we may, we are never free from
And at the best this world is but a castle in the air.
And yet each being loves the land where he sported as a child
The very savage loves his plain, his woods, and prairies wild;
And I, with a true Irish heart, still wish in Ireland there
To sit among her groves and build my castles in the air.

Old Ireland had her poet, and she loved him well I'm sure,
He was a true born Irishman, his name it was Tom Moore;
But of this world's sorrows we know he had his share,
For Moore was always building his castles in the air.
He sang the rights of Ireland, he sang against her wrongs,
And many loving Irish hearts they cherish yet his songs ;
He made the Irish hearts rejoice, he bade them ne'er despair,
And for Ireland in the future he built castles in the air.

We boast of Dan O'Connell, too, who struggled hard and sore
To bring both peace and happiness to dear old Erin's shore,
And though his efforts were in vain, the spirit still was there
For Dan still struggled on and built his castles in the air.
And now though he's dead and gone we find both old and
Will often quote the wit that flowed from Dan O'Connell's
The widow and the fatherless their sorrows he would share
And build for them in days to come bright castles in the air.

Old Ireland has her statesmen and artists many a one,
Her sculptors and her generals, who noble deeds have done;
Besides she boasts of Goldsmith, with talents rich and rare,
Whose standard works made thousands build their castles
in the air.
Her mountains, lakes, and valleys, are lovely to behold,
Her daughters they are bright and fair, her sons are brave
and bold;
No other country where I've been to me seems half so fair,
It's the land where I, in childhood, built my castles in the air.


Oh, nane, I trow, on a' the earth,
Was happier than me,
When in my wee breek pouch
I got my first bawbee ;
I turned it roun' and roan' wi' pride,
Then toddled aff wi' glee,
To ware on something that was guid,
My first bawbee.

I met auld granny at the door,
Noo Rab, says she, tak care,
Nae feckless whigmaleeries buy
When ye gang tae the fair;
A gaucie row, or soncie scone
Is best for one that's wee;
And muckle lies in how you spend
Yoor first bawbee

But granay's words were soon forgot
When tae the fair I gaed.
And saw sae mony fairlies there,
On ilke stan' arrayed ;
I glowr'd at this, I glowr'd at that,
Wi' rovin' greedy e'e.
And was dumfoundered how to ware
My first bawbee.

Here apples lay in mony a creel,
A' temptin' to the view.
And pears and plums whose very look
Brought [ ] o' my mou';
And there were tosh wee picture books
Spread out a nice to see?
They seemed to say, come here and spend
Your first bawbee

I kent the ane would gust the gab,
The ither tell me bow
Cock Robin fell that waefu' day
The sparrow drew his bow.
Them baith, waesock, I couldna get,
And sae wi' tearfu' e'e
I swithered lang on whilk to ware
My first bawbee.

At length a wheedling Eerish loon
Began to bawl and brag,
"Come here," said he, "my litte lad,
And try the lucky bag;
If you have but one copper got,
For it you may get three,
Shure, never venture never win?
Come, sport your bawbee."

Thinks I, this is the very thing
Will mak' my bawbee twa,
And syne I'll get the pears and plums,
The wee bit book and a';
Sae at the bag I tried any luck,
But hope was dang agee?
A blank was mine, and sae I lost
My first bawbee.

A tear cam' happin' ower my cheek
As sad I daunered hame,
Wi' hunger rumbling up and down
Like wind within my wame ;
I tell't auld granny a' my tale?
You've, gane far wrang, quo' she,
But muckle guid may yet come out
Your first bawbee.

And true she spak'?my loss was gain,
It learned me usefu' lair,
And made me eye sinsyne take tent
O' mony a gilded snare,
And still when loons the plack to catch
Their fleecing phrases gie,
There's something whispers, Robin, mind
Your first bawbee.         


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Probable period of publication: 1840-1850   shelfmark: L.C.1270(008)
Broadside ballads entitled 'Irish Castles in the Air' and 'The First Bawbee'
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