Lannigan's Ball

Composer: George Gavin

Arranged by: Jump, Little Children


Studio Recordings: 4-track recording / tracked demo
Releases: Live at the Music Farm
Tablature: Tablature Archive
First Performance: unknown
Song Information: This is the first song Matt performed lead vocals on for J,LC. There is a mp3 of the 'hip-hop' version in circulation.  It features numerous samples and drum loops.  The lyrics provided are of the original version, written in 1860.  Matt's take is different in some spots.
Lyrical Interpretation: Reprinted from (from David Salley)

In the town of Athy, one Jeremy Lannigan, 
Battered away till he hadn't a pound; 
His father he died and made him a man again, 
Left him a farm and ten acres of ground. 
He gave a grand ball to his friends and relations, 
Who did not forget him when sent to the wall. 
If you'll only listen I'll make your eyes glisten, 
At the rows and ructions at Lannigan's Ball. 

Six long months I spent in Dub-bi-lin, 
Six long months doin' nothin' at all, 
Six long months I spent in Dub-bi-lin, 
Learnin' to dance for Lannigan's Ball. 
I stepped out, I stepped in again, 
I stepped out again, I stepped in again, 
I stepped out, I stepped in again, 
Learnin' to dance for Lannigan's Ball. 

Myself, to be sure, got free invitation 
For all the nice boys an' girls that I'd ask, 
In less than a minute the friends and relations 
Were dancing as merry as bees round the cask. 
Miss O'Hara, the nice little milliner, 
Tipp'd me a wink to give her a call, 
And soon we arrived with Timothy Galligan, 
Just in time for Lannigan's ball. 

They were doing all kinds of nonsensical polkas 
All round the room in a neat whirligig; 
But Julia and me soon banished nonsense 
And tipp'd them a twist of a real Irish jig. 
Och Mavrone, 'twas she that was glad o' me, 
And danced till you'd think the ould ceiling would fall; 
For I spent a whole fortnight at Burke's Academy, 
Larnin' a step for Lannigan's ball. 

The boys were all merry, the girls were all hearty, 
Dancing away in couples and groups, 
Till an accident happened young Terrance McCarthy, 
He put his right leg on Miss Flaherty's hoops, 
The creature she fainted -- roared milia murder, 
Called for her friends and gathered them all, 
Ned Carmody swore that he'd go no further, 
But he'd have satisfaction at Lannigan's ball. 

In the midst of the row Miss Kerrigan fainted, 
Her cheeks all the while being as red as the rose, 
Some of the ladies declared she was painted, 
She took a small drop too much, I suppose. 
Her sweetheart, Ned Morgan, so powerful and able, 
When he saw his fair colleen stretched out by the wall, 
He tore the leg from under the table, 
And smashed all the chaney* (*china) at Lannigan's ball. 

Oh, boys, there was a ruction, 
Myself got a kick from big Phelim M'Cue, 
But soon I replied to this kind introduction, 
And kicked up a terrible Phillabooloo; 
Ould Casey the piper was near being strangled, 
They squeezed up his pipes, bellows, chanters and all; 
The girls in their ribbons were all entangled, 
And that put an end to Lannigan's ball.