The Modern Folk Musician

8. Invitation to a Funeral

author unknown

Vocal and English Concertina: Mike Agranoff
Fiddle & Guitar: Pete Sutherland
Flute & Whistle: Kris Lamb
Bodhran: Ted Crane

I received an invitation to go to a funeral, but to my sad misfortune now, the fellow didn't die.
Of course he told the mourners he was vexed at disappointing us, but he apologized and so we let the thing go by.
To make up for disappointing us he took us out and treated us. He bought a pint of porter for a company of ten
Until somebody asked him just whose money was he squandering, and he put the fellow's eyelids into mourning there and then.

Now the owner of the beer shop, observing we were riotous, gave orders to evict us, but of course we did refuse.
So he whistled up some loungers who were loafing in the corner, and for ten or fifteen minutes we were throroughly abused.
And then we left the beer shop, and down the street did stagger, where a gang of corner boys commenced to pelting us with mud.
We asked them to chuck it, and they told us they were doing so, and so we turned on them and left them lying where they stood.

The next that we met was a company of Salvationers who rifled all our pockets till we begged that we'd be saved.
And little Mac McGinty got invited to the station for inquiring of a policeman how his ancestors behaved [if his appetite was shaved. *]
To make McGinty's bail, every man took off his undershirt, and down to the pawnshop we took the jolly lot.
We told the man we wanted only ten and sixpence on 'em. "There's enough on them already!" was the answer that we got.

Well, we got the ten and sixpence and went off to free McGinty, but the Devil take the beer shop that attacked us on the way.
Of course we couldn't pass it without taking some refreshment, and we drank up every penny of the price we had to pay.
We bought a concertina for to make the high hilarity, though none of us could play it, though we tried our best and worst
. We knocked a lot of noise from it, if that's of any consequence. We handled it so gently that the bellows, it did burst.

So we bought a boiled potato for to mend the concertina, but then someone hit Maloney with the carcass of a cat.
He buttoned up his whiskers and began to read the riot act. He swore he'd put two heads upon the fellow who did that.
So Maloney hit Mahoney, and Mahoney hit some other man, and everyone hit anyone to whom he owed a spite.
And the crippled Macnamara, who'd been sitting in the corner got a kick that blacked his eye for not indulging in the fight.

Now, the liquor being into us, the sense was nearly out of us, so for a bit of rioting, we straightway did repair.
We battered one another till we all weren't worth three ha'pence, and you couldn't see the carpet on the floor for skin and hair.
We battered one another till the police separated us and marched us off to jail with bloody noses and black eyes.
They marched us off to jail, and to me it's proved a well-learned lesson not to go to funerals until the fellow dies.

* The words in [brackets] were as I had gotten them from Allen Hopkins, but they didn't make any sense to me. So I substituted the others which I sang.