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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
chico Lyr Req: Are Ye Right There Michael (Percy French) (26) Lyr/Chords Add: ARE YE RIGHT THERE MICHAEL (French 01 Oct 05

You may talk of Columbus's sailing
   Em                  Dm (G7)
Across the Atlantical sea
    C                      Em
But he never tried to go railing
      G7             C
From Ennis as far as Kilkee

       F/A                      C
You may run for the train in the mornin'
    G7                         C
The excursion TRAIN starting at eight
You're there when the clock gives the warnin'
    Dm          G7          C
And there for an hour you'll wait

    Dm                G7                   Dm                  G7
"And as you're waiting in the train, you'll hear the guard sing this refrain"

"Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right?
         F/A                C               Dm   (G7)
Do you think that we'll be there before the night?
          F            /A
Ye've been so long in startin'
That you couldn't say for sartin'
                   G7                C
Still ye might now, Michael, so ye might!"

They find out where the engine's been hiding
And it drags you to Sweet Corofin
Says the guard "Back her down on the siding
There's the goods from Kilrush coming in"
Perhaps in comes in in two hours
Perhaps it breaks down on the way
"If it does," says the guard, "by the powers
We're here for the rest of the day"

"And while you sit and curse your luck, the train backs down into a truck"

"Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right?
Have ye got the parcel there for Mrs. White?
Ye haven't, Oh begorra
Say it's comin' down tomorra
And it might now, Michael, so it might!"

At Lahinch the sea shines like a jewel
With joy you are ready to shout,
When the stoker cries out "There no fuel
And the fire's taytotally out.
"But hand up that bit of log there
I'll soon have ye out of the fix
There's a fine clamp of turf in the bog there
And the rest go a-gatherin' sticks

"And while you're breakin' bits of trees, you'll hear some wise remarks like these"

"Are you right there, Michael? Are ye right?
Do ye think that ye can get the fire to light?"
"Oh, an hour you'll require
For the turf it might be drier"
"Well it might now, Michael, so it might!"

Kilkee! Oh you never get near it!
You're in luck if the train brings you back
For the permanent way is so queer
It spends most of it's time off the track
Uphill the old engine is climbin'
While the passengers push with a will
You're in luck when you reach Ennistymon
For all the way home is down hill

"And as you're wobbling through the dark, you'll hear someone make this remark:"

Are ye right there, Michael? Are ye right?
Do you think that we'll be there before it's light?
Oh, it's all depending whether,
The oul' engine holds together,
But it might now, Michael, so it might!

[Percy French, 1902. The owners of the railway entered an action for libel against Percy French (the writer) who entered a counter claim - for being the cause of making him late for a professional engagement (possibly an incident in 1897). The railway company backed down and made a payment in his favour. The West Clare Railway is now defunct. The engine was called "Bessborough" still stands at Ennis station. The original "Michael" is said to have been Michael Talty who died aged 99 in 1957. Percy French actually won the case and was awarded one penny by the judge. He had to pay his own legal costs. The West Clare Railway closed in 1957, the tracks taken up and the land sold back to farmers.]

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