* Kilkelly Ireland *
by Peter Jones c.1970
(a song about genealogy and ancestry)

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 60,
My dear and lovin' son John,
Your good friend the schoolmaster Pat McNamara's
So good as to write these words down.
Your brothers have all gone to find work in England,
the house is so empty and sad
The crop of potatoes is sorely infected,
a third to a half of them bad.
And your sister Brigid and Patrick O'Donnell
are going to be married in June.
Your mother says not to work on the railroad
and be sure to come on home soon.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 70,
My dear and lovin' son John,
Hello to your Misses and to your 4 children,
may they grow healthy and strong.
Michael has got in a wee bit of trouble,
I guess that he never will learn.
Because of the dampness there's no turf to speak of
and now we have nothing to burn.
And Brigid is happy, you named a child for her
although she's got six of her own.
You say you found work, but you don't say
what kind or when you will be comin' home.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 80,
Dear Michael and John, my sons,
I'm sorry to give you the very sad news
that your dear old mother has gone.
We buried her down at the church in Kilkelly,
your brothers and Brigid were there.
You don't have to worry, she died very quickly,
remember her in your prayers.
And it's so good to hear that Michael's returning,
with money he's sure to buy land
For the crop has been poor and the people
are selling at any price that they can.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 90,
My dear and loving son John,
I guess that I must be close on to eighty,
it's thirty years since you're gone.
Because of all of the money you send me,
I'm still living out on my own.
Michael has built for himself a fine house
and Brigid's daughters have grown.
Thank you for sending your family picture,
they're lovely young women and men.
You say that you might even come for a visit,
what joy to see you again.

Kilkelly, Ireland, 18 and 92,
My dear brother John
I'm sorry I didn't write sooner to tell you that father passed on.
He was living with Brigid, she says he was cheerful
and healthy right down to the end.
Ah, you should have seen him play with
the grandchildren of Pat McNamara, your friend.
And we buried him alongside of mother,
down at the Kilkelly churchyard.
He was a strong and a feisty old man,
considering his life was so hard.
And it's funny the way he kept talking about you,
he called for you in the end.
Oh, why don't you think about coming to visit,
we'd all love to see you again.

Composed from letters penned by
Pat McNamara, Schoolmaster
Born March 6, 1830
Died Dec. 17, 1902
in Orlar, near Kilmovee, Ireland
These letters were from Brian & Elizabeth Hunt
to their son John Hunt who had emigrated to America in 1855.

These letters were found in an attic of Peter Jones parents home.
Peter is the great-great grandson of John Hunt and lives at
904 Prospect St, Takoma Park MD, 20912.
All Rights Reserved

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Kilkelly, Mayo County, Ireland on the Web

This song found at www.ifreeman.com