Thursday, 10 July 2014

The Two Carrick Smashers

Paddy Giles at our wedding
I'm sure everyone has a favourite family song or two, but one song in particular used to define my father-in-law, Paddy Giles, originally from Carrick-on-Suir in County Tipperary, and who passed away in 2001. It was called The Two Carrick Smashers, and was a song that if Paddy thought he had an audience for, he would sing verse, after verse, after verse! At my wedding to Claire in June 2000in Piltown, County Kilkenny, Paddy never gave a speech as the father of the bride - instead, he grabbed a microphone, and came out with several verses of the song, much to the delight of the assembled guests. When he passed away the following year, shortly after his funeral the family was all gathered in Anthony's Inn in Piltown, understandably upset. A lad with a guitar was seated by the main entrance, as it was back then, and I asked him if he knew The Two Carrick Smashers? He did, and once he got started, everyone gathered around him and belted it out, at what became an epic four hour singalong in Paddy's honour, with a lot of ceol, deoch agus craic!

Although it is relatively well known in Carrick-on-Suir, trying to obtain the lyrics was something else! I believe the song is a variant of another called The Two Ashton Mashers, aka the Brothers Malone. It took a while, but a few years ago my sister in law Lia was able to obtain the Carrick lyrics, and emailed them to me. These are the words for the first two verses and chorus:

Oh we are the two Carrick smashers,
We often go out on the mash.
We wear no tall hats
Or no shirts to our backs,
And we seldom have got any cash (cash,cash).
We often bring out a new fashion,
While the old ones they stick to the old.
Although we are just 27
We are daring quite handsome and bold

Chorus:
And we'll sing tra la la la as we walk down the street
For style and perfection we 'ere can be beat,
All the ladies declare that we are a treat,
We're the two Carrick smashers from off Greystone street
And we dance and we sing
And we don't give a jot, we're a jolly fine lot
We're all right, when we're tight, 
And we're jolly good company.


Last Saturday we were invited,
To the town hall by two ladies fair,
Their cheeks were in bloom
Like the roses in june,
And we danced to a beautiful air,
We were singin and dancin til midnight
Drinkin whiskey and porter and rum
And when the dancin was over
With the queer wans we had lots of fun

Chorus:
And we'll sing tra la la la as we walk down the street
For style and perfection we 'ere can be beat,
All the ladies declare that we are a treat,
We're the two Carrick smashers from off Greystone street
And we dance and we sing
And we don't give a jot, we're a jolly fine lot
We're all right, when we're tight, 
And we're jolly good company. 

I've just returned from a trip to Piltown, and a few nights ago at Anthony's, my brother in law Mick Murray and several others were having a singalong in the inn's back yard, when they suddenly got started on The Two Carrick Smashers. By a coincidence I had my phone in my hand and had just moved the sound recorder app to the home screen, meaning my finger was close to the Start button as they got underway! Although I missed the opening lines, I managed to record the song - it is not a great recording, as I was not close enough, and there were feral kids running around us in all directions, but the tune is easily identifiable from it!

So this one's for Paddy Giles - Up Tipp! :)
 

Chris

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