Lyrics

You may talk of the Saints and the Scholars
Whose names we all learned in school
Who found Europe in sin and in squalor
And brought it to order and rule
A fig for these globe-trotting clerics
St. Ronan, St. Brendan, St. Gall
The man who gave women hysterics
Was Finbarr so handsome and tall

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

While others were off gallivanting
In Brussels, Berlin and Paris
Finbarr his vespers was chanting
At home in his church by the Lee
His miracles all were astounding
But surely of all his great work
His finest achievement was founding
The beautiful city of Cork

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

St. Canice above in Kilkenny
At hurling had made quite a name
He suffered an awful shock
When he took on our Finbarr at the game
St. Finbarr, he hurled like lightning
By pulling first time, low and high
He gave the poor man such a frightening
He thought that the Doomsday was nigh

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

At bowling he cut quite a figure
On tarmac or gravel or sods
Men who were many times bigger
He beat by incredible odds
At draghunts and racetracks and meetings
His dogs always won with a will
And ever since then there's no beating
The dogs of the boys of Fair Hill

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

Incensed with the heavy taxation
On brandy and spirits and wine,
Finbarr gave his dispensation to all
Without penance or fine
So the hills of West Cork were infested
With men making poitín and rum
Which then they consumed and digested
To make themselves totally numb

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

Bould Finbarr being always ambitious
And eager to taste a smathán
In a way that was most surreptitious
He founded a still in Guagán
The stuff that he made was delicious
And eagerly sought and imbibed
But delivered an impact so vicious
That no-one who drank it survived

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

At a conclave inside in St Peter's
The cardinals said with one voice
As they quaffed the red wine by the litre
That Finbarr for Pope was their choice
On hearing that he was elected
And urgently summoned to Rome
St Finbarr the job he rejected
Remarking "There's no place like home!"

You can keep St. George and his dragons
St. Pat with his shamrocks and snakes
For drinking the quarts and the naggins
St. Finbarr the trophy must take

Con composed this song in an effort to give Cork's patron saint something of the mythic folk-hero status generally accorded to St. Patrick. Finbarr is depicted as the ultimate Corkman: an accomplished sportsman, fond of drink, who rises to the top of his profession and is inordinately attached to his native county.

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