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Red Is The Rose
On September 18, 1964
Playwright Sean O'Casey dies in England due to a heart attack. He is known for his almost photographically real pictures of Irish tenement life.
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Nell Flaherty's Drake
(Trad)
Oh my name it is Nell and the truth for to tell
I come from Cootehill which I'll never deny
I had a fine drake and I'd die for his sake
That me grandmother left me and she goin' to die
The dear little fellow his legs they were yellow
He could fly like a swallow or swim like a hake
Till some dirty savage to grease his white cabbage
Most wantonly murdered me beautiful drake

Now his neck it was green almost fit to be seen
He was fit for a queen of the highest degree
His body was white, and it would you delight
He was plump, fat, and heavy and brisk as a bee
He was wholesome and sound, he would weigh twenty pound
And the universe round I would roam for his sake
Bad luck to the robber be he drunk or sober
That murdered Nell Flaherty's beautiful drake

May his spade never dig, may his sow never pig
May each hair in his wig be well trashed with the flail
My his door never latch, may his roof have no thatch
May his turkeys not hatch, may the rats eat his meal
May every old fairy from Cork to Dun Laoghaire
Dip him snug and airy in river or lake
That the eel and the trout they may dine on the snout
Of the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake

May his pig never grunt, may his cat never hunt
May a ghost ever haunt him the dead of the night
May his hens never lay, may his horse never neigh
May his coat fly away like an old paper kite
That the flies and the fleas may the wretch ever tease
May the piercin' March breeze make him shiver and shake
May a lump of the stick raise the bumps fast and quick
On the monster that murdered Nell Flaherty's drake

Well the only good news that I have to infuse
Is that old Paddy Hughes and young Anthony Blake
Also Johnny Dwyer and Corney Maguire
They each have a grandson of my darlin' drake
May treasure have dozens of nephews and cousins
And one I must get or me heart it will break
For to set me mind easy or else I'll run crazy
So ends the whole song of Nell Flaherty's drake
The main character of this anonymous nineteenth century ballad is said to be a secret code name for Robert Emmet, an exceptionally charming youth who led a small uprising in Dublin in 1803, for which he was publicly hanged. Emmet's famous "speech from the dock", in which he requested that no epitaph for him be written until Ireland took her place among the nations of the earth, assures him of an eternal place in the hearts of all Irish nationalists.
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