The Independent Man

This is a song composed by Peter Durnin.(Peadar O Doirnin)

Peter was one of the 17th century Ulster poets and was originally from Armagh.

Here’s a health to all those that at liberty goe

That travel the road without a command,

That drink and that sport, that sit in their clothes

Whilst taking repose with a glass in their hand.

I am one of their sort, the track of their sole,

I love it by Jove,while e’re I stand,

I’ll keep my own ‘Vote’, I’ll give it to none

I value no more a Parliament Man.

What do I care for Holland or Hague,

Or trouble my brains with packets or news

From Germany’ states to Lobquid’s retreat,

Their taking of Prague, or Spaniards confuse,

But what if they break their masts upon sea,

Or bother to death each other by course;

They will give no more share of profit or gains,

Pox on them if e’re they beg for a truce.

For kings or their guards I care not a straw

No colour at all shall make me stand,

To Dukes or to Lords or to Ladys at ball

I never will crawl with cap in my hand;

Their states and their claws, prelates and its laws,

The Minister’s cause to me is all one,

I am not a Novel or a Barron Claw,

I don’t value Bashaw or great Coly Can.

A Whig or a Tory, High Church or Low Church,

Protestant, Roman, Quaker or Clan

Shall ne’er controul me to any other notion

But the same motive I have in hand,

I’ll travel the road, I’ll meddle with none,

I’ll let them alone by sea and by land,

For Providence store me want of their board,

I’m covered with clothes and that’s my demand.

What makes me say so in viewing the motions

Of several folks of strife and command

The General’s trophy, the Cabinet’s glory,

The Minister’s cloak, the Lawyer his fan,

The Mariner’s rows in hazard for more,

The Craftsman in Co. with courage takes on,

But I’ll wager my hose along with my shoes

That they’ll break other’s noses before they’ll have done.

When powers agree, ’tis then you shall see

That with sudden career on England they’ll come;

They’ll pell-mell all three, not sparing degrees,

The grey and the green with bullet and drum;

While on terrace I’ll laugh and I’ll sneer,

Enjoying good cheer I’ll sip of my rum;

Yet devoid of all fear, I’ll sit like a peer,

With a bottle of beer un-undher my thumb.

In Heaven’s great name, how can they blame

The poor man, or shame him, in the long run?

Ambition’s their game, what else do they mean,

But purchase high fame, great power and fun?

They may swear a big oath that never they’ll loath

The poor dupe that votes for them. ’tis their plan;

But I’ll keep my own vote, I’ll give it to none,

Then what need I care for a Parliament man?


About rod1015

Retired professional, gym fit cyclist, cooking buff, eternal optimist who enjoys the Irish Times with a good mocha and occasional Tweet, - residing in West Cork.
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