Phil the Fluther's Ball
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John Renfro Davis


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Lyrics
The words and melody to this song were written by Percy French (1854-1920) after he graduated from Trinity College, during the seven year period he was an engineer in Cavan. Phil was a real person on the Leitridonotuse-Sligo border. He gave parties in his home to help pay the rent.

For other Percy French tunes at this site enter Percy French in the search engine or go to The Contemplator's Very Short Biography of Percy French.

Have you heard of Phil the Fluther, of the town of Ballymuck?
The times were going hard with him, in fact the man was broke.
So he just sent out a notice to his neighbours, one an all.
As to how he'd like their company that evening at a ball.
And when writin' out he was careful to suggest to them,
That if they found a hat of his convanient to the door,
The more they put in, whenever he requested them
The bether would the music be for battherin' the flute.
With the toot of the flute, and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around, crossing to the wall-O!
Hadn't we the gaiety at Phil the Fluther's Ball.

There was Mister Denis Dogherty, who kep' the runnin' dog;
There was little crooked Paddy, from the Tiraloughett bog;
There was boys from every Barony, and girls from ev'ry "art"
And the beautiful Miss Bradys, in a private ass an' cart,
And along with them came bouncing Mrs. Cafferty,
Little Micky Mulligan was also to the fore,
Rose, Suzanne, and Margaret O'Rafferty,
The flower of Ardmagullion, and the pride of Pethravore.
With the toot of the flute, and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around, crossing to the wall-O!
Hadn't we the gaiety at Phil the Fluther's Ball.

First, little Micky Mulligan got up to show them how,
And then the Widda' Cafferty steps out and makes her bow,
I could dance you off your legs, sez she, as sure as you are born,
If ye'll only make the piper play, "The hare was in the corn."
So Phil plays up to the best of his ability,
The lady and the gentleman begin to do their share;
Faith, then Mick it's you that has agility,
Begorra Mrs. Cafferty, yer leppin' like a hare!
With the toot of the flute, and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around, crossing to the wall-O!
Hadn't we the gaiety at Phil the Fluther's Ball.

Then Phil the Fluther tipped a wink to little Crooked Pat,
"I think it's nearly time," sez he, "for passin' round the hat."
So Paddy pass'd the caubeen round, and looking mighty cute.
Sez, "Ye've got to pay the piper when he toothers on the flute."
Then all joined in wid the greatest joviality,
Covering the buckle, and the shuffle, and the cut;
Jigs were danced, of the very finest quality,
But the Widda' bet the company at "handling the fut."
With the toot of the flute, and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle, like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around, crossing to the wall-O!
Hadn't we the gaiety at Phil the Fluther's Ball.

Related Links
From The Songs of Percy French
See Bibliography for full information.