Of priests we can offer a charmin variety,
Far renownd for learnin and piety;
Still, I’d advance ye widout impropriety,
Father OFlynn as the flowr of them all.
cho: Heres a health to you, Father OFlynn,
Slainte and slainte and slainte agin;
Powrfulest preacher, and tenderest teacher,
And kindliest creature in ould Donegal.
Dont talk of your Provost and Fellows of Trinity,
Famous forever at Greek and Latinity,
Dad and the divils and all at Divinity
Father OFlynn d make hares of them all!
Come, I venture to give ye my word,
Never the likes of his logic was heard,
Down from mythology into thayology,
Truth! and conchology if hed the call.
Och Father OFlynn, youve a wonderful way wid you,
All ould sinners are wishful to pray wid you,
All the young childer are wild for to play wid you,
Youve such a way wid you, Father avick.
Still for all youve so gentle a soul,
Gad, youve your flock in the grandest control,
Checking the crazy ones, coaxin onaisy ones,
Lifting the lazy ones on wid the stick.
And tho quite avoidin all foolish frivolity;
Still at all seasons of innocent jollity,
Where was the playboy could claim an equality,
At comicality, Father, wid you?
Once the Bishop looked grave at your jest,
Till this remark set him off wid the rest:
“Is it lave gaiety all to the laity?
Cannot the clergy be Irishmen, too?
Alfred Percival Graves (1846-1931), an expert in Gaelic (and later Welsh) literature and music, was paid only a few guineas for this song / jig in 1891, while others subsequently earned heft royalties. Alfred’s most famous son was the writer, poet and classicist Robert Graves.