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Skeealyn Vannin, Disk 5 Track 05ii: Speaker: John Crebbin, Port St Mary

Date(s): 1948

Creator(s): Irish Folklore Commission

Transcript: Jus’ the shy by T. E. Brown.

Yes, comin’ home from the North Sea fishin’ we were, past John o’ Groats,
Past the Pentlands and Cape Wrath theer, twenty boats
There’d be of us, and eight men and boys to every one, and how many are you making that now?
A hundred-and-sixty, says you. You’re smart though, what?
And sure enough it is, aw, this ciphrin’ and figgurin’ and recknin’, aw, grand! grand!

Well, when we hauled to the south’ard, the wind turned afoul, you’ll understan’;
So we made for the bay though, the lot of us: ter’ble narra it was to get in that bay,
but spreadin’ out astonishin’. The room you navar seen - acres an’ acres!
So swings to an anchor for all
As aisy as aisy, and plenty to spare, just that we could call the time o’day and that:
It’s comfible, you know, like yandhar, and maybe a matthar
Of ten fathom, good houldin’, fuss-rate ridin’, couldn’ be batthar.
And at the top of the bay there was a castle, ter’ble though,
Aw, bless ye, ter’ble uncommon, and the gardens theer all in a row,
An’ all above one another; an’ some guns that was took from the Rooshians,
an’ a tower, an’ a flag goin’ a-haulin’
I don’ know the burgee, but as broad as a good tarpaulin;
And over the door, cut to a dot, aye, open your eyes the widest you can!
Over the door, if you plaze, over the door, what next? Goodness gracious! The three legs of Man.
That was the thing. My gough ! the wondher we had;
And this and that; but at last Billy Fargher said
It muss ha’ been some of these ould Earls or Dukes, or their daughters, or their nieces, or their cousins
(Of coorse, there’d be dozens) that got married on yandhar, lek, at leas’ you’d expeck
There’d be some workin’ in and out; and blood is blood, that’s aisy understood;
And navar ashamed of our ould flag, not her; but heisin’ it to the wind,
and carvin’ it on the stone, like defyin’, lek as bould as a lion.

Now there was a ter’ble great lady livin’ in this Castle,
Aye, a lady, bless ye ! and no mistake, gran’, no doubt, but kind.
And she come to see us, aye, and she said she was once on the Islan’,
And the people was that good to her, and that civil, and that smilin’,
And that plazzant, she said, that she couldn’ forget it, she said,
No, she said; and it wasn’ no use, she said,
They were nice people, she said, the nice you couldn’ tell;
That’s what she said, and she liked them well.
And she wouldn’ take no res’ of us but we muss promise then and theer
To have dinner with her, aye! dinner, think of that now!
A hunderd-and-sixty of us. What? Aw, I’ll sweer.
Dinner though; we promised sure enough; and the day come,

And there wasn’a sowl of us went, not a sowl, by gum!
No! and the pipers blawin’, and the curks drawin’,
And the preparation they’d be havin’, so I’m toul’,
And there wasn’ a sowl, no, not a sowl.
And what for was that? What for? Jus’ the shy, the shy,
That’s the what for, and that’s the why,
And that’s the way with the Manx; aw, it is though, aw, they are, they are,
Mos’ desp’rate shy; aw, it’s a pity for all, but stare
They will, and wink and nudge and poke and bother,
And spit theer and laugh, and look like axin’ one another,
“Are you goin’, and you?” and takin’ rises, and all to that,
Till you can’t tell is it your granny’s cat
Or what is it that’s doin’ on you, but you feel jus’ a reg’lar fool,
And all the time p’itendin’ to be as cool as cool.
Aw dear! it’s a pity! a pity! aw, a rum lot!
But, whether or not, the great lady was agate of us again,
‘Deed for sure she was, and she seen the men
Was shy of the dinner; but it’s lek she thought
It was on account of not knowin’ how to behave theerselves the way they ought
With theer knives and theer plates and the lek; so axed them to tay.
Aw, she muss ha’ been a kind lady anyway!
And we promised faithful, and the day came, and she sent and she sent,
And there wasn’ one of us went.
The shy, did ye say ? Sartinly, an’ nothin’ but the shy,
That’s the way we are; aye,
Treminjus though.. I was raelly sorry for her, I was, I tell ye,
And all the that was at her theer, fit for a melya,
And the disappointed, what ? and, altogather, my Chiarn !
These Manx chaps isn’ fit, no they ar’n’. Ter’ble boghs !
Well, the wind veered round, and we all sailed for the southward,
Excep’ two boats. Now, d’ye think she’d ha’ bothered about such dunkies ?
Well, that’s jus’ what she did,
Perseverin’, aye ! and considherin’, and waitin’. Patience is it?
But anyway the strong, the kindness was in her
That’s it, and the long suff’rin’ lek,
And navar not no capers of takin’ offence.
My gough! It’s many a time I’ve thought of it since.
What did she do but down on these chaps that was lavin’ behind,
Sixteen of them, aye, and axed them theer as kind as kind
To tay. Most sartin; what else ? and I tell ye they took heart and went,
And enjoyed theerselves to the full the same’s it might be you or any other gent.
But the res’ ? you’re wond’rin’. Chut! Jus’ the shy, and nothin’ but
The shy. Aw, there’s no use o’ talkin’, the shy is shockin’.
No raison, says you: not a bit.
Amazin’, says you. Well, that’s all you’ll get,
Is the raison, and the for and the why. Jus’ the shy!

Language: Manx

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: WHOLE

ID number: SA 0579/5/5ii


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