Carrick, You Make Me Feel At Ease

Ballad by Simon Oak about the late Liam Clancy, one of my heroes, returning to his home town Carrick-On-Suir.

The song was written for the songwriting competition ‘A Song for Carrick 2017’ and, because I had never been there, the song is almost entirely based on the video where Liam and his brothers visit Carrick. The recording is a very quick home recording meant to give you an idea of the song. Both the melody and the lyrics have had some slight changes. Let me know if you want me to make a better recording or come along and sing it for you. I delivered the song later that year in the Junction Bar on a Monday night in October, where it was very well received. Next day I had some time to visit the places of the song myself. Lovely town full of stories and an impressive bridge across the river Suir!

Video credits: “The Story of the Clancy Bros. and Tommy Makem”
Director: Derek Bailey, produced by David Hammond, 1984.


As I went back to the place I belong
Like Shakespeare, I thought of that famous song
Callin o custure me
Walk on the banks of the Suir with me
That’s what I wished almost every day
Since I left my motherland
From Tipperary, yeah, that’s along way
When Tommy and I joined the band

The castle, as a kid, I never braved on me own
There were patches of blood stained into the limestone
The prisoners’ manacles still on the wall
We sure did some damage while we played the ball
We took forks from the kitchen and swam to the isle
Lifted the stones for an eel
The catch we took home with a very proud smile
And we had a delicious meal

I’ll never forget that hilarious fight
Of a husband and wife out in the early night
Screaming and shouting, we all went out to see
How they ran into the guard who just finished his tea
He stepped up to husband and he gave him a belt
Upsetting the wife, I’m no joker
And from under her dress, o yes, she’s a Celt
She attacked the poor guard with a poker

My brothers they loved Americay
So when I was old enough I too made my way
Kissed me dear old Mrs. McGrath
Promised me pa to be back for the Fleadh
Now that I walk here through Williams Street
I remember my boyhood so well
To play Pitch and Toss, was our Sunday treat
I still hear that old church bell

Two for a woman and three for a man
That church bell directed our everyday plan
We rushed out to mass, we were always late
And when I look at that wrought iron gate
I think of the coffins we carried through there
Our ma and our pa, rest in peace
Weddings and Christenings, each with a prayer
O Carrick, you make me feel at ease

When I walk through my boyhood streets
O Carrick, you make me feel at ease

When I walk on the banks of the Suir
O Carrick, you make me feel at ease

When I hear that old church bell
O Carrick, you make me feel at ease!


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