Commonly Misheard Irish Lyrics

An intelligible mishearing of classically unintelligible lyricsBy Patrick Kennedy

Cartoon by Lance Hansen

Cartoon by Lance Hansen

“And it’s how are you kid and what’s your name, and how’s your bloody nose?”

Pair of Brown Eyes, the Pogues: And it’s how are you kid and what’s your name, and how’d you bloody know?

“When it’s too far to walk, and the Beatles’ barf exciting me, I walk into a log and think shifty bikes are here.”

Streams of Whiskey, the Pogues: When the world is too dark, and I need the light inside of me, I walk into a bar and drink fifteen pints of beer.

“Ooh, ah, up your arse, yeah ooh ah up your arse!”

Celtic Symphony, the Wolfe Tones: Ooh, ah, up the ‘RA, said ooh ah up the ‘RA!

“Tell her how the IRA made you run like hell away, to the queen and Sully’s bake-off, Philly sham-a-lam-a-ding-dong.”

Come Out Ye Black and Tans, Dominic Behan: Tell her how the IRA made you run like hell away, from the green and lovely lanes of Killashandra.

“The dingle phone and puddle spill, and if the boys are stealing bikes, you’d better let ‘em.”

The Boys Are Back in Town, Thin Lizzy: The drink will flow and blood will spill, and if the boys want to fight, you’d better let ‘em.

“We had one million bags of the best Sligo hash, we had two million kilos of blow.”

The Irish Rover, trad: We had one million bags of the best Sligo rags, we had two million barrels of bones.

“Oh, wax on, wax off, it’s ‘Rebel Yell.’”

Rock On, Racall, the Wolfe Tones: Oh rock on Racall, you’ll never fall

“You’re an old slut on junk, with an arable stench as you’re dipping your bread.”

Fairytale of New York, the Pogues: You’re an old slut on junk, lying there almost dead on a drip in that bed.

“I’ll go back to my parents, confess what I’ve done...and if they caress me, as oft times before.”

The Wild Rover, trad. Sadly, those are the real lyrics, but they should be modified to something less disturbing.

“Whatever happened, to Tuesday in Soho, slipping and a-sliding, leaking on your pantyhose!”

Brown-Eyed Girl, Van Morrison: This is some prom, huh? Man, this is gonna be the greatest summer of our lives!

PATRICK KENNEDY is is co-author of Bricklayer Bill: The Untold Story of the Workingman's Boston Marathon. He is also a hack pianist who once won $100 in the Frank Monroe Memorial Rock 'n' Roll Tournament of Death, under the stage name "Lon Gunderwehr."

LANCE HANSEN is a The American Bystander printmag contributor whose work has appeared most recently on The Nation’s Op Art page. He is currently working on a number of long-gestating projects.

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