X:1 T:Father O'Flynn T:The Top of Cork Road T:The Yorkshire Lasses B:Traditional Irish Guitar, Paul de Grae (Ossian) D:ditto N:extended transcription to show variations Z:Transcribed by Paul de Grae R:Jig M:6/8 L:1/8 K:D dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fed edc|dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 c|| dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bdd efg|fed edc|dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| fed fga|ecA ABc|dzd Bcd|cAA AB=c|B2 G Bcd|AFF DFA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| ~fed fga|ecA ABc|dcd Bcd|cAA A2 =c|BGG Bcd|AFF DFA|Bcd efg|agf gfe|| dAF D2 A|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|agf gfe|dAF D2 A|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 c|| dAF DFA|d2 B cBA|Bcd efg|fed edc|dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| fde fga|ecA ABc|dcd Bcd|cde A2 =c|B2 G Bcd|AFF DFA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| ~fed fga|ecA ABc|dcd Bcd|cee A2 =c|BGG Bcd|AFF DFA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 c|| dAF DFA|d2 B cBA|Bcd efg|faa eaa|dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|ABc d2 c|| dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Add Aee|Aff gfe|dAF DFA|Bed cBA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| fde fga|ecA ABc|dzd Bcd|cAA AB=c|B2 G Bcd|AFF DFA|Bcd efg|fdd d2 e|| ~fed fga|ecA ABc|dcd Bcd|cAA A2 =c|BGG D2 B|AFF D2 A|Bcd efg|fdd d3||
FATHER O'FLYNN. AKA and see "Cork Road," "Bonnie Green Garters (1)," "Gravers Flight (The)," "Rollicking Irishman (The)," "To Drink with the Devil," "Top of Cork Road (1) (The)," "Trample Our Enemies," "Yorkshire Lasses (1)." Irish, English, American, Jig. USA, southwestern Pa. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The title comes from popular lyrics written to the tune "The Top of Cork Road" by Alfred Perceval Graves, first published in 1874. The original for the priest in Graves song was Father Michael Walsh, a native of Buttevant, County Cork, who was a parish priest in Sneem, County Kerry, for over thirty-seven years until his death in 1866 (he is buried in the parish church). Walsh was said to have been a good violinist by one source, but Graves himself identified the clergyman as a piper "who played delightfully" and who had a love for Irish music. This last statement is borne out by the fact that twenty-seven pieces are credited to him in the Stanford/Petrie collection (1906). There is an account of him in Éigse, IV (1944), pp. 157-60.
The words to Graves' song go:
Of priests we can offer a charmin' variety,
Far renown'd for learnin' and piety;
Still, I'd advance ye widout impropriety,
Father O'Flynn as the flow'r of them all.
Chorus: Here's a health to you, Father O'Flynn,
Slainte and slainte and slainte agin;
Pow'rfulest preacher, and tenderest teacher,
And kindliest creature in ould Donegal.
Don't talk of your Provost and Fellows of Trinity,
Famous forever at Greek and Latinity,
Dad and the divils and all at Divinity
Father O'Flynn '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 he'd the call.
Och Father O'Flynn, you've 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,
You've such a way wid you, Father avick.
Still for all you've so gentle a soul,
Gad, you've 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?"
Bayard (1981), in tracing the tune, thinks that it is perhaps not Irish in origin but English, as English published versions (from 1778) predate the Irish (1798). As "The Yorkshire Lasses" it can be found in English country dance collections, and the jig is similar to "Gravers flight (The)" in Straight & Skillen's c. 1775 country dance collection. This was the first tune learned by piper Willie Clancy (1909-1973, Miltown Malbay, west Clare), taught to him at age five by his flute-playing father, Gilbert Clancy. An early recording of "Father O'Flynn" was by Ballybay, County Monaghan, piper Robert William "Willie" Clarke (1889-1934) for Columbia Records of London in 1928, for a series of records entitled "The Pipes of Three Nations" (which included a Highland piper and a Northumbrian small-piper). The tune is incorporated as the second part to accordionist Joseph Plante's "Gigue de la rivière du loup" (Victor 263863, 1931).
The Welsh tune "Cader Idris" or "Sweet Jenny Jones", in 3/4 time, is quite similar.