the private stillTHE PRIVATE STILL (THE GAUGER)
A gauger once in Dublin town, the time that I was there
He fancied that a private still was being wrought somewhere.
He met me out one morning, perhaps he fancied that I knew
"Oh never mind," he said "Pat, how do you do ?"
cho:With my fol-ol-dtha-di-do, fol-ol-dtha-dee.
"I'm pretty well," your honour," but allow me for to say
I don't know you at all, at all." Said he " Perhaps you may.
I'm going to find a something out, assist me if you will,
Here's fifty pounds if you can tell where there's a private still."
"Give me the fifty pounds," said I, " i' faith I surely can.
I'll keep my word, you may depend as I'm an Irishman."
The fifty pounds he then paid down, I pocketed the fee.
"Now button up your coat," I said, " and come along with me.'
Along the road we quickly walked for miles full half a score,
When by his gait 'twas evident his feet were getting sore.
"How far have we to go?," says he, "for I am getting tired."
"Let's hire a jaunting car," says I, so then a car we hired.
As soon as we were on the car, said he, "Now tell me, Pat,
Where is that blessed private still? Don't take me for a flat.'
"A flat," your honour, "no, said I, but hear me if you will,
And I at once will let you know where there's a private still."
"In half a minute, now," says I, "the barrack's close at hand
And if you look right through the gate you see and hear the band.
And when the band's done playing, you will see the soldiers drill."
"Oh, never mind the soldiers, Pat, but where's the private still?"
"In just a second now, " said I, "I'll point him out to you.
See? There he is. That fat old chap standing between them two."
"What's that you say?" says he. Says I, " My brother Bill;
They won't make him a corporal, so he's a private still!"
The gauger swore and tore his hair to get his money back.
But I jumped onto the car myself and bolted in a crack.
And as he walked along the road, though sore against his will,
The people shout "Exciseman, have you got the private still?"
From Songs of the People, Henry
Collected from Daniel Moore, 1885