Doggerel Verses

In the early part of the 19th Century before the National School system came into being there were two hedge schools in the town, one in the Hoar Rock and one in the Chapel Lane. My grandfather went to one of them. One of these hedge school teachers was a hunchback named Malone and The Rhymer Carroll, a local character addressed him in doggerel verse as follows:-

“The mighty hump you bear up
composed of skin and bone
Come learn from me the rule of three
Humpy Joe Malone”.

There was in Skerries at this time a thatcher and handyman nicknamed Spandau and while thatching on one occasion Carroll had this to say to him:-

“Now John Spandau put on more straw
And whack it well and pound it
Or the frosty dew t’will penetrate through
And your inmates they’ll be drownded”.

Again one day when Carroll had to call the same man to do some work for a local clergyman he called out this doggerel:-

“Get up Spandau
No longer shall you lie
This very day you’ll make the hay
For the Reverend Mr. Tighe”.

On a funeral being delayed while the priest had a meal he declaimed:-

“Heedless and careless
About the poor sinner
The people must wait
While the priest gets his dinner”.

Christy Fox SHS 1973