The Longford Weaver (Nancy’s Whiskey)


These five long quarters I have been weaving
And for me weaving I was paid down
I bought a shirt in the foremost fashion
All for to walk up through Longford Town

I walked up and through Longford city
where Nancy’s Whiskey I chanced to smell
I thought it fun for to go and taste it
These five long quarters I’ve liked it well

I entered into a little alehouse
Begged Nancy’s pardon for makin free
and Nancy met me at every corner
You’re hearty welcome, young man says she

We both sat down at a little table
We looked at each other a little while
We both sat down at a little table
And Nancy’s whiskey it did beguile

I found meself then in a little parlor
I found meself then in a little bed
I tried to rise but I was not able
For Nancy’s whiskey it held down me head

When I arose aye the following morning
I asked what reckoning I had to pay
It’s fifteen shillings for ale and porter
Come pay it quickly now and get away

I put me hand all in me pocket
The ready money I laid it down
It’s fifteen shillings for ale and porter
And all remaining was a half a crown

Well I looked up, I looked out a window
Where there a fair maid I chanced to spy
I called her in we spent two and two pence
and all remaining was a crooked boy

I put the money out on the table
Saying I leave this money out with the rest
And I’ll drink a health to every young man
And the wee lassie that I love best

And I’ll go home, I’ll begin me weavin
I’ll steer me shuttle another while
And if I live to another season
It’s Nancy’s Whiskey will not me beguile


“The Longford Weaver” (H745 in Sam Henry’s, where it is also known as “Long Cookstown” or “Nancy Whiskey”); it is followed usually by traditional reel “Christmas Eve”.

“Another of Eddie Butcher’s! Sam Henry has a version of this called “Long Cookstown” and it crosses my mind that “Longford Town” could be derived from “Long Cookstown”. Tyrone seems a more logical weaving area than Longford…..Frankie Leads us into a well known reel, Christmas Eve, in celebration of the weavers declared intention of going on the dry.” – Andy Irvine, Sleeve Notes.



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