They’ll Never Believe It’s True


Travelling over the road at night
I thought I saw a Faerie-light
I thought I heard a piper on the breeze that gently blew
I stepped under a bush for only a while
To consider his quaint old fashioned style
And as I’d been travelling many a mile
I watered the grass that greenly grew.
A procession appeared from under the hill
Amazed I admired their magical skill
The piper, old and creaky, with his drones and chanter too
Whenever he’d come to the end of a bar
He’d whistle and giggle and call for his jar
-of snuff, and goggle at my guitar
And go “diddle-eye-dolee-oo.

Dazzled and frazzled I crouched in fright
In the midst of a Faerie building site
I saw by their faces, the workers wages were woefully overdue
I enquired as to whether or nay I’d a chance
Of obtaining admission to their dance
They said so long as I’d jacket and pants
I’d be welcome to join the queue.

Right then I saw herself at last
Shee of the future, present and past
I heard the pounding of percussion as my heart beat its tattoo
She flashed her feathers in frosty fright
“How is a human here at night ?”
I held my breath and to my delight
I didn’t know what to do.

She invited me in to her Faerie ring
She asked me did I dance or sing
I said I’d sung from Connemara to Kathmandu
She took my hand in a manner serene
And gave to me this plectrum green
The sweetest neatest thing I’d seen
And with a “pling” to my fingers it flew.

“Its time for tune, now Froggy, a song“
I invite the human to play along
They all jumped up at her command in every shade and hue
Ethereal dancers did appear
Imperial pixies loud and clear
Now listen ! You may call me queer
But I wouldn’t advise ye do.

We danced the Hop, the Jig and the Reel
A hornpipe set, quite surreal
We lashed out “Rakish Paddy” and she joined in on the kazoo
A wizard, a lizard, a weasel and stoat,
An old brown owl and a giddy old goat,
Created a vision of crystal precision
And I had a bird’s-eye view.

She dressed me up in leather and lace
Danced on the table and tickled me face
I told her I was able but I didn’t want to woo
She said she’d show me East and West
I remarked on the depth to which I was impressed
She blessed me then for being her guest
And I bade them all adieu.

Travelling over the road at night
I thought I saw a faerie-light
I thought I heard a piper on the breeze that gently blew
I still maintain my plectrum green
An object that rarely if ever was seen
Given to me by a faerie queen
But they’ll never believe its true!

(Andy Irvine / Steve Cooney) (Andy Irvine)

This was meant to be a song called “The Two Sisters” that I found in a Cecil Sharpe collection many years ago. I’d always been a bit irked that some people, who recorded it subsequently, had seemingly not known that the tune–and some of the words–were mine. The bit about ‘’Boiled in Lead’’ for instance. However when we put the backing track down, Steve was entranced by it and decided it was “Faerie Music”. We banded around ideas for a week or two and one morning, when I woke up, this song greeted me ! Needless to say not ALL of it is true…


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