St. Patrick in Frederick Street.

As I was coming here tonight
My mind was not complete,
For I thought I saw St. Patrick
On the corner of Frederick Street.
He had a bunch of shamrocks in his hat
And a shillelagh in his hand,
Singing, “God bless old Ireland and
The boys from Paddy’s Land!

I said, “What are you doing?
What are you doing here tonight?”
“I came over to watch the Irish boys,
To see they don’t get tight.
For there’s nothing can control them,
You do whate’er you can
For they’re harum scarum devil-may-care-um,
The boys from Paddy’s Land!”

He looked me up and he looked me down,
He looked at me mighty cute,
He said, “Where are you going?”
I said, “To the Marchioness of Bute!”
“I’d like to go there with you,
But we must not be seen,
For we’d both land up in Cardiff Jail
For the wearing of the green!”

Archbishop Murphy’d be there in the morning
To bail the two’ve us out.
He’d call you more than rotten
And me a sacrilegious lout!”


Frederick Street: a street in the centre of Cardiff.
Shillelagh: a club made from a hawthorn branch.
Marchioness of Bute: in Frederick Street, one of the old pubs of Cardiff, demolished in the 1970s.
Archbishop Murphy (1905 - 1995) was Archbishop of Cardiff from 1961 to 1983.

©: Recorded in 1976 from Ben ‘Blow’ Whelan, Bargoed, by a member of staff of the then Mid Glamorgan County Library.
Ben, born in Waterford in 1893, was brought to Wales by his parents when he was about 8 years old. He spent his working life as a miner. He died about 6 months after the interview.
Published in The Green Dragon No 3, June 1997

We are grateful to the Bridgend Library and Information Service for giving us permission to reproduce this poem.

Links St. Patrick's Day / Gorgysylltiadau Gwyl Padrig 2004

Another poem by this author.