Hang Me Out to Dry

by Trip McCool

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1.
My Grand-dad worked this very boat When he was just a lad Rowed these ancient waters, his fists turned ironclad He wore the Aran sweater that his Mammy knit for him The family knots and patterns Twisted deep within His son tore down those crimson sails Once proud on Galway Bay An outboard engine takes a man To Cod banks far away Then factory ships they raped the sea Stole every feckin’ fin Left nothing but a diesel slick and a Cheshire grin Cast a line on the water Sail a boat on the sea After all, sons and daughters We fish for life, We fish for dreams I caulked I chinked this Hooker boat I sewed these crimson sails I take her out on Galway Bay To race the Minke Whales I swear I leave those fish alone But still I cast my net I haul the plastic from the bay There’s hope for Galway yet
2.
I got off on Friday To the wife, I headed it home But I run into a Gin Mill Little Lassie sang a song Well I told her I was single Oh I must have lost my mind My pockets used to jingle Now I haven’t got a dime Oh, Dump me in a Flop House Stick a penny in my eye Stab me with a clothespin And Hang Me Out To Dry A nickel gets a coffin And you sleep in it so tight For a penny there’s a clothesline And ya hang on it all night In the morning all hungover From drinkin’, stinkin’ booze And a copper grabbed my collar When I threw up on his shoes Well the judge he looks me over And I sez, “I done no crime” Your an insult to the public That’s a fifty dollar fine So I call my darlin’ deary Now I’m in the County Jail Oh my assets all upended And she will not throw my bail You love your frickin’ freedom But if you love your wife Stay clear of gin soaked women Cause you pay and pay for life Now listen wayward fathers It’s a warning now from me Put your nose into the grindstone Put the bab-y on the knee
3.
Evermore 04:53
Long ago we walked together Down the path that led from school While talking softly all along the way Then in all my years of travel All my life I’ve played the fool Our secret I kept safely tucked away How you cried then when you told me That you’d never be my bride Your family made the troth so long ago It was sealed with a dowry But never with a kiss Your hand he holds, your heart he’ll never own Evermore, evermore Why did you say my darling, evermore With a gold pin from your sweater You bled my thumb and yours Mixed them both upon a wild primrose Oh I swore on my mother Yes upon her holy grave I’d never tell another living soul Got the word then from my brother And he told me all the news He mentioned how your man had passed away Oh I thought then of your sweater The pin, a bloody rose The old school path, can we still find our way
4.
I left my mother’s loving arms Stepped out in this world Heard my father’s last refrain Beware the sea, the swirl And the Selkie Girl Shipwrecked on a rocky shoal Drowning, lost, alone A fin, a flip, a flash of grey She pushed me to the stone, the Merrow folk call home Her hair that sets the heart to flame Twisting in the wind I twisted like a knot of blame Oh the seven sins, She shed her selkie skin She gave me drink of bloody wine Went straight to my head Lost all track of place and time Took me to her bed, Her Selkie bonny bed A broken heart, a broken song No never can I rest My love, my youth, my money gone All that I have left, Her tattoo on my chest
5.
There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn must die They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in Threw clods upon his head And these three men made a solemn vow, John Barleycorn was dead They've let him lie for a long long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall And little Sir John sprung up his head, and so amazed them all They've let him stand 'til midsummer's day 'til he looked pale and wan And little Sir John's grown a long long beard, and so became a man Then came the men with their scythes so sharp, to cut him at the knee They've rolled and tied him by the waist, to serve most barbarously They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks, Who've pricked him to the heart And the loader he has served him worse than that For he's bound him to the cart They've wheeled him round and around a field 'til they came onto a pond And there they made a solemn oath, on poor John Barleycorn They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to beat him skin from bone And the miller he has served him worse than that For he's ground him between two stones And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl, his brandy in the glass And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl, the strongest man at last The huntsman he can't hunt the fox no more, nor loudly blow his horn And the tinker he can't mend, the kettle or the pots without a little Barleycorn
6.
A man a horse are on display Two relics of a bygone age The people point the children laugh The air is free, not the photograph Old Dobby’s kind, and kitten tame I fix my cap, I comb her mane She does not drink, she does not swear Make a dollar here and a Euro there Farewell the street down St James Gate The world we love, is the world we hate Sweet fields of green, be still my heart Where angels play on a Guinness harp My brother works the family farm His wife the hag, will twist his arm They ask me out for Sunday Tea “Sit by the fire, come warm the feet” And tell the tales of long ago When times were hard..Well, I don’t think so My only friend is this old nag She loves me more, than any hag When shadows grow so tall and long She pulls the cart, I sing the song Ol Dobby’s back is a little swayed And so is mine on a winter day
7.
Oh my people come from Dublin, but me I’m from the street The rounders and the grifters shine the shoes right off your feet It’s darkest in the light of day, you peek down in a hole A drunkard tries to catch a rat to save a baby’s soul Baby soul, baby soul, Catch a rat to save a baby’s soul I joined the Irish Rifles it was 1917 I’d save the States, save the frogs, save the bloody King The gangster pound from Ironbound, we swore we’d lick ‘em all ‘Til I was cryin’ in the trenches when the night would fall Night would fall, night would fall crying for me ma when night would fall The bombs they blew my ears off, my nerves are broken glass The winter froze my fingers, the sergeant chewed my ass My feet commenced to rotting, I lost the old back bone I coughed a crippled lung up, half of me is coming home Coming home, coming home, less than half of me is coming home You give a boy the devil’s job it ends in silent screams Then angels mop the blood of men that cannot wake from dreams You’re punished if you’re catholic, you get the Irish curse You end up like your father in the gutter, maybe worse Maybe worse, maybe worse you end up in the gutter maybe worse The truth is where you find it, it’s lying here and there And money’s just as wispy as the coal smoke in the air A pork chop hits the table and it’s divied up 5 ways Ya dream about potatoes and the gravy in the grave In the grave, in the grave, ya dream about the gravy in the grave In the grave, in the grave, sweet Jesus give me gravy in the grave
8.
Somewhere down the road I lost the feeling When this caravan became my home Damned if I can stop, and start the healing How did I get this curse, the urge to roam Once upon a time all Ireland was mine Feared by men and loved by every maid A slick and silver tongue, handsome as a song Couldn’t wait to hit the old highway You kiss a pretty girl, it changes your whole world You do the things a good man wouldn’t do Pull your trousers on, leave by early dawn You didn’t ask, you swore ya never knew The rumors drift around the streets of a small town Like Sunday funnies on a windy day The boy becomes a man, starts rocking in a band I heard him once, my god that kid can play At this stage of life, I’ll never take a wife A lonely fool is all I’ll ever be Following a star, I got my old guitar It keeps me safe, it keeps me company
9.
Victoria, The Famine Queen She told the Lords, It’s quite obscene They feed their children, their Irish mud Let them eat Cabbage, if there’s no Spuds My Mom was German , my Dad a Mick She pickled cabbage It made him sick She called it Kraut he called it crud Just boil the Cabbage in with the Spuds My dear old Granny on her deathbed She asked the priest are angels fed Well he says, no and she says good I’m sick of Cabbage I’m sick of Spuds Saint Patrick’s Day most people here They eat corned beef they drink green beer But Fish and Chips we’re best of buds My cousin Cabbage my brother Spuds I won’t eat Haggis I won’t eat snails I’d rather dine on rusty nails It’s in my bones it’s in my blood I go for Cabbage I go for Spuds
10.
My Hands 03:27
Oh my hands move slowly like the hands of time Old and tired are these hands of mine Chewed and bitten, no the nails aren’t clean Stiff and twisted from a mad machine Oh my heart is heavy and my heart gets sore Nearly breaking when you knock on my door My head is telling me you lost your chance But my heart won’t listen to my common sense How I feel about you, It burns down deep in my soul Gonna walk beside you, And help wherever you go If it hurts to hold you, My god, then let it be so What it takes to love you My hands can’t do it, my heart can’t do it alone You say you’re sorry and you’re gonna change My bones grow weary of the running game Oh my back is bending and my spine grows weak My mind says leave you but my mouth won’t speak
11.
12.
When the world lies hard on thy shoulder The birds still remember to sing When the world lies hard on thy shoulder Look for the Robin of Spring The Very First Robin of Spring Some days it all feels so endless Staring off into the blue Long winter nights, near pointless Then nature brings wonderful news A fluttering sound in a meadow Rustle and rush taking flight A nest gaining shape in the branches A season returning to life Listen for truth in the treetops The promise of peace that it brings Turn to the sky in the morning Search for the spreading of wings

about

Close your eyes and you find yourself wandering into an Irish Pub off the beaten path. A band is playing and the sounds are familiar; the well seasoned voice, tin whistle, accordion and fiddle but the songs... have you heard them before? They carry the rocking authenticity of the Pogues and the poetry of the old Irish ballads. It's as though Roddy Doyle is the barkeep for these tunes, spiked with ironic humor that ebbs and flows just as strong porter follows whisky. A laugh and a tear; both valid. You wake to find you have just listened to the latest collection of songs by Trip McCool, "Hang Me Out To Dry".

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released February 17, 2020

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Trip McCool Holly Springs, North Carolina

I put on the guitar and sing as if my ancestors were listening; and I truly believe they are so I better not disappoint them. Trip is the part of my soul that never forgot the sacrifices they made. My people rose up from the Irish mud to make a better life for me. I write songs for them, for my people, the immigrants, the poor, the salt of the earth. It's all true, even the lies. ... more

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