Few poets have been so loved by the ordinary people as W.F. Marshall,"The Bard 
of Tyrone" His verses about his native county- it's mountains and woods,it's 
plaintive old bachelors and love-sick girls,it's laughter and vigor,are known 
and cherished by an older generation, many of whom can be relied upon to recite 
"Me an'me Da" "Sarah Ann" or "Our Son" as the occasion demands.

 

"The Bard" the Rev. William Forbes Marshall BA. LLB. DD. MRIA. was born Bill 
Marshall in Drumragh ,Omagh, County Tyrone on the 8th May 1888. His father was 
principle teacher in Sixmilecross National School where Bill received his early 
education.

 

One of his most loved poems is "Me an'me Da" also sometimes subtitled "Livin in 
Drumlister"

It is written in the local Tyrone dialect so we have given you an "English" 
translation!

 

Me an me Da

By W.F. Marshall

 

I’m livin in Drumlister

An I’m getting very oul

I have to wear an Indian bag

To save me from the coul.

Theres deil a man in this townlan

Wos claner raired nor me,

But I’m livin in Drumlister

In clabber tae the knee.

 

Me Da lived up in Carmin,

An kep a sarvint boy.

His second wife was very sharp,

He birried her with joy.

Now she wos thin,her name was Flynn

She come from Cullentra,

An if me shirts a clatty shirt

The man to blames me Da.

 

Consarnin weemin sure it wos

A constant word of his,

Keep well away from them thats thin

Their tempers aisy riz.

Well,I knowed two I thought wud do

But still I had me fears,

So I skiffled back an forrit

Between the two,for years.

 

Wee Margit had no fortune,

But two rosy cheeks wud plaze.

The farm o lan was Bridgets,

But she tuk the pock disayse.

An Margit she was very wee,

An Bridget she was stout.

But her face was like a goal door,

With the boults pult out.

 

I’ll tell no lie on Margit

She thought the worl of me.

An tell the truth me heart wud lep

The sight of her to see.

But I wos slow, ye surely know

The raison of it now,

If I left her home from Carmin

Mr Da wud rise a row.

 

So I swithered back an forrit

Till Margit got a man.

A fella come from Mullaslin

An left me jist the wan.

I mind the day she went away,

I hid wan strucken hour,

An cursed the wasp from Cullentra

That made me Da so sour.

 

But cryin cures no trouble,

To Bridget I went back,

An faced her for it that night week

Fornenst her own turf stack

I axed her there,an spoke her fair,

The handy wife shed make me,

I talked about the lan that joined

-Begob! She wudnae take me.

 

So Im livin in Drumlister

An Im getting very oul

I creep tae Carmin wanst a month

To try an save me sowl

The deil a man in this townlan

Wos claner raired nor me,

And Im dying in Drumlister

In clabber to the knee.

 

 

English translation from Tyrone speak of

Me an me Da

 

Me and my father

By W.F. Marshall.

 

I am living in Drumlister

And I’m getting very old

I have to wear a potato bag

To keep me from the cold

There’s not a man in this townland

Was cleaner reared than me

But I’m living in Drumlister

In cow dung to the knee.

 

My father lived in Carmin

And kept a servant boy

His second wife was very sharp

He buried her with joy

Now she was thin, her name was Flynn

She came from Cullentra

And if my shirts a dirty shirt

The man to blames my Da

 

Concerning woman, sure it was

A constant word of his

Keep well away from them thats thin

Their tempers easy rise

Well I knew two, I thought would do

But still I had my fears

So I kiffled back and forward

Between the two, for years

 

Wee Margaret had no fortune

But two rosy cheeks would please

The farm of land was Bridgets

But she took cowpox desease

And Margaret she was very wee

And Bridget she was stout

But her face was like a jail door

With the bolts pulled out

 

I will tell no lie bout Margaret

She thought the world of me

And tell the truth my heart would leap

The sight of her to see

But I was slow, you surely know

The reason for it now

If I left her home from Carmin

My Da would rise a row

 

 

So I swithered back and forward

Until Margaret got a man

A fellow came from Mullaslin

And left me just the one

I recall the day she went away

I hid one strucken hour

And I cursed the wasp from Cullentra

Who had made my Da so sour

 

But crying cures no trouble

To Bridget I went back

And faced her for it that night week

Beside her own turf stack

I asked her there and spoke her fair

The handy wife shed make me

I talked about our land that joined

Begob! She would not take me.

 

So I’m living in Drumlister

And I’m getting very old

I creep to Carmin once a month

In an attempt to save my soul.

Theres not a man in this townland

Who was cleaner reared than me

But I’m dying in Drumlister

In cow dung to the knee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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