Cullybackey Cowboy

Bard of Armagh Winner 2006

 Now I’m what you’d call a Rhinestone Cowboy,
I’m a Country Boy through and through,
From my 10-gallon hat to the dung on my wellies
And the grass that I smoke must be blue!
I can eat beans and bacon, and fart with the best,
I can spit wads of chawin’ tobaccy,
I am just like John Wayne, but for one minor pain –
I was born and reared near Cullybackey.
M’Da was a drummer in a Rock’n’Roll Band
My Ma loved all things that wereYank,
I was born one morning, when the sun didn’t shine,
They upped and they christened me Hank.
At four in the morning, when I started bawling,
And could not be persuaded to snooze,
My Maw would put whisky into my bottle –
I was brought up on Rhythm’n’Booze.
I took to the singing, before I learned talking,
Anything from Country to Rock.

We all learned to sing pretty loud in our house –
The bathroom door had no lock.
But this Country Music is not all plain sailing,
It brought nothing but trouble and strife,
For all of my songs have begun to come true,
And it really has screwed up my life.
The Gal that I married was called Peggy Sue
From a village in the County Tyrone,
Her Paw was a rancher, with two hundred Friesians
On green green grass of home.
Their cows won the medals at the big County Show,
Their milk always got the top bounty,
And her Paw, he was known from the Moy to Strabane,
As the “Cow-Herd of the County”
We would always meet up at the carnival tent,
Situated some way out of town,
And she would be waiting, down by the riverside,
With a blanket laid out on the ground.
Well, the story turned out, just like it was Dallas,
Our misdeeds they soon started telling,
For though I am no oilman, I’ve been known as JR,
And very soon she was Su-wellin’

er Paw and her brothers came calling around,
They said they did not want a quarrel
But the wedding invitation that they handed to me
Was tied to a big shotgun barrel!
Well, the wedding was quick and was quiet,
Before she was showing her bun,
Me Maw and Me both were crying in the Chapel,
For her Da was still holding the gun.
She wanted a honeymoon in the Wild West
To see Cowboys & Injuns get shot.
All I could afford was a week in Bundoran,
And that’s about as wild as it got.
We got bed and breakfast in this old house,
In a room with a great big green door.
I thought I was picking up good vibrations,
It was the landlady banging on the floor

Now Peggy Sue claimed she was eating for two,
And she simply could not get her fill,
From the old candy store on the corner,
Or the Macdonald’s up on the hill.
She grew and grew till she blocked out the sun,
As the birth of our child neared its onset,
Her flannelette drawers hung up on the line,
Looked just like red sails in the sunset.
I worked for a while with her Da on the farm,
He used to call me the grim reaper.
I asked why his cows were all black and white,
He told me the licence was cheaper.
Then I did all the milking for a couple of months,
But I got the sack after a while.
He knew I was doing it wrong, when he noticed
The Bull wearing that stupid smile!
He was always yappin’ and whingin’ at me,
Till I told him it just had to stop
He went on so I chucked him, right into the slurry –
Sort of ‘slurry with a whinge on top’!

Well, I tried to improve my Cowboying skills,
At a riding school out near the Moy,
But my four-legged friend was an evil big brute,
With a real nasty look in his eye.
I gave him the gentlest of tweaks on the reins,
He took off like a bat out of Hell.
He charged for the hedge like a runaway train,
And ignored the commands I did yell.
He put his left leg in, and his right leg out,
And he did a great big Hucklebuck,
And I flew like a eagle right over his head
And landed full slap in the sheugh,
As I lay in the drain, in considerable pain,
With my bruises all growing bigger,
I never did find out that oul’ horse’s name,
But what I called him sounded like Trigger!

Well my saddle sores worsened, and became haemorrhoids,
Bejapers, the pain it was dire,
So I went to the Doctor, and tried to explain,
That I just had a pure Ring of Fire
He said Gentian Violet is the thing that you need,
So I had to call in Peggy Sue,
And I cried every dawn, as she painted it on,
Singing Don’t it make your brown eye blue!

I got my own showband, and we went on the road,
If Hugo Duncan is cool — we were colder!
We appealed to the more mature kind of fans,
Like Daniel O’Donnell’s, but older.
The grannies went wild everywhere we performed,
When I went up on stage with the lads.
Our groupies would gather all along the front row,
And throw up their incontinence pads.
Of course I was tempted by the sex and the drugs,
And the lifestyle was making me sick.
All the travelling in vans, and the smoky oul’ bars
I was main-lining aspirins and vick,
The older the fiddle, the sweeter the tune,
The oul dolls would say with a squeeze,
When they took off their vest, and sometimes the rest,
There were bits hanging down to their knees!
Well, of course, Peggy Sue was not too well pleased,
With the lifestyle that I was now leading
She decided to follow a different showband,
In spite of my begging and pleading.

She travelled the country in an oul camper van,
Following your man Dickie Rock.
When I asked her the reason, she said with a grin,
That he had a much bigger . . record collection!
Well, by now I was well down the slippery slope,
So I thought that I must bite the bullet.
They said the Mayo Clinic is where all the stars go,
So I took a weekend in Belmullet.
I just went ‘cold turkey’ to clear out the drugs,
I ate nothing else for a week.
I was that constipated I drunk Syrup of Figs,
Damn near blew a hole in my cheek!
So I’m making a comeback — I’ve got a new band
I think we’ll go down like a bomb
All of our songs sound exactly the same
Well, it worked pretty well for Big Tom!
Hugo Duncan and me are gonna do a duet,
He says that we can be the best,
For he’s the boy to put the ‘ree’ into ‘countree’
And he reckons I’ll put in the rest!