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Harris and the Mare

Lyrics and music by Stan Rogers (Fogarty's Cove Music)


This very beautiful song from the pen of the late Stan Rogers tells of a bar room brawl during which an elderly life-long pacifist suddenly finds it necessary to fight to the death against a younger and fitter adversary.  Having fought unaided to the point of  exhaustion, he finally reaches the help of an old friend.


Harris my old friend, good to see your face again
More welcome though the trap and that old mare
For the wife is in a swoon, and I am all alone
Harris fetch your mare and take us home

The wife and I came out for a quiet glass of stout
And a word or two with neighbors in the room
But young Cleary he came in, as wild and drunk as sin
And swore the wife would leave the place with him

But the wife, as quick as thought, said no I'll bloody not
And the struck the brute a blow about the head
He raised his ugly paw and lashed her on the jaw
And she fell upon the floor like she were dead

Now Harris well you know I've never struck a angry blow
Nor would I keep a friend who raised his hand
I was a conshie in the war, crying "What the hell's this for?"
But I had to see his blood to be a man

I took him by the coat, spun him round and took his throat
And I beat his head upon the parlour floor
He dragged out an awful knife and he roared "I'll have your life"
Then he struck me and I fell upon the floor

Blood I was from neck to thigh, a bloody murder in his eye
As he shouted out "I'll finish you for sure"
But as the knife came down, I lashed out from the ground
And the knife was in his breast when he rolled o'er

With the wife as cold as clay I carried her away
No hand was raised to help us through the door
And I've brought her half a mile, but I had to rest a while
And none of them I'll call a friend no more

For when the knife came down I was helpless on the ground
No neighbor stayed his hand, I was alone
By God, I was a man, but now I cannot stand
Harris fetch your mare and take us home

Now Harris fetch your mare and take us out of here
In my nine and fifty years I'd never known
That to call myself a man for my loved one I must stand
Harris fetch your mare and take us home


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