Monday, March 2, 2009

The not-so-good and the not-so-great, number 6

Malcolm is still cavorting in the County Armagh, so we have to be satisfied with his continued series of ... yawn! ... insights in the by-ways of Irish underlife. If we can keep awake.

Blind Billy and his bargain

Blind Billy was the Limerick hangman. He refused to undertake one particular job, the execution of a popular local, without a bonus of £50. The Sheriff of Limerick recognised he was cornered, so agreed to the deal.

Billy pocketed his fifty.

The job done, Billy called for his usual armed escort out of the city. The Sheriff would not provide the escort without a fee of £60. Billy had to pay up, or be made mincemeat by the Limerick mob (who were as notorious then as now).

Billy's reward was a slip jig tune named in his honour. That is if the tune doesn't come from Blind Billy O'Malley, the piper of Louisborough.

Hence, "Blind Billy's Bargain".

Malcolm recalls hearing the term used in connection with a Trinity College, Dublin, legend.

A student, doing his final examinations, summoned the supervisor. He had studied the College's ancient rubrics; and he was entitled to have a bottle of claret brought that he might refresh himself.

There was a lull, while pens around the examination continued to scribble furiously.

The door opened and one of the College porters entered, bearing a silver salver on which were a napkin, a crystal goblet, and a bottle of claret. This was duly laid before the now-grinning candidate Bachelor.

The examination concluded. Everyone streamed out of the Theatre building to surround the hero of the hour.

The same College servant shimmered across the cobbles, bearing a second salver with an official envelope.

This announced that the recipient had been fined twenty guineas for failing to observe the rubric that candidates must present themselves properly dressed, with sword and spurs. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites