Leitrim of the Legends
“You’d think it was lovely if you didn’t know it”
Said John Carty to John Carty one day…
Though he loved the land where he was from
It was the joke that he would say
As they heard local singer Larry Cunningham
The praises of Leitrim in song sing
So I heard it as a child,
The story to the mind does bring
Another, of Parletheon and his wife
Who arrived at lovely Glenade
And one, which one I do not know,
Of its beauty a remark made…
The other, just out of spite
As bickering couples are known to do –
Said it was horrible to their eye
Though it was beautiful they knew…
Ah yes, there are stories in the area: tell
Of a woman by waters edge washing clothes,
From the deep a monster to her came –
Something like the Loch Ness lad I’d suppose…
It killed her there where her clothes lay,
Her husband killed the beast,
Before it could on his lovely wife
As if a mere fish, heartily feast.
Its partner merged from the lake,
Chased him and his brother over field and ditch and lane,
Till they cornered and killed it too:
No more were ever seen again.
Was it true, as the stone carving on her headstone says…
From out of the waters mist…
Such a beast came, and such fight was had…
That creatures like that exist?
Or were the men clever to a man,
Having killed the poor woman in a fight,
Concocted a tale to fool the gullible folk there
So from law they’d not have to take flight?
We know not, we know so we tell the tales…
As we know of Partheon before them,
As of John Carty and his cousin John,
Told by his poet son long after the passing of both of them!
Colmcille native Larry Cunningham does a lovely version of the song Lovely Leitrim.