You could break down in a worse place
Even if you were not like His Grace
There is in it no disgrace
An axel can break on anyone
So in Kilbeggan he landed
The Viceroy found himself there stranded
As if Fate herself had planned it
To the pub his party went as one.
Lord Townsend was known to grumble
The place looked rough and tumble
The gentry were far from humble
But here they would have to sleep
But with whiskey and sherry
The party soon was merry
From Kilbeggan down to Kerry
Such a dinner was not seen.
They lay back their ears at the sight
Tucked in with all their might
The whiskey sped up the night
Never such there before had been!
Songs they started to sing
With each round they toasted the king
Till the viceroy bade the host before him bring
He wished with him to speak
Drunkenly standing swaying
His subofficers his orders obeying
The landlord for his life was silently praying
Said: “it was me good sir you did seek?”
“Indeed it is!” said the viceroy
Your drink, your house, your wife a joy!
Ive had never such fun since I a boy
Then I and my men had here tonight!
“I command you for the king to kneel”
He continued grandly with his speel
The landlord worried, wished this wasnt real
He was shivering with the fright.
“In thanks for your abode
That I dreaded when into town I rode
In apprehension its doors through I strode
But, by the king, I was wrong!
Your food, your company and your drink
Would make a finer hotel its head in shame sink
Not being equal, said he with a wink
So I will knight you, as a nobel you belong!
His comrades bade him think this through
He bade them no, nothing less would do
Next thing before he knew
Humble Thomas Cuffe was a Sir!
The strangest things the moon has seen
But odder never in Kilbeggan had not been
The party went on, toasting king and queen
Each one more affected by drunken slur…
Cuffe went the story his wife to tell
She told him first to go to hell
Then she took to it quite well
As a lady now was she
But as everyone in Ireland goes
Rarely so smoothly things here goes
When the Viceroy next morning arose
His folly he did see…
He bade Cuffe to speak a second time
Outline his nights folly was a sort of crime
So sadly I tell in this little rhyme
Cuffe had to agree it was not real
But that was the simple part
His wife had taken her title to heart
To mollify her would be beyond an art
Maybe not possible at all
He this to the Viceroy did tell
He knew his wife and judged her well
She screamed the seven halls of hell
Said shes a lady, and so everyone her so should call…
Across the Irish and British nation
Never before was seen such a situation
For the woman would not surrender her new station
Never tell a Lady she is not so…
The viceroy now taking a second sup
Saw the funny side, and gave up
Told them enjoy their status, with a giddy-up
His newly fixed carriage to Tullamore did go!
So ends the tale of Thomas Cuffe
Who of his station could not get enough
His wife who kept it by her huff
The Lady of Kilbeggan
Today in that little town
Its Distillery of renown
You wonder as its streets you walk down
How as a lord can end up a common man!