Thady Quill

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Ye maids of Duhallow who're anxious for courting
A word of advice I will give unto ye
Proceed to Banteer to the athletic sporting
And hand in your names to the club committee
And never commence any skits on your programme
Till the carriage you see flying over the hill
Right down through the valleys and glens of Kilcorney
With our own darling sportsman the bold Thady Quill

For ramblin', for rovin', for football' or courtin'
For drinkin' black porter as fast as you'd fill
In all your days rovin' you'll find none so jovial
As our Muskerry sportsman, the bould Thady Quill

At the great hurling match between Cork and Tipperary
('Twas played in the park on the banks of the Lee)
Our own darling lads were afraid of being beaten
So they sent for bold Thady to Ballinagree
He hurled the ball right and left in their faces
And showed the Tipperary men action and skill
If they touched on his lines he would certainly brain them
And the papers were full of the praise of Thade Quill


At the Cork Exhibition there was a fair lady
Whose fortune exceeded a million or more
But a bad constitution had ruined her completely
And medical treatment had failed o'er and o'er
O, Mother, says she, sure I know what will ease me
And cure this disease that will certainly kill
Give over your doctors and medical treatment
I'd rather one squeeze out of bold Thady Quill

Thady Quill is a popular traditional Irish song. The song is ironic as it was written about an individual living in County Cork who was not a heroic figure.[citation needed] It was recorded by The Clancy Brothers on their album Come Fill Your Glass with Us.


The ballad "The Bould Thady Quill" was composed by Johnny Tom Gleeson around 1895 and first put to paper in 1905. Johnny Tom Gleeson (1853–1924) was a farmer who lived near Rylane, County Cork. He fancied himself a poet/balladeer, lampooning many of his neighbors and acquaintances.[citation needed]


Timothy "Thady" Quill (c.1860-1932) was a poor laborer and occasional cattle jobber, who, owning no land nor house, did odd-jobs for the local farmers. Thady, although a burly man, was no athlete, apparently teetotal, while sleeping in barns did not endear him to the ladies - he died a bachelor. Johnny Tom Gleeson engaged Thady as a labourer. However, instead of paying him, he "immortalized" Thady with this ballad, which pleased Thady to no end.[citation needed]


  • A version of the ballad with music was published in "Soodlum's Irish Ballad Book" by Oak Publications, London, England, 1982, and another in "Comic Songs of Cork and Kerry" by James N. Healy, published by Mercier Press, 1978.