It was County Mayo I was born in,
Under the sign of a Horologist star,
At dawn on a cold frosty morning
Near to a town called Ballina.
I roamed the byways of Connaught
Practising my clockmakers art,
The skill of my hands all sought—
They knew I was good at my craft.
Odd kinds I stripped to pieces
Their repairs I took in my stride,
And still on some Mantelpieces,
My work is regarded with pride.
Clocks that never had a name,
While others made Cuckoo calls—
Some keeping time by pulling a chain
And known as Wag o’ the Walls.
Oh I got them to sing—just a new spring,
And some only given a shake,
The joy when again they’d ring—
Not once did I make a mistake!
Very often in lonely old farms
I’ve seen watches of solid gold,
With pieces that no longer alarmed,
And often encrusted in mould!
I’ve worked on clocks sad and forlorn
Their insides long in decay,
Made years before I was born,
When I left—were ticking away!
Timepieces stopped for bereavements—
It’s said some never worked again,
That to me of experience
Was something I couldn’t explain.
No longer are Journeymen clockmen,
On roads of the kingdom of Conn,
In their fond memory whisper Amen,
Their times in Ireland—long gone.
Peter Cawley, known as Ballina, was a travelling or Journeyman Clockmaker who came from that town, and was well known in County Galway.