Posted by Edward Coppinger in Features.

Who is the man in the corn we’d ask,
Why is he so forlorn sad and alone,
Then granddad used to take us to task
Saying, “because the seeds are all sown”.

His task is to scare the crows away
Who steal the newly sown seed,
And works so hard all hours of the day
Against birds known for their greed.

He’s a Farbrega to some a scarecrow,
That works in cold wind and rain,
By these two names we mostly know
A worker who will never complain.

The scarecrow can be a thing of beauty
Or the Farbrega as in Galway is known,
Oh lonely and silent his vigilant duty
In the middle of a field on his own.

Some used to sew buttons for eyes
With a hat that had seen better days,
Around the neck well worn collars and ties
And a variety of staggering arrays.

A man in Moonard dressed one as a Guard,
And a Knockdoe farmer just for fun,
For the church and law had no regard
Dressed one up as a Carmelite nun.

A chap in Coolarne kept one in a barn
That resembled a large leprechaun,
Of which was told many a good yarn,
When it done duty around Turlough Ban.

Granddad used to say, “now between you and me
Isn’t a Farbrega an expression of art”—
That in Ireland you’ll never again see,
Oh that thought breaks my old heart!

Edward Coppinger

Mischievous Putachs used to add to or alter some that caused annoyance and puzzlement to farmers.