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Finn McCool

The true story, allegedly, of Northern Ireland's fabled giant.

Now Finn McCool was a giant, and lived around Portrush.

He used to wade far out to sea, to avoid the Easter crush.

One day he met some fishermen, who spoke of lands afar,

and of a Scottish giant by the name of Ruiscar.

This giant said, "Finn coudnae fight oot o' a paper bag."

When Finn heard this he roared with rage, and then he lost the rag.

"I'm not afraid of any man who wears a skirt and blouse,

and keeps some iffy company, like those shaggy highland cows.

I'll have his guts for garters; I will crack his hairy head.

By the time that I have done he'll regret the things he said.

I'll tear the bugger limb from limb, and throw him in the Dee

just after I have worked out how to cross the Irish sea.

I'll have to get across somehow: - I know, I'll build a raft."

His mate Finbar the midget said, "Don't be so bloody daft.

For you to get across the sea, and get to grips with him,

you'll have to build a bridge, because you know you cannot swim."

So Finn got at the building, the columns classic Doric.

A man appeared from nowhere, and said his name was Pauric.

He watched Finn at the building, then said, "What are you doin'?

If you keep on you'll make this place go to rack and ruin."

So Finn stopped for a tea break, which he was entitled to.

Took out his piece and ate it, and then left his tea to brew.

"I have to get to Scotland, and the only way I can

is build a bridge from here to there, with six or seven span."

"Have a titter of wit, my son, you cannot use those blocks.

This site has been preserved, you know, 'cause of the basalt rocks."

"Listen, mate," says Finn to him, "there's a bridge at Carrick-a-rede.

I'll build my bridge here if I want, and I'll pay you no heed."

So Finn kept at the building, and the bridge was going great

when a rock came flying over, and Pauric cried, "We're bate."

The rock contained a message, which said that Finn was yella.

"By God," said Finn, "before I die, I will have that fella."

Finn picked up a hefty lump of finest Antrim granite.

Threw it just to test his aim, and hit a passing gannet.

Wee Finbar said, "I'll help you aim, and hoke out some boulders."

Pauric said, "I'll stand and watch you use those mighty shoulders."

"That's magic, lads. With help like that I'm sure to win the day.

I'll sort that Scottish eedjit out, and I will make him pay.

I'm going to change my tactics, boys, so this is now my plan.

I'll throw the sodding bridge at him, and kill him if I can."

Finn grabbed the bit of bridge he'd built, and then took careful aim.

He threw it with all his might, but his effort was in vain.

If fell into the Irish sea, and if you go you can

stay on it for a holiday; it's called the Isle of Man.

Just then the Scottish giant started claudin' huge great stones.

Some were as big as houses, big enough to break Finn's bones.

"That's it!," cried Finn to Finbar, "now the battle has begun."

Behind a rock oul' Pauric said, "Sure now we'll see some fun."

Finn he started digging, tearing rocks out of the gutters.

Some he threw sailed high and true, and some were daisy-cutters.

The hole which he created, and is still there to this day

filled up with water and with fish; it's now known as Lough Neagh.

Finbar motored here and there, doing his best to help.

Then one stray rock laid Pauric low, and he let out a yelp.

A strike to the Scottish giant, though unbeknownst to him

oul' Pauric was a goner, and his light began to dim.

They looked upon his body lying there so still and dead;

they carved upon a stone a moving epitaph which read:-

'It's a pity that he's gone but don't think his death a waste,

oul' Pauric was bloody useless, no good to man or baste.'

But still the rocks flew over, for the battle wasn't won.

No time to mourn oul' Pauric, though he was some mother's son.

So Finn kept up the throwing, and wee Finbar duked about.

"Keep claudin', Finn," he shouted, "and we'll win without a doubt."

Then Finn threw one real wheeker, with a touch of left hand side,

which caught yer man square on the head, and he fell in the Clyde.

He couldn't swim and so he drowned; the battle was over.

Finn knelt down upon the ground, and kissed a four-leafed clover.

And so it was that Finn prevailed, and slew his Scottish foe.

There is no plaque to mark it, for it happened long ago.

But there is the Isle of Man, and Lough Neagh's still there too.

the Giant's Causeway up the coast; all proof that it is true.

David Myles Sept 2007

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