The Spoons Murder

The Spoons Murder is a grisly murder ballad written by an extraordinary Cork man, Con "Fada" Ó Drisceoil. Con is a singer, songwriter and accordian player and member of The Four Star Trio. Con's humourous songs and ballads are published in Spoons Murder and other mysteries which also features a CD (2006).

Listen to Anne Buckley singing 'The Spoons Murder' in front of a live audience at Marino Library on Culture Night, 20 September 2013.

Book cover: The Spoon's Murder and other mysteries by Con Ó Drisceoil

The Spoons Murder by Con Ó Drisceoil

In the tavern one night we were sitting
I’m sure ‘twas the last week in March;
From our drinks we were cautiously sipping
To ensure that our throats didn’t parch.
We played music both lively and dacent
To bolster our spirits and hopes,
As we gazed at the females adjacent
And remarked on their curves and their slopes.

Til this gent wandered into the session
And decided to join in the tunes:
Without waiting to ask our permission
He took out a big pair of soup-spoons.
Our teeth in short time we were gritting
As he shook and he rattled his toys,
And the company’s eardrums were splitting
With his ugly mechanical noise.

Hopping spoons off our heads to provoke us
He continued the music to kill;
Whether hornpipe, slow air or Polkas
They all sounded like pneumatic drills.
Then he asked could we play any faster
As his talent he wished to display
With a grin on the face of the bastard
Like the cat when she teases her prey.

Our thoughts by this time were quite bloody
And politely we asked him to quit
We suggested a part of his body
Where those spoons might conveniently fit.
This monster we pestered and hounded
We implored him with curses and tears,
But in vain our appeals they resounded
In that desert between his two ears.

When I went out the back on a mission
He arrived as I finished my leak
He says "this is a mighty fine session
I think I’ll come here every week".
When I heard this, with rage I was leppin’
And this torture I’d no longer take
I looked ‘round for a suitable weapon
To silence this damn rattlesnake.

Outside towards the yard I did sally
To find something to vanquish my foe.
I grabbed hold of a gentleman’s Raleigh
With 15 speed gear and dynamo.
Then I battered that musical vandal
As I shouted with furious cries
"My dear man your last spoon you have handled
Say your prayers and await your demise."

With the bike I assailed my tormentor
As I swung in a frenzy of hate
Til his bones and his skull were in splinters
And his health in a very poor state.
And when I was no longer able
I forestalled any last minute hitch
By removing the gear-changing cable
And strangling the sonofabitch.

At the end of my onslaught ferocious
I stood back and surveyed the scene.
The state of the place was atrocious
Full of fragments of man and machine.
At the spoons player's remains I was staring
His condition was surely no joke
For his nose was clogged up with ball-bearings
And his left eye was pierced by a spoke.

At the sight I was feeling quite squeamish
So I washed up and went back inside
Then I drank a half gallon of Beamish
As my throat in the struggle had dried.
Unpolluted by cutlery's clatter
The music was pleasant and sweet
For the rest of the night nothing mattered
But the tunes and the tapping of feet

At an inquest the following September
The coroner said "I conclude
The deceased by himself was dismembered
As no sign could be found of a feud.
And the evidence shows that the fact is,
As reported to me by the Guards
He engaged in the foolhardy practice
Of trick-cycling in public house yards.

So if you’re desperately keen on percussion
And to join in the tunes you can’t wait
Be you Irishman, German, or Russian
Take a warning from his awful fate.
If your spoons are the best silver-plated
Or the humblest of cheap stainless steel
When you play them abroad, you’ll be hated
So just keep them for eating your meals

Acknowledgement

The Spoons Murder and other mysteries Con Ó Drisceoil. Dublin: Craft Recordings. 1980.

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