Desert Island 4 – “If I Knock An ‘L’ Out Of Kelly”

Day 4 Song 4 of my Desert Island choices and another that always brings back fond memories.

“If I Knock An ‘L’ Out Of Kelly” was written in 1916 and is basically an Irish drinking song.

My father-in-law Joe McCann left his home in Dublin to come and work as part of the war effort in the factories of Coventry and was followed by a number of his brothers.

The thing about a large Irish family is that they loved getting together and it inevitably ended up in a party with plenty of drink and at which each of them “did a turn.”

Joe also happened to be a member of a male voice choir.

He had a fantastic singing voice and this was the song that he always sung at the family parties so it always makes me smile.


If I Knock An ‘L’ Out Of Kelly”

Timothy Kelly, who owned a big store,

Wanted his name painted over the door;

One day Pat Clancy the painter man came,

Tried to be fancy and misspelled the name;

Instead of Kelly with double-‘L’ Y,

He painted Kelly, but one ‘L’ was shy;

Pat said “It looks right, but I want no pay,

I’ve reasoned it out in my own little way.”

Chorus:

If I knock an ‘L’ out of Kelly,

It would still be Kelly to me;

Sure a single-‘L’ Y or a double-‘L’ Y,

Should look all the same to an Irishman’s eye.

Knock off an ‘L’ from Killarney,

Still Killarney it always will be;

But if I knock the ‘L’ out of Kelly,

Sure he’d knock the ‘L’ out of me.

Timothy Kelly looked up at the sign,

He told Patty Clancy “That’s no name of mine,

As a sign painter you’ll never go far,

You’re a fine painter like Kelly you are.”

“Oh Shame on you Clancy, just see what you’ve done,

You’ve spoiled the name of an Irishman’s son.”

“Don’t let an ‘L’ stand between us,” said Pat,

“I’ve figured it out like a real diplomat.”
Chorus:

If I knock an ‘L’ out of Kelly,

It would still be Kelly to me;

Sure a single-‘L’ Y or a double-‘L’ Y,

Should look all the same to an Irishman’s eye.

Knock off an ‘L’ from Killarney,

Still Killarney it always will be;

But if I knock the ‘L’ out of Kelly,

Sure he’d knock the ‘L’ out of me.