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In a shady nook one moonlight night,
A leprehaun I spied;
With scarlet cap and coat of green,
A cruiskeen by his side.
'Twas tick tack tick his hammer went,
Upon a weeny shoe;
And I laughed to think of a purse of gold
But the fairy was laughing too!

With tip-toe and beating heart,
Quite softly I drew nigh;
There was mischief in his merry face,
A twinkle in his eye.
He hammer'd and sang with tiny voice,
And drank his mountain dew
And I laughed to think he was caught at last;
But the fairy was laughing too.

As quick as thought I seized the elf;
"Your fairy purse," I cried.
"The purse", he said, "'tis in her hand
That lady at your side."
I turned to look: the elf was off!
Then what was I to do?
O, I laughed to think what a fool I'd been;
And the fairy was laughing too!

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Source: Singing Together, Spring 1974, BBC Publications

Acknowledgement was given in the pamphlet to Boosey and Hawkes. The song was arranged and edited by Herbert Hughes from Irish Country Songs.

The song appears to have been written by Patrick Weston Joyce, c.1873, though it's also attributed to his brother, Robert Dwyer Joyce, who wrote the words of The Boys of Wexford.

Roud: 5274 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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