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The Cock and the Crock of Gold

The legend of the Cock and the Crock of Gold in Kilcormac, in the times of the Wars of the Molloys…

Derrydolney in Ballyboy today
Derrydolney in Ballyboy today – image from Google Streetview

The O’ Molloy to Meath set to march
From Derrydolney to aid his kith and kine
But he knew mankinds weakness for another mans riches
No matter their carachter otherwise fine…
So before he to war set out
He took a spade in his hand
A hole he dug where no man would know
Buried his gold there where he did stand…

Fate is cold, rare kind, often cruel:
War is the means of its acts
Man is subject to its wanes and its slights
That is lifes merciless facts…
So, slaughter of warfare took Molloys life:
The gold to the earth that was tossed…
To keep it safe should he safe return…
Useless to the dead – to the living was lost.

But dreams are the gateways to what we know not
A dream was shared among men three
Of a black flag, and location buried there
Neath where the treasure aught be.
As per tradition a rooster was brought
For eveil spirits are scared off by a cock
And spades they brought to uncover the earth
To dig up the treasure neath the rock.

Mans labour, when in team set, soon brings reward…
The black flag set in the ground they did find,
But strange as the dream, a confusion did seem
To seize each man in his mind…
Delusion, confusion, comrades in this collusion
Wandered around lost for a few days
In time their minds cleared, but had disappeared
Memory of the flag that had held their gaze…

Some say in the bars over a few jars
The fold is in the ground at Derrydolney yet
For the men forgot the truth of tradition
The essential part of the ritual they did forget…
For men who know little know in little too much
Know not for the protection to be fulfilled
The cock must be eaten a little, the rest left for the Gods –
The poor fools didn’t even have their cock killed!

From Ballyboy, and through todays Kilcormac
To Easter Island across the sea
A shared tradition of superstition
Its strange it is to see…
That there, read headed, in the Isle of the Heads
The ritual of the rooster too was practiced outside the tombs…
We talk of today of where the gold still lies
As we drink slowly in our barrooms!

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