Take her up to Monto

Written by George Desmond Hodnett, music critic of the Irish Times. The song was written in 1958 as "taking off one of the stock types of folk and ballad tunes...The tune has now reached the point when it has become the folk song it originally aimed at satirising."

Red Light

Well if you've got a wingo take me up to ringo
Where the waxies sing-o all the day
If you've had your fill of porter and you can't go any further
Then give your man the order back to the Quay.


And take her up to Monto, Monto, Monto,
Take her up to Monto, langeroo to you.

You've heard of Buckshot Foster, the dirty old imposter
He took a mot and lost her up the Furry Glen
He first put on his bowler, then he buttoned up his trousers
And he whistled for a growler and he said, "My men,

Chorus: Take me up to Monto, etc.

Carey told on 'Skin the Goat,' O'Donnell put him on the boat
He wished he'd never been afloat, the dirty skite
It wasn't very sensible to tell on the Invincibles
They took aboard the principals, day and night.

Chorus: Be goin' up to Monto, etc.

You've seen the Dublin Fusiliers, the dirty old bamboozaliers
De Wet'll get the childer, one, two, three
Marchin' from the Linen Hall, there's one for every cannonball
And Vicky's goin' to send youse all o'er the sea.

Chorus: But first go up to Monto, etc.

When the Czar of Rooshia, and the King of Prooshia
Landed in the Phoenix in a big balloon
They asked the Garda Band to play, `The Wearin' O' the Green'
But the buggers in the depot didn't know the tune.

Chorus: So they both went up to Monto, etc.

The Queen she came to call on us, she wanted to see all of us
I'm glad she didn't fall on us, she's eighteen stone
`Mr. Neill, Lord Mayor,' says she, `Is this all you've got to show to me?'
`Why no, ma'am, there's some more to see - póg mo thóin!


And he took her up to Monto, Monto, Monto,
Took her up to Monto, langeroo - Liathroidi to you.

Monto, short for Montgomery Street, near the Custom House, was reputed to be the biggest red-light district of its kind until its closing down occurred in 1925.

Secretary Forster, more usually known as "Buckshot". He had introduced Coercion Acts in the late 19th Century which allowed people to be arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of being involved in criminal activity. A "Growler" was a cab.

"Skin the Goat" was the nickname of James Fitzharris, the cabman who drove the murderers of Lord Cavendish and T.H.Burke to and from the Phoenix Park. He was sentenced to penal servitude for conspiracy because he refused to identify his passengers. Patrick O'Donnell, in another song was "a deadly foe to traitors". He had met the informer James Carey, who although he had played a leading in the murders, was freed for turning Queen's Evidence. Of the 27 members of the Invincible society who were arrested, Carey's evidence helped to send six for execution. Carey was then secretly dispatched to South Africa by sea and met O'Donnell "afloat". Then while travelling to Durban from Cape Town on the "Melrose" O'Donnell killed Carey and was sent back to London, tried and sentenced to death.

The Dublin Fusiliers are mentioned in connection with the Boer War "oe'r the sea".

Waxies are candlemakers.

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