The Praties They Grow Small (The Famine Song)

I just encountered this famine song for the first time today. There is an American version as well, but it’s more light-hearted. I’ve included the texts to both below.  It’s sung here by Amelia Hogan and Ray Frank.

The Praties They Grow Small

Oh the praties they grow small, over here (2x)
Oh the praties they grow small
And way up in Donegal
We eat them skins and all, over here, over here
We eat them skins and all, over here.

Oh I wish that we were geese, night and morn, (2x)
Oh I wish that we were geese
Till the hour of our release
When we’ d live and die in peace, stuffing corn, stuffing corn
When we’ d live and die in peace, stuffing corn.

Oh, they’ll grind us into dust, over here (2x)
Oh, they’ll grind us into dust,
But the Lord in whom we trust
Will return us crumb for crust, over here, over here
Will return us crumb for crust, over here.

One of the American versions

THE ‘TATERS THEY GROW SMALL IN KANSAS

Oh, the ‘taters they grow small in Kansas,
The ‘taters they grow small in Kansas.
Oh, the ‘taters they grow small
And we dig ’em in the fall,
And we eat’em, tops and all,
In Kansas.

Oh, they bake a skunk pie in Kansas,
They bake a skunk pie in Kansas.
Oh, they bake a skunk pie,
And the crust is made of rye.
You gotta eat it or you’ll die
In Kansas.

Oh, they chew tobacco thin in Kansas.
They chew tobacco thin in Kansas.
Oh, they chew tobacco thin,
And it dribbles down their chin,
And they lick it up again
In Kansas.

Oh, the people never wed in Kansas.
The people never wed in Kansas.
Oh, the people never wed,
Or so I’ve heard it said,
They just tumble into bed
In Kansas.

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