"Waxie's Dargle" as written by Jeremy Max Finer, Shane Patrick Lysaght Macgowan, Cait O'riordan, James Thirkhill Fearnley, Andrew David Ranken, Peter Spider Stacey and Dp,....
Says my aul' wan to your aul' wan
"Will ye go to the Waxies dargle?"
Says your aul' wan to my aul' wan,
"I haven't got a farthing.
I went up to Monto town
To see Uncle McArdle
But he wouldn't give me a half a crown
For to go to the Waxies dargle."

What will ya have?!
I'll have a pint!
I'll have a pint with you, Sir!
And if one of ya' doesn't order soon
We'll be chucked out of the boozer!

Says my aul' wan to your aul' wan
"Will ye go to the Galway races?"
Says your aul' wan to my aul' wan,
"I'll hawk me aul' man's braces.
I went up to Capel Street
To the Jewish moneylenders
But he wouldn't give me a couple of bob
For the aul' man's red suspenders."


Says my aul' wan to your aul' wan
"We got no beef or mutton
If we went up to Monto town
We might get a drink for nuttin'"
Here's a nice piece of advice
I got from an aul' fishmonger:
"When food is scarce and you see the hearse
You'll know you have died of hunger."

Chorus x2

Lyrics submitted by black_cow_of_death

"Waxie's Dargle" as written by Cait O'riordan Andrew David Ranken

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Waxie's Dargle song meanings
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  • 0
    General Commentits two guys talking about their wives, we get the image of two married ladies out for a night on the town in one of Dublin's wilder neighborhoods, getting drinks from men not their husbands.
    i think the way they imitate the women's voices en the chorus makes the song extra-funny
    spook!!on March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe Irish - drunken punks - gotta love 'em.
    bkat004on May 12, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHmm I disagree with Spook!! Because well I just do, I don't think its about women at all.
    The Young Dubliners do a pretty good version of this.
    ThePogueson August 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYou can find the trad lyric to this at pogues.com/Releases/Lyrics/LPs/RedRoses/….

    "The Waxie's Dargle" was an annual ball held by the candlemakers.
    fairportfanon September 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOf course this song's about women, the term 'aul wan' refers to the storytellers' wives. How could it be construed as anything else? Spook!! is right on the money
    gangofoneon March 25, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs others have said, aul wan is Dublin slang for a woman, your aul wan is your mother or your wife, depending on context, in this context it's wife.

    The waxie's dargle was an annual summer excursion/picnic near Ringsend in south Dublin. It could also have a second meaning as rhyming slang for booze. Waxie's dargle rhymes with gargle which is Dublin slang for alcohol.

    Monto was a notorious red light district in Dublin in the late 19th and early 20th century, The area got its name from Montgomery Street (now called Foley street) which is just off O'Connell Street/Talbot Street/Amien Street.

    A farthing was the smallest unit of currency in the old punds/shillings and pence system used in Britain and Ireland, a farthing was half a halfpenny. A half crown was a more valuable coin worth 2 shillings and sixpence.

    Capel Street is another Dublin Street, it is on the opposite side of O'Connell Street from the Monto running roughly parallel to O'Connel Street it used to have a lot of pawnbrokers and money lenders shops.

    So in the first verse the first woman asks the second if she's going to the Waxie's Dargle, the second says she has no money so she went up to Monto to see Uncle McArdle but he wouldn't give her half a crown. So basically she went to the red light district to make some money but was not successful.

    The second verse is about going to the Galway Races, this time she goes to Capel street to pawn her husband's braces/suspenders but the Jewish moneylender wouldn't give her any money for them.

    In the final verse the women have no meat so again go up to Monto to make some cash.

    The chorus is about ordering a drink before they get thrown out of the pub, it's this that makes me think that the title might also be a rhyming slang reference to alcohol.

    Monto was supposedly the biggest red light district in the early 20th century, Dublin was one of the poorest cities in Europe and the slums and tenements of Dublin were notorious for their poverty, it was common for poor women to pawn clothes and household goods to make ends meet and then when their husband got paid buy the items back, similarly many women would go to Monto to make a few shillings when times were tough.

    My reading of the song overall is that the verses are the men discussing conversations between their wives and the chorus is a reminder to buy another drink before they get thrown out. Basically two drunk men in Dublin bitching about their aul wans in the pub (not realising or caring that one of the reasons the aul wans have to go to Monto or Capel Street to make some extra money is because the husbands are spending their wages in the pub)

    The song Monto, which the Dubliners used to sing is also about this area and time (and makes a reference to the Waxie's Dargle in the first verse).
    HorseQuackon January 11, 2018   Link

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