Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



Heady times… EoinButler.com is currently experiencing an unprecidented surge in popularity, albeit from a source slightly outside of my target demographic. So what’s wooing the masses? Is it my geographical nous? Those racy cheerleader upskirts? Or that rollercoaster thread in which Darragh and I debated the artistic merits of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s Step Brothers movie?

Well no, quite frankly. It isn’t. A picture of a I used to illustrate a really, really lame cow joke has crashed Google Images’ top ten search returns for “cow”. Right now, all over the world, children working on school projects about agriculture are being directed to an (even by my own low, low standards) pretty moronic thread about Protestant cattle farmers and my uncle Jimmy John Joe.

Needless to say, in the wake of this unprecidented success, copious quantities of hookers and blow have been thrust in my direction. In a desperate attempt to keep riding that wave then, I’ve decided to upload this picture of the great Willie Joe Padden, flanked here by a young Ray Dempsey (best of luck on Sunday, Ray!), and tag it with the top five current hottest search queries from Google Trends.

Yeah, I’m pretty spamming people at this point…

September 14th, 2009.


  1. Matt Says:

    A for fuck’s sake i was looking for info on serena williams fan check application virus!!

  2. Darragh Says:

    Willie Joe Padden – Eoin can you remember a cassette that came out to commemorate the 1989 final against cork? It had a few country ‘n western type songs knocked together and it seemed to me everyone in Mayo – well in my mother’s family anyway – bought it. But there was this one song and it started off with a jaunty bit of slide guitar and then the line “come on willie joe/ and kilgallon from Mayo…”

    It fucking haunted me. Indeed, still wake up the odd night at 3am muttering it to myself.

  3. Eoin Says:

    Yes, I remember two songs from 1989, I was only a small boy but, Jaysus, this stuff is imprinted in my mind…

    The one I’m thinking of went through the entire line up, obviously to encourage all of the team’s relations to buy the single when it came out:

    “If anything passes [Sean] Maher, which will be rare enough, [Micheal] Collins, T.J. [Kilgallon, not Hooker] and John Finn’ll be there to sweep it up, with Jimmy Browne and Peter Forde no one could ask for more / And [Dermot] Flanagan in the corner like his father Sean before…”

    Sean Flanagan was a Fianna Fail minister and the captain of the last Mayo team to win Sam in 1951. There was, as I recall, another bit about “We’ll win the Sam Maguire and we’ll fly her into Knock…”

    The house my great-grandfather, my grandfather and all his brothers and sisters were born in was knocked down to build the runway at Knock Airport.

    Anyway, as they say, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die…..

  4. Darragh Says:

    “willie joe will light the fire/ amd we’ll win the sam maguire”. Am I right? West of Ireland nostalgia overload here.

  5. Eoin Says:

    Don’t remember those exact lines but they sound about right, yeah!

  6. Eoin Says:

    Well I mean, if any player was going to light a metaphorical fire, Willie Joe would definitely have been the man…

  7. Jolene Says:

    Song lyrics as i remember them…

    Well we’ve heard about the 50s and the boys in red and green,some people say no finer bunch of men were ever seen, well that might be for some you see, for those who do not know, theres mighty gaelic football in the county of mayo. With eugene lavin injured sure we stumbled on a gem, known as the angel Gabriel his second names Irwin, if anything pases maher which should be rare enough ,Killgallon finn and collins will be there to sweep it up, McHale is like a giant when hes risin fir the ball, sure he only needs the one hand and he never lets it fall… McStay is like an antelope when hes dodging to and fro ,and the man out there with flowing hair is the viking Willie Joe, right boys fight boys till the job is done, we haven’t won the final since the year of ’51, right boys fight boys, steady as a rock, we’ll win the Sam Maguire and we’ll fly her into Knock…Well now you’ve heard the story ,won’t you rally round the boys, and when we get to dublin we’ll create a hell of a noise, the old campaigners will be glad to see the banners flow ,and the rouse and call for one and all will be the roar of UP MAYO!!!

  8. Neal Says:

    I think my father still has the second song – Up Mayo by Doc Carroll. Myself and Cathal still know all the words…

    Incidentally, Jolene, you forgot the second last verse –
    “We can’t forget the Kearneys, Feeney, Noone and Kilkelly, Maughan, Brogan, Mullins and Tomas O’Grady, the younger Maher, the super-sub, I’m sure you’ll all agree, and the leader of this gallant band is John O’Mahony”.

  9. Eoin Says:

    @ Neal – I remember you singing it well. (That is, I remember it well. I can’t remember if your singing was good or otherwise.) Do you recognise the lyrics Darragh mentioned??

  10. sean Says:

    Remember this well and I remember being under the impression that Dermot Flanagan’s father was called Sean Before. Remember wondering, well why isn’t he called Dermot Before then?

  11. peenieman Says:

    best song about WJP is by the great Castlebar troubador John Hoban.it starts ith the line”here e we are in Istanbul surrounded by the Turk” and traces a metaphysical mayo voyage continually trumped by a “Willie Joe” chorus line.btw he’s one of the finest unsung musicians/songwriters in contemporary ireland,a rare diamond.

  12. albinicus Says:

    walked into a relatives house last Christmas day and who was standing there only Willie Joe. Turns out he’s a mate of this relative. I couldn’t believe it. I was surprised that my 29 year old self turned into the equivalent of a 14 year old girl meeting Westlife. Also, re songs, there was that Tom Tom Denning one ‘Mayo, Mayo, Sam Maguire’s coming home to Mayo’ sung to the tune of ‘Hey Mister Tally Man, Tally my banana..’. I think that actually got into the top ten on the charts. I don’t believe any other County can claim such a musical accolade/atrocity

  13. Eoin Says:

    @ Peenieman – hmmm… I’d rather songs that placed Willie Joe in the lineage of Greek heroes. Heracles, Perseus, Achilles etc. Just a personal preference.

    @ Albinicus – holy fuck, I’m jealous. But yeah, I’d have probably done the same. Or else I’d have made him go outside with me and lobbed him a few high balls to catch for my entertainment!

  14. Neal Says:

    @Eoin No, I don’t remember that line… there were a couple of Mayo songs for the ’89 final alright, but that doesn’t ring a bell.

  15. Conal Says:

    @albinicus – The Wexford hurling teams ‘dancing at the crossroads’ I think was the only GAA tune to make it to number 1.
    1997 Flashback:
    Thats how to do it.
    Tally me banana, jesus

  16. Conal Says:

    Not that im saying it was the hurlers themselves that sang it, you smartarses. The Wild Swans

  17. Eoin Says:

    @ Conal – Not a bad song that (“What’s the story Martin Storey?” indeed!) But it was 1996, Clare won in ’97.

  18. golden graham Says:

    Bad new eoin, your cow has fallen to no. 13!!

  19. Conal Says:

    @Eoin – Fair enough, but the flashbacks could be from anytime since, they were still playing it the last time I was on the piss in Wexford, and why not

  20. peenieman Says:

    maybe not metaphysical but certainly an epic juxtaposition,here’s what i remember[Certainly not a standard GAA ditty] :”Here we are in istanbul surrounded by the turk,meself and tony reidy on a holiday from work,the sun beats down incessantly as we dander to and fro,we’re visiting mulkerrin all the way from ol’ mayo,here we go,y’never know but there’s no footballer compares to Willie Joe.
    the turks are a pious people they pray 5 times a day,they like each other’s company and they’re very fond of tae.the turkish tea is mighty fine they call it chai out here and everywhere you care to go,this is all you’ll hear,chai,chai,chai,yap,yap,yap but there’s no one here who’s heard of Willie Joe!
    a turkish bath’s a mighty thing,you’re scrubbed from head to toe,we were the two cleanest boys that ever left mayo…i don’t know,maybe so but there’s no footballer as clean as willie joe and there were noooooh!,Global windows cause the man that lead the team was Willie Joe

  21. Eoin Says:

    @ Peenieman – absolutely brilliant, you have me creased up with laughter here. And to think they’d never heard of Willie Joe!

  22. Matt Says:

    So how did yr bloghit spamming thing work out?

    PS am I risking my neck to admit I’ve never heard of Willie Joe??

  23. Eoin Says:

    @ Matt – didn’t get a single hit from any of those search queries. Phh! Cow thing is still through the roof tho.

    @ Darragh – I was thinking about it in the pub there during the football (zzzz…) All the songs we’ve been talking about were released in the lead up to the ’89 final.

    Now that I think it tho, some country & Irish stalwart (T.R. Dallas, maybe?) recorded a Tribute to the Cork and Mayo teams, with Dinny Allen and Jimmy Browne on the cover, a couple of weeks after the match.

    Never heard the track, but remember seeing it listed on Maxi’s Chart Countdown. (I had a bit of a thing for Maxi back in the day…)

  24. han shan Says:

    No shame in that she was a bit of a looker in her day, no doubt about it

  25. Colin Says:

    It’s like walking into any Mayo Pub on a Saturday before closing in here. Women chatting X-Factor, Men chatting Willie Joe Padden and the songs that did him justice.

    Mine’s a Smithwick’s.

  26. Matt Says:

    @ eoin – back to the drawing board, incidentally I take it that pic was taken pre- introduction of blood substitute rule!

  27. Albinicus Says:

    @eoin..re jealousy..ray dempsey’s uncle was (rip) my uncle in-law if that makes sense..i once shook his hand and tried to explain this, much to his bewilderment..fortunately i was about 10 at the time

  28. Darragh Says:

    Right Eoin I’m on the case. My father will be knocking around the house in a day or two and I’m sure he’ll remember, but in the meantime there is a pile of old cassettes in a box in the attic.

    I think it could be that tape you mentioned. That particular song is burned in my brain (its actually intermittantly goes around in a loop at various points in my life – an earworm, the boffins call it I think), but there were other songs, and all the Cork songs may have been on side B and conveniently fast-forwarded over in our car.

  29. Eoin Says:

    One problem with my T.R. Dallas theory though Darragh. You remembered the lines “Willie Joe will light the fire/ and we’ll win the Sam Maguire.” That had to be written before the final…. Have a look into it anyway, I’ll do another Willie Joe post when we get to the bottom of it!

  30. Eddie Maguire Says:

    Hi lads,
    With regard to those Mayo Songs,’A Man Called Willie Joe’,was written by former Mayo player,Eddie Maguire and recorded by Frank McCaffrey. the Cork victory song,’Sam Back to The Banks’,and ‘The Ballad of Dave Barry’were also penned by the Blacksod man,but the Cork tape also contained Maguire’s ‘Willie Joe’ and othrer songs by The Dixies. Hope this helps.
    Regards…. Eddie Maguire

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