Shane O’Donnell, the popular musician of the Lower Rosses, was returning home from a dance. Darkness and storm caused him to wander from the usual path. He accidentally met a still-house, where he took refuge. Anna Herrighty, a very aged woman, came with refreshments to the men, who were detained by the severity of the weather.
One nigh in bleak December, the air being keen and chill,
The piper he decided they all had danced their fill.
When the dance it was concluded O’Donnell felt inclined
To push his way across the moor and leave the youths behind.
He was not far upon his way when a light he did espy;
Towards it went the piper himself for to enjoy.
It was an old sod-cabin perched by the mountain road,
Where oftimes Shane O’Donnell had made it his abode.
There he got a welcome, as he often got before,
From Rodgers and his comrades, and drink he had galore.
The night was passed in merriment, with songs and pleasant lore,
When to their sad amazement a “peeler” barred the door.
The “comrades” cleared in safety, and the “bobbies” did defy,
But Shane and frail old Anna could not vanish if they’d try.
They were conveyed as prisoners, and presented at Dungloe
Before a bench of magistrates, who let old Anna go.
O’Donnell he was sentenced three months to Lifford Jail.
A Petition in his favour was fated not to fail;
The meek old piper soon came back to see his friends once more,
To be welcomed by his family in Rosses and Gweedore.
This mild and modest piper was greeted far and near,
A hundred hearts rejoiced his music for to hear.
To meet the people’s fancies he always did his best,
But never to a “still-house did he go again to rest.