THE AULD TRIANGLE

 

A hungry feeling, came o'er me stealing
And the mice were squealing in my prison cell

To begin the morning, the warden bawling
Get up out of bed boy, and clean up your cell

And the auld triangle, went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

On a fine spring evening, the lag lay dreaming
And the seagulls were squealing high above the wall

Oh the day was dying and the wind was sighing
As I lay there crying in my prison cell

And the auld triangle, went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

Oh the screw was peeping and the lag was sleeping
As he lay there weeping for his poor gal

And the auld triangle, went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

In the female prison there are seventy women
And I wish to God it was with them that I did dwell

And the auld triangle, went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal

And the auld triangle, went jingle jangle
All along the banks of the Royal Canal 

"The Auld Triangle" is a song written by Dominic Behan for his brother Brendan Behan and is featured in Brendan's play The Quare Fellow. It is used to introduce the play, a story about the occurrences in a prison (in real life Mountjoy Prison where Behan had once been lodged) the day a convict is set to be executed. The triangle in the title refers to the large metal triangle which was beaten daily in Mountjoy Prison to waken the inmates ("The Auld Triangle goes Jingle Jangle"). The triangle still hangs in the prison at the centre where the wings meet on a metal gate. It is no longer used, though the hammer to beat it is mounted beside it. The song has also become known as "The Banks of the Royal Canal."