[From Manx Soc vol 16]


"There has not been a merry world
Since the Phynnodderee lost his ground."

THis useful little old gentleman, with his hairy coat, was a fallen fairy, who was banished from his brethren in Fairy Land for having paid his addresses to a pretty Manx maid, and deserting the Fairy court during the harvest moon, to dance with his earthly love in the merry glen of Rushen. He is doomed to remain in the Isle till the end of time; and many are the stories related by the Manx peasantry of his prodigious strength. Having performed one of his wonderful feats, a gentleman, wishing to recompense him, caused a few articles of clothing to be laid down for him in his usual haunts, when, on perceiving them, he lifted them up one by one, saying-

Cap for the head; alas! poor head
Coat for the back; alas! poor back;
Breeches for the breech; alas! poor breech
If these be all thine, thine cannot be
The merry glen of Rushen."

Bayrn dán chione, dy doogh dán chione
Cooat dán dreeym, dy doogh dán dreeym
Breechyn dán toyn, dy doogh dán toyn;
Agh my she lhiat ooilley, shoh cha vel lhiat
Glion reagh Rushen.

Having said so, he departed, and has never been heard of since! His resemblance was that of the " Lubber Fiend" of Milton, and the Scottish "Brownie."
The Rhyme of the Scottish Brownie, when he was rewarded with a coat and sark, ran' thus

Gie Brownie coat, gie, Brownie sark,
Ye'se get nae mair o' Brownie's wark."

Many other similar rhymes are to be met with in various localities. The luck of the house is said to depart for ever with the oitended Phynnodderee.
The tale, " told of this "Fallen Fairy" by one of Mona's fair dames, and therefore must be true, is as follows :-

"Once upon a day, an Elfin Knight fell in love with one of the daughters of Mann, as she sat in her bowery home beneath the blue tree of Glen Aldyn. Offering to abandon the Fairies for a domestic life with this sweet nymph, and absenting himself from Fairy-Court during the celebration of the 'Re-hollys vooar yn ouyr,' or royal high harvest festival (kept by the Fairies with dancing in the merry Glen Rushen), he so offended the little people that the. Elfin King expelled hlun from Fairy Hall, and cursed him with an. undying existence on the Manx mountains in the form of a satyr,thus metamorphosed he became a strange, sad, solitary wanderer, known as the Phynnodderee. We compassionate his misfortune, as it fell upon him in consequence of his true love for a Manx maiden."

His was the wizrd that toil'd
At midnight's witching hour;
That gatherd the sheep from the coming storm
Ere the shepherd saw it lower
Yet asked no fee save a scatter'd sheaf
From the peasants' garner'd hoard,
Or cream-bowl kissed by a virgin lip
To be left on the household board."

The fairies appear to be.made responsible for everything.

The skin off your knees should you rub,
By falling down cellars or areas,
Or break your shins over a tub,
It's placed in your way by the fairies.
If showers of gravel are thrown,
Or you miss milk and cream from your dairies;
Or find your horse all over foam,
It's sure to be laid to the fairies.

In short, all the evils of life,
And when everything goesby contraries,
To yourself, or your children or wife,
It's laid to the charge of the fairies.
'Tis a famous excuse,
I'll be bound,
For the Bettys, and Sallys, and Marys,
If things have been lost and are found,
They've been taken away by the fairies."



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Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2001