Bryan O'Lynn was a gentleman born,
He lived at a time when no clothes they were worn,
But as fashion went out, of course Bryan walked in,
"Whoo! I'll soon lead the fashions," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no breeches to wear
He got a sheepskin for to make him a pair,
With the fleshy side out, and the woolly side in,
"Whoo! They're pleasant and cool," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no shirt to his back,
He went to a neighbor's and borrowed a sack,
Then he puckered the meal bag up under his chin,
"Whoo! They'll take them for ruffles," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no hat to his head,
He thought that the pot would do him instead,
Then he murdered a cod for the sake of its fin,
"Whoo! 'twill pass for a feather," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn was hard up for a coat,
He borrowed a skin of a neighboring goat,
With the horns sticking out from his oxters, and then,
"Whoo! They'll take them for pistols," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no stockings to wear,
He bought a rat's skin to make him a pair,
He then drew them over his manly shin,
"Whoo! They're illegant wear," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no brogues to his toes,
He hopped on two crab shells to serve him for those,
Then he split up two oysters that matched just like twins,
"Whoo! They'll shine out like buckles," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn had no watch to put on,
He scooped out a turnip to make him a one,
Then he planted a cricket in under the skin -
"Whoo! They'll think it's a-ticking," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn to his house had no door,
He'd the sky for a roof and the bog for a floor,
He'd a way to jump out, and a way to swim in,
"Whoo! It's very convaynient," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn, his wife, and wife's mother,
They all went home o'er the bridge together,
The bridge it broke down and they all tumbled in,
"Whoo! We'll go home by water," says Bryan O'Lynn.
Bryan O'Lynn seems to come from the song Tom O'Lin. Tom O'lin is also known as "Thom of Lyn" and before that "Tamlene" or "Tam Lin". The oldest reference to Tom O'Lin is in "The complaynt of Scotland: Written in 1548".
Tom a lyn from the ballad is Tom Thumb (originally a dwarf from Scandinavia called Thaumlin). (Ref. "An explanatory and pronouncing dictionary of the noted names of fiction (1893). He is also called Tommelfinger (thumb) in Danish and Brian O'Lynn in Ireland.
There are several versions of these Tom O'Lin songs.
You can see and hear yet another version online.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
A slightly longer (and racier) version of this song can be found in "The Emerald; or, Book of Irish melodies" (1863).
Thanks so much!