Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Golly Miss Rachel, can’t believe you’re 21!

Well, the party’s flying,
Everybody is doing fine,
Auntie Brenda’s trying
To finish off all the wine.
The Tia Maria, I fear,
Is being sunk by Auntie Mon,
I said Good Golly Miss Rachel,
I can’t believe you’re twenty one.

I remember the time you wouldn’t eat your meals,
Stubborn as hell, you would dig in your heels,
Sitting at the table with your beef bourgignon,
Wishing you weren’t seven but twenty one.

Well, Emmet’s been drinking
And he’s come out in a rash.
Have you seen him slinking
Off to John’s private stash?
And it’s clear the beer
Is disappearing fast on John.
I said Good Golly Miss Rachel,
I can’t believe you’re twenty one.

I remember the time when you jumped for gold,
Olympic gold medal at eight years old.
Though you weren’t too hot in the mara-thon,
You can run much faster now you’re twenty one.

Well, Lily is bopping,
She’s getting into the groove.
There ain’t no stopping
Her, watch that young wan move.
Your mamma says Obama’s
Phoned in from the Pentagon,
Saying Good Golly Miss Rachel,
I can’t believe you’re twenty one.

I remember the times down in Cahirciveen,
“500 miles” and “Come on Eileen,”
Singing so loud till your voice was gone,
We don’t hear you singing now you’re twenty one.

And Kate’s sedate,
But she’s looking on all perplexed.
And your mum says “Kate,
It’s gonna be your turn next.”
And your bruv says “Love,
I feel old and woebegone,
But Good Golly Miss Rachel,
I can’t believe you’re twenty one.”

I remember the times down in Sligo when
We’d play silly games with paper and pen.
Happy little duckling tuned into a swan,
It’s hard to imagine that your twenty one
I said I can’t quite believe that you are twenty one,
Happy birthday Rachel now you’re

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Ballad of Padraig and Monica

This tale begins in Dublin town,
The hist’ry book reveals.
He’d a habit of going down
To Moloccha’s for his meals.
She’d come in with all her friends
And he was most impressed,
She was a Mercedes Benz
And stood out from the rest.
Very soon he’d save a place in case she came along,
Their appetite was whetted, the relationship grew strong.

There was no problem in a car
That Padraig couldn’t fix.
She was a French polisher
And she knew all the tricks.
The ring gleamed brightly in the shop,
She stopped dead in her shoes.
He was not inclined to stop
And he still sports the bruise.
They’d go down to the pictures and the man would bang the gong.
Summer passed, September came and wedding bells pealed strong.

The peace and quiet went out the door
When two became a three.
They slept the baby in a drawer
And watched it constantly.
After Mon, there came Annette,
Both parents mighty proud.
But oh, they were not finished yet
And Aiden joined the crowd.
After that they took a break till Brenda joined the throng,
Four young children under six with lungs diverse and strong.

Holidays in Bettystown,
They built a home from home.
The Prefect never let them down
Wherever they might roam.
The pram was tethered to the roof
In search of summer sun,
Providing all with living proof
That all things can be done.
County Meath was far away, the journey seemed so long,
But oh, what fun is possible when the fam’ly unit’s strong.

At length they bought another car
And Padraig went and picked ‘er,
Though Skerries, Rush were just as far
In that old Vauxhall Victor.
The Moira Ladies Club was formed
And soon became a choir.
Every week the group performed
‘Neath Aughrim Street’s church spire.
No better girl than Monica to praise the Lord in song.
The angels looked on, jealous of the voices sweet and strong.

The Dixon’s job was not to be
A long-term occupation,
So he moved on to CIE,
On down at Heuston Station.
Children grew and gradually
They left the family home.
She took it philosophically
And took a trip to Rome.
She was Fay Wray in his hands, he was still King Kong.
Twenty five years married, sure, and they were growing strong.

Time goes fast and bodies age
And organs go berserk.
Fate turned o’er another page
And Padraig gave up work.
He found it hard to understand,
No more the highway rover.
Aiden took the Starlet and
His driving days were over.
Eventually there comes a time when something must go wrong,
He’s been dying now for thirty years and he’s still going strong.

He was like an extra limb
And, like a loving spouse,
She got fed up with having him
All day around the house.
Her latent love of bingo grew
And she took every chance
To paint or sing or go off to
A Termonfeckin dance.
Posh and Becks showed its okay to pose in a sarong –
Padraig drew the line at that, but they’re still going strong.

The grandkids now are all but grown-
Up members of the cast.
Like an eagle, time has flown
And zipped by all too fast.
They still serve up a tasty dish,
One cooks, the other serves.
He still goes down for his fish
And still gets on her nerves.
They celebrate with family, that’s where they both belong.
Fifty years of wedded bliss and they’re still going strong.

Amy's 21st

(should have been sung to the tune of "The Times are a-changing" but wasn't!)
Did you catch who was driving that sporty coupé
That flew like a rocket down our road today?
I thought at the time it was Nelson Piquet
As the water continued to spray me.
It wasn’t a Micra, compact and light grey
But I’m pretty damned sure it was Amy.

She’s bought a new car and it runs like a dream,
She’s queen of the highway and reigning supreme.
I tell her she’s held in the highest esteem –
If I don’t she’ll undoubtedly slay me!
She’s like a young cat who has just got the cream
And now everyone’s jealous of Amy.

Whatever her sins, they do not include sloth,
Twenty five minutes will get her to Howth.
Her and her car, Jeez, I’m scared of them both –
Wild horses, I’m sure, will not sway me.
Don’t go to Hartstown, don’t go to Ratoath
For fear you might run into Amy.

Lewis Hamilton phoned up to pay his respects
And to doff his peaked cap to the opposite sex.
How many admirers that woman collects
Continues to haunt and dismay me.
We poor mortal drivers are shivering wrecks
When confronted by someone like Amy.

Her skill at the wheel has been loudly endorsed
By drivers of Beamers who often are forced
To stare in dismay at her vanishing exhaust –
She’s one woman who will not delay me!
The speed gene in humans has yet to be sourced
But its flourishing greatly in Amy.

She’s travelled the byeways from Dublin to Clare,
By the time she’s set off, sure, she’s half the way there.
The speed cameras click but they just snap thin air.
“No speed cops will ever waylay me!”
No wonder poor Neil is losing his hair
In the passenger seat beside Amy.

So gather round people, my story’s near done –
Hairdressing’s the game if you want to have fun,
Driving home like a bullet shot out of a gun,
Can’t do that on the pittance they pay me.
So happy birthday, Ms. Tyrrell, you’re now 21 –
God, we’ll never keep up with you, Amy.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Grandad Behan is 80

Across the earth,
There’s joy and mirth,
Whate’er one’s race or deity.
In every place,
Old foes embrace
And kiss each other on the face.
White and black
Get back on track
And slap each other on the back
For Grandad Behan is eigherty.

Croats, Serb,
Peaches, Herb,
Iraqi and Kuwaiti
Are all united
And delighted
That their love is now requited.
Finns and Lapps
Are happy chaps,
No longer argue over maps,
For Grandad Behan is eighty.

Far off in Rome,
‘Neath Peter’s dome,
The Pope speaks to the laity.
“Let us pray,”
They hear him say,
“And give our thanks to God today.
Let quarrels cease
And wars decrease
And may the whole world be at peace,
For Grandad Behan is eigherty.

Mr. Putin
Stops disputin’
Matters grave and weighty.
And, off the cuff,
Declares “Enough!
I’m tired of all this dismal stuff.
I’ve changed my stance,
I’m off to France
To ask Sarkhozy for a dance,
For Grandad Behan is eighty.

Captain Jack,
His eyepatch black,
Cries out, “Ahoy there, matey!
The winds prevail,
We must set sail
And run before the southwest gale.
We must make land
Tonight as planned,
For shipmates, you must understand
That Grandad Behan is eighty.

From Katmandu
To Timbuktu
From Ho Chi Min to Haiti,
In every state,
There is a trait
To shout out wildly “God is great!”
The churchbells ring,
The angels sing,
The Golden Eagle’s on the wing
For Grandad Behan is eighty.

And up in space,
The Martian race
Joins in the fun and gaiety.
They rub their knees
And hop like fleas
And squeak like rabbits eating cheese.
They’re swigging jars
In roadside bars –
The atmosphere is great on Mars
Now Grandad Behan is eigherty.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It’s just around the corner

If you keep very still, you can hear it
Its breathing is shallow and faint.
It sounds very small
Just around the next wall
But I’m told that it definitely ain’t.

There are many who gallantly jeer it
With the carefree abandon of youth.
But you’re right to be wary,
It can be quite scary
When you’re a bit long in the tooth.

The advice is – you shouldn’t go near it,
But no-one can alter their fate.
Although you go running,
Its devilish cunning
And will always be lying in wait.

It doesn’t have much to endear it,
It’s horrible in the extreme.
Its ugly, its hideous,
Its sly and invidious,
As if you are in a bad dream.

If it was a bear, you could spear it,
And its plans would be terminally wrecked,
But its hide is so thick,
You could use a large brick
And it would have little effect.

But strangely, there’s no need to fear it,
There’s no substance behind the façade
And, as it comes nearer,
Its face becomes clearer
And somehow does not seem so hard.

But Mon, you should be of good cheer, it
Has still a good twelvemonth to go
‘Ere you’re captured, defeated
And mercilessly treated
By the big terrifying Five-oh

Monday, June 2, 2008

A minor guest at Declan’s wedding

I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding,
Wond’ring if I should be at the ball.
For hours I’ve clutched my gift of satin bedding,
Wond’ring who to give it to at all.
People I don’t know are buying drinks for me.
Too clearly I can see where this night’s heading.
Somebody is explaining fam’ly links for me –
I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding.

I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding,
The husband of a cousin seldom seen.
I have been warned ‘bout toes and careful treading,
Sound advice when kith and kin convene.
I think I’ve said the wrong thing to a bridesmaid,
Precisely what my darling wife was dreading,
And what a diff’rence misplaced fam’ly pride’s made!
I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding.

I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding,
The groom’s great aunt just slapped me round the face
For pointing out the pounds she should be shedding –
She took my comments with a lack of grace.
The pint consumption steadily is mounting,
The warm and friendly feeling slowly spreading.
I’m conscious of the fact my wife is counting
But I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding.

I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding
And loos’ning up with ev’ry pint of stout.
The hem of my wife’s cardi is unthreading
And there’ll be hell to pay when she finds out.
I’m taking snaps of everybody dancing,
My wife says most are only fit for shredding,
But sev’ral might well turn out self-financing –
I’m a very minor guest at Declan’s wedding.
Contrary to the above, this hugely enjoyable wedding between Declan Brennan and Sharon Phelan on 31st May 2008 went very well!!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Behold the two swans as they glide up the river,
Glissading along with such effortless ease.
The hint of a breeze sets their feathers a-quiver,
Swimming or resting wherever they please.

The cygnets are grown, they are out there exploring,
Discovering places where waters run deep.
They splash with excitement when rapids are roaring,
Complaining at length when the banks are too steep.

The fast-moving stream where the waters would tumble
Is calm and untroubled as age-weathered glass.
The crash of the ocean’s a far-distant rumble
And life is serene now as slowly they pass.

The beech trees stand deep in the water’s reflection,
The butterflies dance through the blanket of haze.
The swans have succumbed to the river’s direction
And float in contentment beneath the sun’s gaze.

Through meadows and copses the river keeps winding,
As petulant Spring is left far, far behind.
The sun watches regally, scorching and blinding,
His course, like the river, but vaguely defined.

Behold the two swans in the calm Summer weather
Gliding downstream to the great river mouth.
A long way to go but they’ll make it together,
Tails to the north as they drift ever south.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

21 my darling daughter

It’s twenty one years since the day of your birth,
Since first you appeared on this unprepared earth.
If I’d have known then how much trouble you are,
I’d have looked for a refund and bought a new car.

In arguments always you claim the last word.
If you’ve an opinion, it’s going to be heard.
But one time this confidence took a great toll,
When you winked at the President and prayed for her soul.

Twenty one, twenty one,
Its time to stop messing, there’s work to be done.

Your room is a bombsite in lilac and pink.
The state of it’s driven your mother to drink.
Anyone tempted to enter, beware!
Lord Lucan and Shergar might well be in there.

You “work” in your room, but you keep the door closed,
Break out in a rash when some housework’s proposed.
We spend both our lives trailing round in your wake
And tidying up all the mess that you make.

Twenty one, twenty one,
Life as an adult ain’t half as much fun.

You’re helping us both, you presumably think,
By leaving your dishes and cups by the sink.
Thank God for the fairies who take every cup
And rinse them all out and then wash them all up.

You drive like a demon and frequently curse
When Gary does not let you into reverse.
But it is your fault, the mechanics all say,
For choosing a car that is patently gay.

Twenty one, twenty one,
Please don’t fix your hair when you’re doing a ton.

You go to the Vortex and pity all those
Poor middle-aged fellers who stand there and pose.
But though they’re quite sad, lined up there on the shelf,
You can hardly be called a spring chicken yourself.

You say you’ll commit us and put us away
To get all our cash without too much delay.
But ill-gotten money will always be cursed,
And anyway we’re gonna spend it all first.

Twenty one, twenty one,
A lifetime of struggle and worry’s begun.

From Tokyo City to sweet Budapest,
You’ve travelled the world causing civil unrest.
But though we’ve encouraged you, helped you to pack,
Wherever you’ve been, you have always come back.

The shops in the Centre are your biggest fans.
You’ve been cited by many in their business plans.
It isn’t obsessive, you say it’s not greed,
But how many handbags does one woman need?

Twenty one, twenty one,
And you think we’ve believed all the stories you’ve spun?

The room empties quickly whenever you choose
To carelessly kick off your socks and your shoes.
World domination would soon be complete
If we could just harness the smell of your feet.

Despite all your failings, in one certain field
A special quick-wittedness has been revealed.
In this one regard, you’re as cute as a fox,
For you don’t have the problem of losing odd socks.

Twenty one, twenty one,
This birthday has not got much further to run.

Each night I kneel down and I pray to God that
You’ll snare a rich feller, who’ll buy you a flat.
I maybe the Daddy that you dote upon,
But sadly for you, I’m a sugarless one.

And so darling daughter, I see how you’ve grown,
And maybe you’ll shortly have kids of your own.
Compliment or not, it depends on your view,
But I’m praying that they will turn out just like you.

Twenty one, twenty one,
We hope you enjoyed your big day in the sun.
Twenty one, twenty one,
Its time to stop messing, there’s work to be done.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Valentines Poem 2008

It’s Valentine’s Day once again, love,
The time for emotion and dreams
And I still love you so
With a passion, although
We are coming apart at the seams.

We’d better take care of our bodies,
Now that those fifties are lurking.
Though the aching’s increased,
I still love you, at least,
The parts of you which are still working.

If I delve through the fog of my memory
To the time when you were a spring chicken.
I loved you back then
As much as now, when
Our art’ries are starting to thicken.

I know that your adamant that all
Your aches can be laid at my door,
When I marched you for hours
Past the trees and the flowers
Little knowing the trouble in store.

I know that it’s really frustrating.
This aging is breaking my heart.
But my love still takes flight
When I watch you, despite
The fact that we’re falling apart.

No more will we go rollercoastering.
No canal banks in all kinds of weather.
We cannot run riot,
We must take things quiet,
But at least we will do them together.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Glorious Twelfth

In days of old,
I have been told,
Twelfth birthdays marked the bound’ry.
Upon that day,
Kids ceased to play
And went off to the foundry.
Past childhood days
Were lost in haze
And any toys were hidden.
‘Twas off to work
As Gard or clerk,
And laughter was forbidden.

At twelve years old
The work bell tolled
And drowned the sound of laughter.
Down in the pit
You shovelled coal
And had to be a grafter.
You earned your pay,
Two bob a day,
Or more if you were lucky.
The boss was gruff
And work was tough,
You came home tired and mucky.

But nowadays
There’s not this craze
For sending kids out earning.
It’s off to school
Now, as a rule,
This is the age of learning.
No more do they
Hand up their pay.
In fact they cost us money!
Its now become,
For children, some
Great land of milk and honey.

But Kate, I’m told,
Now twelve years old,
Knows childhood days are finished.
The hours of leisure
And of pleasure
Greatly now diminished.
She’ll clean her room
With mop and broom
Whenever she’s a minute
And make sure that
Her habitat
Has nothing dirty in it.

She’ll walk the dog
And clean the bog
And iron when it’s raining.
She’ll dry each cup
Of washing up
And all without complaining.
At half past five
She’ll sweep the drive
And paint hall, stairs and landing.
Though muscles ache,
She’ll take no break
While she’s still strength for standing.

She’ll help her Da
To load the car
Whene’er they go out shopping.
She’ll clean the brass
And cut the grass
And all this without stopping.
She’ll shine her shoes
And clean the loos,
No matter if they’re grubby.
So when she’s grown
She will not moan
When cleaning after hubby.

So welcome, Kate!
Grown-up life’s great.
We hope you’ll learn to love it.
And if friends say
“Come out to play!”
We hope you’ll rise above it.
You’re twelve now and
You understand
You must accept your duty.
Oh all is changed
And rearranged –
‘Tis born a terrible beauty.