No Hell At All

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‘It was Sammy McNally what did it
He was never done swinging the lead
And one sunny day as he swung it
He hit me a blow on the head.

‘Get up’, says he trying to lift me
I missed every word that he said
‘Are ye deaf?’ said he, trying to shift me
But I wasn’t deaf … I was dead!

Of course I went straight up to heaven
It’s three million miles past the Sun
I arrived at a quarter to seven
In the year three thousand and one.

I spied this big lad in the hallway
Says I, ‘I’m just in from Belfast!’
”S’that so?’ says he, ‘I’m from Galway
So they let an oul Prod in at last.’

I said I was happy to meet him
And I asked him what I should do
‘Come with me’, says he, ‘and I’ll show you
We have a special department for you.’

I followed him down a long passage
To a place where yer man wouldn’t tell
But, by gum, I soon got the message
When I saw a signpost to Hell.

Says I, ‘For God’s sake have pity’
Says he, ‘Blame yer sins of the past’
As he led me right into a city
A place the dead spit of… BELFAST!

‘Is that Hell,’ said I, quite astounded
‘It is so, indeed!’ said yer lad
‘Well, if that’s Hell,’ says I, looking round it
‘If that’s Hell, it can’t be that bad!’

The city was just as I’d known it
All the old friendly places were there
Street by street I went through it
To the centre at Donegall Square.

And there, God love it, before me
The grand City Hall stood in state
With a tricolour flying above it
And two Civic Guards at the gate.

It was only the start of my torment
I soon was to learn all the facts
The Pope was settled in Stormont
And Paisley was cleaning ‘the jacks’
!

The head of the great Orange Order
Had long ago given himself up
Ahearn had abolished the border
..And Linfield was OUT OF THE CUP!

To the Shipyards I hurried like lightening
I knew I’d find Orangemen there
But what I found was real frightening
All talking Gaelic, they were!

The whole bloody city was stinking
There was nowhere a Proddie could go
What desperate thoughts I was thinking
Then it came in a Flash!! … Sandy Row!

I knew they’d be loyal to Lizzie
And I wouldn’t be left in the lurch
But when I arrived all were busy
Building a Catholic Church!

I went back to the fella that brought me
He was having a snooze at the gate
I tried to get by, but he caught me
‘You can’t get away from your fate!’

Says I, ‘I don’t like where you sent me
If I’d known, I’d never have come.’
Says he, and him standing fornenst me
‘In here shure we all are the same.

In here, every freedom is given
To wander about at your will
It’s just that some think it’s heaven
While others think that it’s Hell.’

While on Earth I hated the Shinners
But if I was a mortal again
I’d be nice to the Fenians and Sinners
And I’d write to the Pope now and then.

Each man on this Earth is your brother
So don’t write those things on the wall
If only we’d love one another
We might find there’s no Hell at all!


The tourist in Algeria had the address of a person in a remote village whom he had to contact.  He hailed a car with a Taxi sign displayed and agreed a price.  The driver wanted paid in advance.

Four hours later and at some remote spot in the desert, the driver turned and offered him the keys.

‘Take the car,’ said he.  ‘This is as far as I go!’

The astonished and frightened tourist objected. 

There was no point.

‘But how do I get to my destination?’

‘Take that dirt track over there,’ your man pointed,

‘And on Tuesday, turn right!’

Originally posted 2004-04-23 00:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By the Light of the Moon

That last poem (W Allingham’s The Fairies) brought back another old favourite in the same vein.  I thought I’d share it with you!  This one is by that perennial favourite English exile in Greece, Lord Byron.  I cannot remember which primary teacher introduced it to me, but I thank him/her for doing so.

So we’ll go no more a-roving
So late into the night
Though the heart be still as loving
And the moon be still as bright

For the sword outwears the sheath
And the soul wears out the breast
And the heart must pause to breathe
And love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving
And the day returns too soon
Yet we’ll go no more a-roving
By the light of the moon.

Originally posted 2004-01-10 00:00:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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