John McCullagh September 1, 2004
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I was born in High Street many years ago
Opposite the convent where to school I used to go
My mother had a small shop that was open eight till late
When the neighbours bought their groceries
They could put them on the slate.
 
Fitzpatricks lived just up from us, theirs was a house of fun
Barney, Nellie, Conleth – and Bernie their only son
Patricia was my best friend, we played in the open air
With the Markeys and the Turleys who came up from the Square.
 
We didn’t have the fancy toys that children have today
A rope around the lamp-post gave us many hours of play
Or we called for Maureen Grogan who lived just up the street
And we visited her aunt Maggie’s house, that was indeed a treat.
 
For Maggie told us stories of many years ago
Of banshees and of fairies and of things we didn’t know
We tried not to believe her but we were always scared
So we all sat close together, it was best to be prepared.
 
And then we had Miss Ethel and for weeks she worked with us
Teaching us how to act and sing with the minimum of fuss
For we were from the Windmill and Top Talents we could win
And the Parochial Hall was packed each night when we got up to sing.
 
Oh the memories are many and the years just drop away
When I think back to my childhood and the games I used to play
And the neighbours that we lived beside who always helped each other
If someone was in trouble then nothing was a bother.
 
And now if I meet someone new they’ll very often say
‘Were you born in Newry, of did you come to stay?’
And I will always answer them, ‘Yes, Newry is my town
And I am very proud of that and the roots that I’ve put down’.
 
For I was born in High Street many years ago
And that’s the best street in the town I think you ought to know
And though we’re now a city with buildings new and tall
I’m glad to say that High Street has hardly changed at all.
 
Though the faces now are ageing and many are long since gone
That happy, friendly atmosphere is every bit as strong
As it was when I was growing up all those years ago
Opposite the Convent where to school I used to go.
 
 

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