John McCullagh September 8, 2004
FromDoylesCorner.jpg

A town in Down, but it isn’t
Two rivers that flow, but they don’t
A people of humour, a people of pride
A place in my youth that I cast aside
 
Bordered around by high mountains
Two which are known to all
A bay and a view, a yew tree or two
It’s a town that I love to recall.
 
Money was scarce in those days
And ‘ma’s’ waved goodbye to their sons
Then wept as they poked at the fire
While children made their own fun.
 
They played hop-scotch, catty and marbles
Rounders, and ropes, on a light
Bogies that clacked on the pavement
Slides, on a winter’s night.
 
I was sent to the Convent, and Abbey
Played handball, and tig in the yard
Sat on a bench for my dinner
The skin on the pudding was hard!
 
Free milk we got in wee bottles
All lined up, on the pipes
The bottoms were mostly luke-warm
While the tops were as cold as ice.
 
I remember a market where cattle were sold
Not far from the West End Bar
And watched them herded past William Street
On the way to the old abattoir.
 
I’d call at Falones for tea and a chip
Then off to the Point, by steam, for a dip
Tanner in hand to the station I went
Back to the Bridge and money well spent.
 
Boats that were docked in The Basin
Carried coal and various goods
The unusual thing about them
They were mostly named after woods.
 
The Oak, the Olive, the Ebony
The Walnut, the Rowan, the Pine
No more will I ever see them sailing
Towards the Locks, down the Fathom Line.
 
Men with wide-mouthed shovels
I saw stood with those, by the score
Their faces streaked with coal-dust
Outside Jimmy Casey’s door.
 
I’d head for the Bucket on Castle Street
Where I learned to dance to a rock-and-roll beat
For the price of a shilling, paid at the door
We’d jive and twist, on a dusty old floor.
 
Then under a Teapot, painted in gold
Not far from the clock in the Square
I’d meet with my friends, the stories they told
If only I could be there.
 
O’Hanlon, McGawley and Bernie McCann
Campbell, Magee and Liz Scott
A singer of ballads, who isn’t no more
Young Rory -I never forgot.
 
But I will return, I’m certain
‘Cause I’ve laughed, with tears in my eyes
As I stood on a station that isn’t
The night that I said my goodbyes.
 
Bordered around by high mountains
Two which are known to all
A bay and a view, a yew tree or two
It’s a town that I love to recall.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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