A Place So Much Fairer

Words For An Irish Jig –

In old London town
I’ve worked all around
Though it felt like sad slavery
And for thirty odd years
Through laughter or tears
I’ve yearned for the green Irish sea

My heart is in Eire
A place so much fairer
With skylarks and stories and fun
Where the soul of the land
Cries out to the man
With the pipe and the fiddle and drum

The Queen and her minions
Her ancient pavilions
Hardly meant tuppence to me
Give me my dreams
And a glass of putcheen
And it’s happy as ever I’ll be

See my heart is in Eire
A place so much fairer
With skylarks and stories and fun
Where the soul of the land
Cries out to the man
With the pipe and the fiddle and drum

If I ever get loose of this crazy town
I’ll fly like a free bird at morn
And never will land ’till my life’s in your hand
Where a wild new beauty is born

Photo by Brin Kennedy courtesy of freestock.ca

5 thoughts on “A Place So Much Fairer

  1. I love London. I love its speed, the choices it offers, its galleries and shops, its bars and its restaurants. The Thames flowing muddy yet dangerous. The cosmopolitan conceit. The 2,000 plus history of the place but…

    As a family, we used to stay in Leswalt, near Portpatrick, near Stranraer. We rented the old Laird’s hunting lodge which sat in a natural U shape of the hillside a mile from the road and about six from the port. The lodge overlooked the Irish Sea. It was a desolate place. Wild, windswept and often cruel. We saw a Sealion, its eyes pecked out by the gulls, dead on the beach. Next morning the tide had taken it away.

    In those days, with money not such an issue, we were fortunate to have two or three holidays a year. Yes, Antibes was a delight as were Spain, Greece, and Turkey but the beauty of the sea, of that land, waking each morning to look with wonder across to where Belfast presumably was (wrong town for you perhaps but Best was born there!) was utter magic!

    Lovely poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I like London too, for all the same reasons but in Ireland recently I was moved too by stories of Irish fellas working as labourers in London for scores of years and getting trapped in debt and alcoholism yet longing to return to Ireland, but unable to get out of the spiral of work, debt and drink.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and watching ‘Broklyn’ recently I cried with shame. Not that I have ever done a single thing wrong to the Irish but just the shared guilt of seeing a nation’s people fleeing their homeland in a perpetual seeking of a better life. Running from enforced poverty to the dream of a better life. London was not paved with gold; it was forced labour, it was a cosmetic slavery. So was New York. Those hands that built both cities were Irish which is why I get so defensive when, and I understand their motivation, protesters abuse London. It is our town, mine and yours and anyone who wants to live there be they Irish, Icelandic or Iraqi. It was built by my forebears hands. It was built by the working class.

      I totally empathise with you wanting to return to Eire. It seems almost idyllic. Since my separation I have often thought of moving there but don’t think I could afford to move to Dublin.


  3. I often think the best poetry comes from sentimentality about where you come from, but it’s best remembered, polished by time, not revisited.
    That way, the good bits remain as a memory and the truth, the pock marks, the sad moments when people dear to us behaved reprehensibly, fall under the table, to be swept under the carpet.
    If home was so great, we wouldn’t have fled in the first place, but it’s right to cherish the idealized memories.


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