With apologies to my ancestors, My interpretation of Skibbereen and post script.
They say it tis a lovely place, where in a saint might dwell,
so why did you abandon it father dear, the reason to me tell?
Oh son I loved my native land, with energy and much pride
‘Til a blight came over on my prats, my sheep and cattle died,
The rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem,
And that’s the true cruel reason why, I left dear old Skibbereen.
Oh, It’s sure I do remember, that bleak December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive us all away
They set my roof afire, with their cursed yellow english spleen
And that’s another reason why, I left dear old Skibbereen.
Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on that snowy ground,
She fainted in her anguish, seeing the desolation laid all round.
She never rose, but passed away, from life to imortal dream,
She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.
And you were only a wee young lad, and feeble was your frame,
I could not leave you with your friends, for you bore your father’s name,
I wrapped you in my overcoat , in the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh, and said goodbye, to dear old Skibbereen
o’ father dear, the day will come, when answer to the call
all Irish men of Freedom Stern, will rally one and all
ill be the man to lead the band, beneath the flag of green
loud and clear, well raise a cheer , remember Skibbereen
PS on St. Patrick’s day
The plight of the Irish immigrants who flooded the world in the time of potato famine
was caused as much by greed and prejudice as any lack of simple peasant food.
The poor Irish were driven from land by invaders, monetary greed, by taxes and starvation,
demonized like any culture the powerful wish to wash away so they may consolidate their power.
If scattered, the poor could not rise up, if not fed they would parish and be no threat.
Drunkenness is not the legacy my father gave to me, pride in my name and ancestory
of a race that will never give up or in until death takes me kicking to what lays beyond.
That is what my Father sang to me as his Father did to him.