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When John and Jim Were Lads!

When John and Jim were lads,

American Freddie and sweet Adele

Supped and danced and laughed over local beer

And sometimes wine from vaults of high esteem.


When John and Jim were lads,

Steam trains rumbled empty

Into crowded platforms and left, full of people and salmon

 And fresh produce, all packed in together like sardines,

 Egged on to places near and far by the shouts of Bill Slogg

and other long gone souls.


When John and Jim were lads,

Beer and fags were still cheap

But life wasn't.

Dervla was still cultivating her imagination

In Carnegie's library.

And the Andes might as well have been the moon


When John and Jim were lads,

Christian Brothers still ruled their hands and minds,

And Presentation Sisters ruled the girls.


When John and Jim were lads,

Crowded street processions

Still wound their way,

Through even more crowded pavements,

Giving honour to God,

His Blessed Mother or

Even too the dead.

Especially the dead with castle connections


 When John and Jim were lads,

Drohan's gas lights still shone dimly

Over darkened winter streets,

Milk still came in bottles

And sweets in jars

From little shops that never closed.


Ah Yes!

When John and Jim were lads!


(Published Dungarvan Observer 18.09.02)