The Gaffer Sails to Dublin


The sun was shinin’ powerful gran’
Upon the st’amer at the pier,
An’ all the people in the lan’
Seemed to be theer.
Some, lek me, was for the sail;
Some to wave an’ some to wail,
An’ some to lean again’ the rail
Wishin’ they could be on the trip –
For jesh she looked the fine oul’ ship,
Her flags all flyin’
Lek coloured washin’ drying’
An’ her paint all fresh an’ gleamin’,
An’ her fat red funnel steamin’.

The King Orry
Give a blas’ that woke the islan’
An’ made all the laggards hurry,
For they’d be mighty sorry
On this fine an’ sunny mornin’,
An’ would be no longer smilin’,
If she lef’ them without warnin’.

All aboard at las’, she slipped her hawser ropes,
Went astarn, then fixed her nose
Strite for Oirelan’ south of wes’
Pas the lighthouse on the broos.
Soon we sighted oul’ Langness
Where she let out savaral whoops
Like a thing in great distress.
Nex’ the Calf an’ Chickens’ Rock
Slid away with South Barrule an’ Slock
An’ we had lef’ our lil Ellan Vannin behin’
An norranotha bit of lan’ could we fin’
In all the say.
I was jus’ beginnin’ to wonder
If the cap’n had made a blunder
An’ los’ his way –
But nobody else but me was seemin’ to min’.

We kep’ on sailin’ mostly to the south
Until we sighted what they’re callin’ Howth,
A lump of lan’ with fiels an’ all;
An’ then, my song, she turnt herself around’
As if the cap’n foun’
He didn’t want to call;
But then he started to go slow astern,
An’ up an’ up she crep’,
Like someone feelin’ avary step,
Until at las’ we reached the dock
At somethin’ aftha one o’clock –
(The foor hour sale was jus’ a yarn!)
An’ theer was Dublin all around’ us in a jiffy
Oul’ Dublin in the rain sittin’ on the Liffey.

What did I see in Dublin
That was worth all me troublin’?
I seen a fair city
Wheer the gels was all pretty,
I seen the carts rattlin’,
The childer was prattlin’,
The buses was roarin’,
The rain it was pourin’,
Around’ an’ aroun’
It’s a broth of a town
But me feet was that soore
I’d seen it dthallure
When I got to the dock
At near five o’clock.

Aw, man alive,
It was quarter pas’ five
When the King Orry gorrout
She was so cluttered about
With all surts of boats, big ones and small,
Clane ones an’ foul ones,
New ones an’ oul’ ones,
But in no time at all
The streets an’ the houses, the quays an’ the docks,
The mountains and valleys, the cliffs an’ the rocks
Faded away
With the light of the day
As darkness come over the say.
But the bes’ sight of all when we rounded the Head
Was the lights of oul’ Douglas, all yella an’ red,
An’ I sez to myself, sez I,
“It’s turrble aisy to see why
Once in a quile ye should get away,
Away on a new track,
If only for the joy of comin’ back!