Famine in Skibbereen

We're so Nice to come home to ...

(air: trad)

'Oh father dear, they're coming here by the boatload so it seems,
From the Balkans and North Africa they follow foolish dreams;
Sure there's no room here nor money for the poor from other lands,
So loudly shout We must keep them out and reject their foul demands!'

'But son, ourselves alone we swelled the Ellis Island flood.
We escaped from war and Hunger and the spilling of our blood.
We were taken in by others who did not slam the door
In the faces of the terrorised, the hungry and the poor.

And we welcome French and Germans and Australians and Yanks,
Tax-free writers, painters, millionaires, who bloat the monied ranks
Of those who don't need refuge from doors kicked in at night
But who share the common feature of a skin that's truly white'.

'Oh father dear, the day has come when I answer to the call
Of my mobile phone and my mobile home, my investments one and all.
My house is worth half a million punts, and a bailiff's never seen.
So forget the past, for we're free at last of the ghosts of Skibbereen'.


'Skibbereen' midi by Barry Taylor

The original folk-song 'Skibbereen'

On June 7th 2001, Irish voters rejected (in a referendum) the Nice Treaty which paved the way for the expansion eastwards of the European Union, and I wrote this poem

On October 21st 2002, Irish voters accepted the treaty in a second referendum. Obviously, lots of them had read the poem :) Mind you, this indicates, perhaps, the level of 'democracy' in the European Union - if you don't get the result you want at the first attempt, keep banging away and spending millions on propaganda until you get your way)