St. Patrick's Night 2001

English bar-games in the smoke with
cribbage, darts and of course
the snicking and thump of pool balls

they're raising banners over by the markets

no concession on the price of Guinness
no Irish here but the two of us
wild electronic twittering from a one-armed bandit

no way our holy flag is gonna fall

television news mumbles from above the barman
foot and mouth and piles of burning sheep
black smoke like it used to be in Belfast

up here we sacrifice our children

my coins have bought a cheap dose of lament
and in the dark outside rain drips
there's some talk of a big snow

a memory of burning rubber and hot metal,
and home is far away
the worn-out dreams of yesterday


Italicised lines from The Island © by Paul Brady

The Island (Paul Brady)

They say the skies of Lebanon are burning
Those mighty cedars bleeding in the heat
They're showing pictures on the television
Women and children dying in the street
Now we're still at it in our own place
Still trying to reach the future through the past
Still trying to carve tomorrow from a tombstone...


But Hey! Don't listen to me!
This wasn't meant to be no sad song
We've heard too much of that before
Right now I only want to be here with you
Till the morning dew comes falling
I want to take you to the island
And trace your footprints in the sand
And in the evening when the sun goes down
We'll make love to the sound of the ocean

They're raising banners over by the markets
Whitewashing slogans on the shipyard walls
Witchdoctors praying for a mighty showdown
No way our holy flag is gonna fall
Up here we sacrifice our children
To feed the worn-out dreams of yesterday
And teach them dying can lead them into glory...

Repeat chorus

Now I know us plain folks don't see all the story
And I know this peace and love's just copping out
And I guess these young boys dying in the ditches
Is just what being free is all about
And how this twisted wreckage down on main street
Will bring us all together in the end
And we'll go marching down the road to freedom...

Copyright Rondor Music (London)

The Island by Paul Brady: you can buy the CD from your nearest (or Internet) stockist.