Monday, March 13, 2006

once more with feeling

No bitesize bullets this week, mostly because I don't have time.

Instead I will post the poem that earned me a nomination for last Saturday's blog awards so that people that only drop by to this blog can read it. Sadly it did not win, but it really was great to be nominated, no matter how cliche that may sound! Having written several poems and song lyrics over the years, it was really good to receive some kind of recognition for one of them having overcome the fear of getting them into the public domain.

The awards ceremony got me thinking about how I want to proceed with my blogging, and I am seriously considering starting afresh with a new site and a new look. In the meantime I will proceed as normal, and of course I am open to suggestions.

Anyway, here's the poem, it's based on Irish history, which being the week of St Patrick's Day, should make it all the more relevant. It's called "Ní thosaímid an tine", which actually translates to "We Don't Start The Fire", but hopefully it still gets by on poetic license.



[sing to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire”]


Druid Law, high kings, Cúchulainn, bronze things
Newgrange, Celts invade, Romans stay away

O’Neill dynasty, St Patrick, snakes flee
Monasteries, Book of Kells, Vikings from Norway

Waterford settlements, Dubh Linn battlements,
Clontarf, Brian Boru, everywhere another war

Many kingdoms come and go, tuatha rule, Strongbow
King Henry, Papal Bull, English army come ashore

Ní thosaímid an tine
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Ní thosaímid an tine
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Rule of Anglo Norman Lords, rise of Gaelic folklore,
Kilkenny Statutes, fortify the Pale

Reformation taking hold, Silken Thomas getting bold,
Poynings and Penal Laws, All rebellions fail

Catholicism stands its ground, will not to the king be bound
Cromwell, Will of Orange, Boyne battle, nation torn

Food exported, landlord greed, tenants they have mouths to feed
Wolfe Tone, not alone, Act of Union from the throne

Ní thosaímid an tine
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Ní thosaímid an tine
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Dan O’Connell wants repeal, not without the royal seal,
Spud blight, Great Famine, population fell

Irish language in decline, Georgian buldings to design,
IRB, Robert Emmet, Charles Stuart Parnell

Home Rule, Dublin slums, Ulster fears a day will come,
GAA, Land League, Fair, Free, Fixity

Great War, Inspiration, GPO proclamation
De Valera, Michael Collins, War over a Treaty

Ní thosaímid an tine
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Ní thosaímid an tine
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

Free State, Fianna Fáil, Elections for the first Dáil
Resolution, Constitution, Neutrality

Pull out of the Commonwealth, Economy in poor health
Belfast, Sean Lemass, Behan-Joyce-O'Casey

James Craig, RUC, Gerrymander policy
Bloody Sunday, IRA, what else do I have to say

Ní thosaímid an tine
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Ní thosaímid an tine
No we didn’t light it
But we tried to fight it

John Hume, EEC, Dr Garrett, RTE
CJ Haughey, H-block, Celtic Tiger, Geldof

U2, Boys In Green, D4-Culchie-Jackeen
X case, church and state, Good Friday mandate

Teflon Bertie, Eddie Hobbs, Immigrants do low-paid jobs
Millions wasted everywhere, Young and old in need of care

Can the Troubles be ignored, with Adams-Paisley to the fore
Does it mean an end to war? Cos I can’t take it anymore!

Ní thosaímid an tine
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning
Ní thosaímid an tine
But when we are gone
Will it still burn on and on and on…


© B Joel 1989, JL Pagano 2005

click here for a full index of my poetry and song lyrics

4 comments:

Dol said...

Sorry to hear you didn't win in your category... Did ye have a good night anyways?

James Howard Shott said...

Congratulations on being nominated, Mr. P. Sorry you weren't selected.

A fresh start, eh? More political, maybe? :-)

Anna said...

You're certainly in good company, Jeff. Keep up the good work!

Heidi said...

sorry to hear you didn't win, but I must say your poem was great. thank you for posting it again.

keep us "post"ed on the new look/blog. I'll be reading. :)