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Tradition Continues
Crawford Howard
 
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THE BARRED OF ARMAGH
by
Jimmy Rafferty

Oh, list to the lay of a poor Irish boozer,
And scorn not the groans from his poor withered throat,
For I'm dryer than an oul camel's arse in a sandstorm,
And it's really beginning to get on my goat!

The tale I've to tell you is sad and depressing,
It would wring a wee tear from the hardest of stone,
For I can't get a drink in my own native city,
And I'm sure you'll agree, through no fault of my own.

One evening I dandered up town, to my 'local',
For a mouthful or two of the nectar that cheers,
And soon I fell in with the best bunch of fellas
You ever could wish for to share a few beers.

Now we talked and we blathered on subjects wide-ranging,
But the crack turned to heroes of the great Gaelic game,
McGeeney and Marsden, and others were mentioned,
All known far and wide as men of great fame.

But some bloke from Tyrone chimed in with a mention,
Of a fella called 'Caravan', or something of the kind,
He seemed to think that this bloke was so special,
That the sunshine did emanate from his behind!

The discussion was heated, and remarks became personal,
And parentage sometimes was called into doubt,
And expressions were used that concerned sex and travel,
And numerous insults were bandied about.

Now these things are common with the best of companions,
When football's discussed from the North to the South,
And so in keeping with the finest of Gaelic traditions,
I drew out and hit him a slap in the mouth!

Now you'd think that the barman, being from Armagh city,
Would understand my strong feelings, in this regard,
But the two-faced oul turncoat, he let me down badly,
He roared in my face, "Outside, Boy- You're barred!"

The very next night, I went on a bit farther,
To a pub where soccer was the game that they played,
And fell in straightaway with a great bunch of fellas,
And sure the crack it got better the longer we stayed!

We were SO sorry England were not the World Champions,
But them Boys from Brazil, they were just different class,
And no wonder Roy Keane could not play for Ireland,
With Dunphy's oul' head stuck so far up his ass!

But then I heard one of them footballing arseholes,
Who talk Man United from morning till night,
And never cop on that the rest of the universe,
Thinks that they're just talking absolute shite!

It was 'Giggsy', and 'Keano' and brilliant wee 'Scholesey',
And there's only so much of that crap you can take,
So purely to shut off the dammed noise pollution,
I drew out and hit him a slap in the bake!

Now the barman turned round, and I got a shock,
For across his back of his shirt was wrote 'Beckham'
He refused to accept that I'd the best of intentions,
And he landed me out on the street, so feck'im!

Then I thought I would travel a little bit farther,
And the Rugby club bar I would give a look-see,
And sure enough I fell in with a great bunch of fellas,
Who looked like them wrasslers you'd see on TV.

They talked of fly halves with funny-shaped balls,
And men with loose heads and lineouts and scrums,
They kept getting down and hugging each other,
And sticking their heads between other's bums!

Now one of the biggest came over, and told me
These boys are all forwards, and men with no fears,
I thought to myself that they looked a bit backward,
For they all had flat noses, and cauliflower ears!

If the forwards were backward, the backs were more forward,
And the three-quarters looked like they'd been in a ruck,
The prop had to lean on the bar to stay upright,
And the fullback was so full that he didn't give a damn!

Now your man tells me this fella here is a hooker,
Indicating a young man exceedingly large,
I'd never met a MAN from that noble profession,
So I thought I would ask him how much did he charge!

This innocent question seemed to greatly annoy him -
Maybe he had not been long in the trade!
But he called me for all the bad names he could think of,
A nasty and noisy abusive tirade!

Now I wanted to hit him a belt on the head,
To show the big bugger how angry I felt,
But I'd have needed to stand on a chair just to reach him,
So I drew up, and gave him the head in the belt!

The barman, he charged round the bar like a rhino,
He refused to accept that it all was a lark,
Grabbed me by the neck and the arse of the trousers,
And landed me half way across the car park!

Well, then I got thinking some more on the subject,
That the bar in the Golf Club might suit to a tee,
I fell in right away with a great bunch of fellas,
The dacentest craythurs you ever would see.

One fella kept saying his wife was a hooker,
But he played with a slice and he couldn’t do a thing,
I said not a word, for I’d learned my lesson,
But then sure he asked me what way did I swing!

He asked who I played with first thing in the morning,
A remark I thought personal – it cut like a knife!
He said they were short of a man for a foursome,
Would I like to play a round with him and his wife!

Well, his Missus, she waved across the room at me,
A woman so huge that a bus she could fill,
She’d a grin like a set of headstones in a graveyard,
With a set of false teeth Shergar left in his will!

Well, I thought to myself, this is worse than Ballymena,
As I stood in the corner, with my back to the wall,
Then the wife headed over, and at that point I panicked,
And knocked yer man down, as I run down the hall!

The next night I headed for a part of the city,
Where the kerbs are all painted with gold, white and green,
And all the graffiti was written in Irish,
And there wasn't a tax disc on any windscreen!

I fell in straightaway with great bunch of fellas,
With great big long beards like your man Ronnie Drew
They were talking of setting up a Workers Republic,
Which seemed a bit odd, 'cos they're all on the Broo!

One fellow asked what I thought of Karl Marx
His works, his ideas, his brilliance and flair,
Says I, "The only one I knowed was Groucho,
Was it Karl had the hat, or the wild curly hair?"

He asked me again if I knew much of Lenin,
And the role that he played in the great workers fight,
Says I, "He was great when he worked with McCartney,
But thon Yoko Ono - she wasn't half right!

This fella, he called me an Ignorant Gobshite,
And a Tool of the Capitalist Oppressor to boot.
He shouted "Agus na habair aon focail eile"
As he waggled his finger right under me snout.

Now, sad to relate, I don't speak the language,
What he said was not what I thought I had heard,
So due to the lack of an accurate translation,
I drew out and hit him a smack in the beard!

Now a fella come over and whispered a message,
Says He "Now don't think that I'm trying to be rude,
I reckon you should leave before he recovers,
Unless you've a hankering for Hospital food!"

By now things were bad, so I thought I would venture
To try my luck on the 'far side of the tracks',
So I headed down town, and found a small tavern,
Where all their tattoos had wee Union Jacks!

I fell in with the best bunch of lads you could wish for,
With muscles all bulging out through their vest.
They seemed to be some kind of Tina Turner Fan Club,
They were all wearing T-shirts with 'Simply the best'!

Now the place it was cozy, and I felt rather warmish,
So I took off my jacket, for a wee breath of air,
The temperature dropped like a stone in an instant,
And all of them gave me the funniest stare.

I looked around to explain this change in the climate,
(Frank Mitchell said nothing in his evening report!)
But then I copped on at what they were staring,
I'd forgot I was wearing my old Celtic shirt!

Now they all carried on as if nothing had happened,
A better reaction than I dared for to hope,
Except one wee skitter, who staggered across to me,
Shouting something about having sex with the Pope!

Now, me and Old Red Socks is not all that friendly,
For some of his statements I've got no great use,
But a man of his age and his physical condition,
Should not be subjected to sexual abuse!

Your man he continued to read out his pedigree,
With insults I'd only seen written on walls,
So to help him control his old sexual perversions,
I drew out and gave him a kick in the balls!

As he lay on the floor, sort of groaning and writhing,
The barman wagged me over to have a wee talk,
He says Sammy has friends who are not very friendly
I think you should run, while you're able to walk!

The next day I was wandering around up in Thomas Street,
When I spotted a sign saying 'Pub With No Beer',
But I headed in anyway, for by now I was desperate,
And sat down at the bar, though it looked a bit queer.

The barmaid was older than what I was used to,
And there was only one customer, dressed all in black,
Says I, It's an odd way to run a such a business,
But I'll try a wee whiskey, just for the crack!

The Old Doll looked at me like I was the Devil,
And says, "We never serve strong drink in here,
This is the Pioneer Temperance Society,
That's why we call it the 'Pub With No Beer'!

She gave me a spiel on the evils of liquor,
It rotted your guts and it addled your brain,
I ought to give money to help out good causes,
Instead of pissing it all down the drain!

Says I "Sure Missus, I know what you're meaning -
The drink is the reason I'm here in your club!
I'm too easily annoyed when I'm under the influence,
If it wasn't for drink, I could go down the pub!

Well, your man came across with a tin that he rattled,
We're collecting to save fallen women, says he.
There's no better thing you could do, sure I told him,
If I slip you a tenner, could you save one for me?

The Old Doll, she called me an ungrateful heathen,
A spawn of the Devil, and a black-hearted brute.
Now you surely don't think I would hit an old woman,
So I took a good thump at your man in the suit!

It was not till he fell with his eye sort of blackened,
That I noticed his shirt collar looked a bit queer.
It seems I had walloped a Priest of the Parish,
So I'm bloody well barred from the Pub With No Beer!

It seems that I'm cursed with the oddest affliction,
Wherever I go, it just follows me there,
Each time I go out with the best of intentions,
And some buckin' eejit starts driving me spare!

Each pub that I enter I get the same greeting,
A rapid Bum's Rush, straight out through the door!
I've had to give up on my wandering and drinking,
For I'm known to each barman as a Nasty Wee Hoor!

So at home with my Kathleen, my poor wife, you'll find me,
Sat by the fire, with a can in my paw,
For there isn't a pub that I dare set my foot in,
And that's why they call me the 'Barred' of Armagh!

 
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