Whipping Boy

18 Aug

When we were kids we used to climb over the back wall into old Dan’s scrap yard, then into the snooker hall where most of us kids were barred. And into the Roxy and the Stella where film stars starred. That’s where me and Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers got drunk, and jarred we might have been the saviours of men, the captured captain in the devil’s dealing den, and we might have been the magic politician in some kind of tricky position, but like an old old master musician we kept on wishing, we were headed for the number one hit country again.

There’s an old photograph of Dan I wish you could’ve seen, of him and the boys, poised, standing in St. Stephen’s Green. See, they were part of the great freedom dream, but they were caught and detained and are still locked inside the frame of the photograph. And he might have been, the clever con, the good Samaritan, the Rascal man, and he might have been the loaded gun, the charlatan of the tap dancing fan, but like an old old pioneer from outer Afghanistan he’s headed for the number one hit country again.

Old Dan the Raincoat hums the very special notes of his long lost favourite melody. It reminds him of a love affair when he was young and did not care. And the parting, so soft so sadly that he might have been the laughing cavalero, the wise old commanchero, the desperate desperado, the gigolo from Glasgow, the good looking Rudolph Valentino, but like an old old hunter in search of the female buffalo, he’s headed for the number one hit country again.

And it’s true, true blue, Irish blue, and it’s true, and sometimes it reminds me of you. Because up til now my youthful age was a useless wage, a torn out page, a worn out gauge, a dirty shade, a big charade, a has been made. And honesty was his only excuse.

I took your love and I used it, and honesty was his only excuse.

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