From the cottage down the boreen


From the cottage down the boreen to the field outside the town
The memories take me back again to those heroes of renown
When I looked out past the half-door and the stars began to show
My thoughts would be of football in the new mown field below
And I’d wait the week ’til Sunday and we all got back from Mass
And the talk would be of the parish team and how we’d show our class

I’d see Dolan at the church that morn and he’d look so big and strong
With a man like him at centre-back, sure how could we go wrong
He sat upon his bicycle like a king upon a thone
From where I sat in the pony and trap, I could see but him alone

Sure, wasn’t he on the county team and scored ten points the day
After working early morn ’til night all week at making hay
When he went up for the high ball, my heart with him would soar
As he took it down with one hand and began another score

I’d milk the cows before going to school and I’d up the boreen run
And I’d hope to see him going the road when he’d say ‘Good morning, son’
My uncle knew him well, of course, they’d talk outside the church
And the game they talked inside the porch would leave Michael O’Hare in the lurch

I’d walk along the side-line, I’d smell the new cut grass
With the sun upon the orange peel, and I’d wait for time to pass
’til the referee threw in the ball and the crowd began to roar
Those shouts that still ring in my ear and will forever-more

We played them up and down the field, those neighbouring parish men
They’d score a goal and get ahead and we’d pull them back again
I’d watch my hero Dolan, and every move he’d make
He was there to fight for every ball, ahead of every brake
And I’d hear the angry shouting as a forward missed a score
And someone said ‘Ya eejit – don’t do that anymore’

Ah, it was hard upon the losers, but ’twas great to win the day
And the talk was always mighty as home we made our way
Uncle Pat would buy a mineral for me at the local bar
And I’d sit in wide-eyed listening ’til my thoughts would drift afar
To the day I’d go to Dublin to a final in Croke Park
’twas the first thing I would think of when I woke up with the lark

Ah, the years have come and gone since then, many finals there have been
I cheered Rackard, Ring and Mackey, and O’Connell I have seen
But I’ll always live in memory of that wonderous Autumn day
When the parish reached the final, and I knelt at mass to pray
That the greatest team in Ireland would show they were the best
And when Dolan scored the winning point, ’twas then the world was blessed


Written and performed by Brendan O’Reilly



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