Sligo railway song

Lyrics

Sligo is a place of great renown
Where the people never greet you with a frown
But there’s trouble on the railway line
The train, it never runs on time
You’d be quicker on the back of Neddy Brown
The people were as happy as could be
In this little piece of heaven by the sea
Lakes and rivers, hills and dells
Yeats’s grave, the Holy Well
And the lovely little Isle of Inisfree

So what’s the reason for this awful pain ?
Could it be the ozone layer or acid rain
The budget or the interest rates
The falling pound in dire straits
Or maybe it’s the train that makes the strain
Now we’re all off to Dublin in the green
We’re going to meet the minister of steam
To tell him of our awful plight
The railway line’s an awful sight
The likes of it, sure, you have never seen

Are you right there, Michael, are you right ?
Do you think that we’ll be home before the night ?
It all depends on whether
This old engine holds together
And it might, now, Michael, so it might

We walked into the station in the rain
We were going to make the journey on the train
We were heading off from Sligo town
The stationmaster waved us down
He said we might be running late again
I asked him why the train can’t run on time
He said, ‘Now that decision isn’t mine
You’d have to ask them in the Dail
The Labour boys and Fianna Fail
I think we might be home by closing time’

The train began to rattle and to hum
By now my feet were feeling rather numb
An old man he was lying back
And singing ‘Smoke Along the Track’
He was drinking from a bottle filled with rum
So now we’re off to Dublin in the green
And we’re going to meet the minister of steam
The chances are that we’ll be late
The railway line’s an awful state
The likes of it, sure you have never seen

Are you right there, Michael, are you right ?
Do you think that we’ll be home before the night ?
It all depends on whether
This old engine holds together
And it might, now, Michael, so it might

Collooney, Ballymote and on to Boyle
I thought the train was running out of oil
We slowed to twenty miles an hour
Puffing smoke and losing power
Just wait until we tell them in the Dail
At the crossing gates outside of Mullingar
We saw Albert in his great big fancy car
He told us that he’s doing his best
To save the lifeline to the west
I think we might be wishing on a star

By now the train was just an hour late
As we passed by Kinnegad and James’s Gate
We said a prayer for the Sligo line
That some day it might run on time
But I wonder just how long we’ll have to wait
We’ll be singing in the streets and in the bars
So throw away your key and lock your cars
To celebrate the new design
Of the Sligo-Dublin railway line
Though by then we might be living up on Mars

Are you right there, Michael, are you right ?
Do you think we’ll make it home before the night ?
Sure, it all depends on whether
This old engine holds together
And it might, now, Michael, so it might
Oh, it all depends on whether
This old engine holds together
And it might, now, Michael, so it might


Notes

Written by Kevin Conlon.

On only one occasion did I travel to Sligo by train. That was in the springtime of 2014. There was no problem at all with the train, but the line was flooded between Carrick-on-Shannon and Longford so we continued by bus transfer. Just shows you, Kevin. Fix on problem and another takes it place. 


Song Clip


County

Sligo

Song Themes

Travelling

Songwriter