This poem/song was commissioned by Patrick O'Donnell of the Titanic Theater Company for his play concerning Charles Dickens' forays into Victorian Dublin. (It can be sung to the tune "The Night Before Larry Was Stretched")
Dickens in Dublin
© Bill Watkins
I am a true Dubliner born
And my name it is Benjamin Garvey
I live twixt the ale house and pawn,
And for vitals I drive as a jarvey
I know every inch of this town
I know every bollix and jaxie
And from the Vicereagle down,
Have rode in the back of my taxi.
ASIDE: And the richer they are ... the smaller the tip.
I've joked with the sailor and whore
With Chinamen, Arabs and negroes
And Dublin's illiterate poor
In any old kip where the beer flows
I've taken fine ladies to Mass
And their husbands right off to the brothel
How such a quare thing comes to pass
Would puggelise old Aristotle.
ASIDE: And a pint of porter ... to wash away the sins of a city.
But the underclass always survive
Mendicant, beggar and dosser
And the system will always contrive
To screw them out of their last tosser.
I've driven them up to be wed,
I've taken them down to be buried
Or along to the old Customs shed
And the immigrant ship to be ferried.
ASIDE: To seek their golden fortune ... on a foreign shore.
God's curse upon poverty's reigns
The absentee landlord and Tory
Who suck out the blood from yer veins
Whilst whispering priests talk of glory
And so Mr. Dickens adieu
May the Dublin folk make you welcome
Rebellion is long overdue
Should the choice between
Heaven and Hell come.
ASIDE: Thank you Mr. Dickens ... that will be 1/3d.