June of 1994 and Ireland’s going barmy,
as thousands head for the U.S.A. as part of ‘Big Jacks’ army.
From as far north as Donegal,and as south as the county Cork,
they’re heading for the first game in the city of New York.
It is the biggest airlift the world has ever seen,
forty thousand Irishmen all wearing of the green.
Money it is borrowed, from friend or credit union,
even from a child who’s just done their first communion.
Game one’s against the Italians, and the money’s on the “Azzurri,”
but Ireland, hustled, harried and attacked them with a fury.
And as he did in Stuttgart in 1988,
it was little Razor Houghton who sealed the favorites fate.
Fifty thousand Irish voices, all rose up as one,
to chant the name of Charlton, Irelands adopted son.
And as they gallantly repelled Italia’s last attack,
the chant rang out around the ground that ‘WE WANT JACK.’
That night they sang of Houghton, of Babb and McAteer,
of Paul McGrath and Sheridan as they guzzled New York beer.
“If you’re all goin to Florida?” and thousands clapped their hands,
in the nightclubs of New York town, which all hired Irish bands.
So Orlando the city of Disney world fame,
was to host the occasion of Irelands next game.
The Florida sun from the blue sky it seared,
even the mad dogs had all disappeared.
Irish fans were collapsing, from being overheated,
and burning celt skin, with cream was being treated.
Another full house, split down the middle,
some playing mariarchi, some playing the fiddle.
Meh—-ico,——-Meh———ico, ra ra ra,
is counteracted by “oooh ah McGrath”
Irish players drained, by the cruel scorching sun,
some of them even unable to run.
But the sun for the Mexicans doesn’t hold fear,
and they grab two goals through Luis Garcia.
A late one from Aldridge, more precious than it looked,
now a draw in the next game and the second round is booked.
It was back to Giants Stadium, to face the bold Norwegians,
and again the Irish supporters showed up in their legions.
The Norwegians didn’t come to play, they only came to bore,
and when the final whistle blew it was a scoreless draw.
A nil nil draw was just enough to enter the next round,
and again the cry for Charlton echoed around the ground.
So back down to North Florida, to face the mighty Dutch,
a team of individual flair and delicacy of touch.
All of them are brilliant, all are superstars,
De Goey, Bergkamp, Frank De Boer and the flying Overmars.
And when Holland netted to make the score one nil,
from then on for Ireland the game was all uphill.
They scored a second soft one, Bonner took the blame,
but unlike the mad Colombians, we knew it was just a game.
The midfield was bad, Roy Keane did not get going,
and the age of Andy Townsend unfortunately was showing.
The fat lady hadn’t sung, but she was definitely tuning up,
and it looked as if Ireland were out of the world cup.
Despite a gallant effort they couldn’t score a goal,
so it was good-bye to America and the citrus bowl.
When the game was over, some fans began to cry,
but most went down to Church Street and drank the taverns dry.
The Dutch went on to Dallas, to take on the great Brazil,
but if it had been the Irish the party would be going on still.
They’d all have survived somehow, on guinness and on cigs,
and they’d all be doing the samba and teaching the Brazilians jigs.
So that was end of the ” OLE OLE’S’ and ” COME ON YOU BOYS IN GREEN,’
and the end of the biggest airlift, the world has ever seen.