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Cork City, high atop the table,
Playing well, extremely able,
Scoring goals to beat the band
Throughout this green and pleasant land,
Played a poor St. Pat’s Athletic,
Whose recent form has been pathetic,
Who cannot score to save their lives,
Where gloom and disenchantment thrives.
With Cork at home in Turner’s Cross
And striving for a win with gloss,
And Pats reduced to ten, then nine,
It seemed quite in the grand design
That Pats should saunter up the hill
And win the game by one to nil.
“A funny old game,” said Jimmy Greaves,
Which everybody now believes,
Except perhaps down by the Lee,
Where football lacks hilarity.
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Derry to go and win the League
And Cork to win the Cup.
That’s the only sequence which
Is going to cheer us up.
The only permutation that
Will drive away fatigue
Is if Cork go on and win the Cup
And Derry take the League.
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Derry to go and win the League
And Cork to win the Cup.
A different combination and
We’ll all be sold a pup.
The orchestra is practising
A symphony by Grieg,
With Cork about to take the Cup
And Derry take the League.
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Each time that we win, there is talk of a chink,
For the door is not totally shut.
But it’ slammed from within every time that we think
That we’ve space to wedge in a large foot.
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In Waterford town, it is carnival time,
The party shows no sign of ceasing.
The music beats loud and the church bells all chime,
And the song and the laughter’s increasing.
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It’s hard to believe they’re not far from the drop,
Still battling hard for survival,
But why should they care if they’ve managed to stop
The charge of their bitterest rival?
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Two points dropped by Cork with just three games to go,
Two points which could well turn out vital,
For Waterford’s joy is a Cork hammer blow
In their quest for the long hoped-for title.
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Ten wins from eleven games
Should underline one’s title claims.
In any other season, we’d
Have shot away at breakneck speed,
Or climbed some places up the table.
But this time, our position’s stable.
Despite this run, we’re still in third,
But soldier on quite undeterred.
Our title hopes are up in flames
Despite ten wins from eleven games.
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Ten wins from eleven matches,
Though we only played in patches,
Was really quite a decent run,
With Jayo scoring goals for fun.
But Cork and Derry both deserve
Great credit for their steely nerve.
Sometimes when you are out on top,
You tend to let your standards drop.
Usually reward attaches
To ten wins from eleven matches.
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Thirty points from thirty three
Should really make the doubters flee.
We never gained a single place
Nor challenged in the title race.
For this year, time is out of joint,
And watch where all the fingers point,
Despite our tally latterly
Of thirty points from thirty three.
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Oh Rico, is it slipping through your fingers?
Can you hear the ringing of the bells?
The smell of second-place so sadly lingers,
The way it did when you were here at Shels.
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The Nearly Man of football, they have called you.
Oh, what is it your crystal ball foretells?
Has this little wobble not appalled you,
The way it did when you were here at Shels?
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Your football teams have always been commended.
You understand attractive football sells.
But careful, lest your season be up-ended,
The way it was when you were here at Shels.
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The Rebel fans won’t tolerate disaster,
Ask Gunther what a narrow failure spells!
You cannot set your broken dreams in plaster,
As you recall, when you were here with Shels.
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I met an old man down in Ballyphehane,
As I strolled down the South Douglas Road.
He was sixty, I guess, and he seemed in distress,
And so I instinctively slowed.
“You all right?” I enquired, “for you seem somewhat tired,
And your eyes are all bloodshot and red.”
“Things is bad,” he replied, and with heavy heart sighed,
“I think I might take to me bed,
For they’re going to knock down the Shed.”
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“Up beyond in the Cross?” I said, quite at a loss,
“But why would they do such a thing?
It’s a wonderful sight on a cold Friday night,
When the faithful in unison sing.
Where the banter is witty and never shows pity,
And where lifelong supporters are bred,
Where, in search of a win, they can suck the ball in –
Sure, I cannot believe what you’ve said,
That they’re going to knock down the Shed.”
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“’Tis a very bad job,” he replied with a sob,
“But the mem’ries will never grow murky,
Like when young Johnny Glynn notched a very late win
To deliver a plum tie in Turkey.
Where we stood in the cold, clapping heroes of old,
Till the palms of our frozen hands bled,
And you know the sheer noise of those proud Rebel boys
Filled most visiting teams with pure dread,
So why would they knock down the Shed?”
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“I have no idea,” I intoned, as a tear
Etched a miserable streak down my face.
Oh God, in it’s prime, we’d a marvellous time,
‘Twas a holy and magical place.
Alan Gough, I recall, turned his back on the ball,
And on over to us he did head,
And joined in the chanting and solemn incanting,
So what will they put in its stead,
If they’re going to knock down the Shed?”
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He suddenly frowned and spat hard on the ground.
“Big boxes!” he yelled, with defiance.
“For fellers in suits with no footballing roots
To impress all their corporate clients.
You won’t hear a roar from the Shed any more,
Though you might see a very nice spread.
You’ll hear clinking of glasses, and kissing of asses,
But the atmosphere will be quite dead,
When they finally knock down the Shed.”
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As I bade him goodbye, with a deep, mournful sigh,
I felt a cold shiver run through me.
Another day nearer the end of an era,
No wonder the future seemed gloomy.
Economics hold sway in New Ireland today,
And beware the financiers tread!
But I can’t hide my grief and my earnest belief
That the good times have packed up and fled,
With the fat cats about to get fed,
Camaraderie hangs by a thread,
For they’re going
to knock down
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We know full well our actions must have hurt you
(The hat, I can assure you, is unharmed.)
But patience is a very flighty virtue,
And Macker’s getting itchy (and he’s armed.)
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We’ve given you a good few hours to ponder
The ransom note we posted yesterday.
Absence must be making your heart fonder,
And I’m sure the hat is feeling the same way.
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Do not play the scheming Rebel chancer.
There’s no way you can thwart this fiendish plot.
Hurry up and let us hear your answer –
Are you going to throw the game or not?
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We cannot bear the thought of Cork prevailing,
To maybe win the League in Tolka Park.
The prospect of it sends poor Macker quailing,
And makes my mind grow venomous and dark.
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Macker’s just informed me that
Martyrs, baby, are old hat.
But this disgusting little chap
Is quite a feather in our cap.
Oh yes, he soon will face perdition,
A helpless victim of hat-trition.
His end will be uniquely crude,
Due to your selfish hat-titude,
Condemned to a quite gruesome fate,
Because you won’t cap-itulate.
So say farewell, he’ll shortly fly
To that great hatstand in the sky.
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Once he was a skinny runt,
Possessed of insubstantial front,
So very weedy-looking that
Somebody even stole his hat,
And it was even commonplace
To get some sand kicked in his face.
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And thus he went down to the gym,
Where body builders worked on him.
Twice a day he pumped the weights,
And checked his metabolic rates,
Got dizzy doing circuit training,
But did it all without complaining.
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And thus, before too very long,
He grew extremely big and strong,
Bulging biceps, slender tones,
Sinews stretching over bones,
Until he was completely fat-less,
When they nicknamed him Charles Hatless.
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No longer are we first or second seeded,
In fact, we’re down to third, or even fourth.
A strong man at the helm is what is needed,
Or else we’re going to struggle like the North.
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So come on, all you managers and coaches,
Ensure the FAI don’t draw a blank.
Accept if someone makes the right approaches,
Or else they’re going to give the job to Frank. *
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When I was a child,
I was feisty and wild,
At times somewhat out of control.
The time spent rebelling
And shouting and yelling
Fatigued my inquisitive soul.
In school I was ‘poor’
And ‘Could well achieve more,’
But though teachers might try to cajole,
My short-sighted reliance
On open defiance,
In truth, took a very great toll.
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They warned me, of course,
After trying brute force,
That life, I would find, was no stroll.
And refusing to study
Like some goodie-goodie,
Was neither too bright nor too droll.
I’d end up, they said,
With no springs in my bed,
And no sugar to put in my bowl,
And because I’d no job,
I’d be short the few bob
To buy luxury items like coal.
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Well I paid no attention,
Spent years in detention,
And eventually ran from that hole.
And I’ve worked all my life,
And I found a good wife,
And I now play a fatherly role.
And Brian Kerr is conferred
With degrees, so I’ve heard,
And he smilingly clutches his scroll,
But academic esteem
Isn’t all it might seem,
For he still stands in line for the dole.
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It began with a glance
At a Nottingham dance,
With Roy in the first flush of youth.
He was wanton and wild,
A free-spirited child,
So simple and raw and uncouth.
As he twirled up and down
In his burgundy gown,
He captured a poor Scotsman’s heart.
And when Alex proposed,
It was widely supposed
That the two of them never would part.
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One swarthy, one supple,
They made a fine couple,
And the good times were quick to arrive.
Under Alex’s gaze,
Roy was showered with praise,
For his energy levels and drive.
But the instant acclaim
And the newly-found fame
Didn’t make much impression on Roy,
And the man from the Gorbals
Made sure silver baubles
Were showered on the young Mayfield boy.
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“You look gorgeous tonight,”
Said Sir Alex, not quite
Paraphrasing the great Eric Clapton.
And down on one knee,
He said, “Roy, can’t you see?
I am asking that you be my captain.”
Poor Roy, caught off guard,
Swallowed deep, swallowed hard,
And his face went a deep shade of red.
Then through tears of great joy,
Came the answer from Roy,
“Oh gaffer, I’d love to,” he said.
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Roy left for a while,
For a far-eastern isle
To prepare for a very fine party,
But he came home in tears
With abuse in ears,
Falling foul of a man named McCarthy.
But Sir Alex was there
With great comfort and care,
And his shoulder was tender and broad.
Then they talked through the issue,
Alex gave him a tissue,
And service once more was restored.
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But time marches on,
And where once Roy’s star shone,
Mow others were vying for glory.
And Sir Alex’s eye
Did get turned by and by
In this once-inspirational story.
Within Roy, the fire,
Once a crackling pyre,
Was reduced to a small glowing ember,
Alex’s heart had been captured, bedazzled, enraptured,
By somebody called Djemba-Djemba.
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Then one day, it’s said,
Things did come to a head,
The marriage had run it’s long course.
There were harsh words indeed
But both parties agreed
To a quick and a final divorce.
The parting was sudden,
The faces were wooden,
Though deep down inside, they were aching.
For when love goes askew
There’s not much you can do,
When your heart is so publicly breaking.
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Is it professional to quarrel in pubs,
To spend all your free time in boozers and clubs?
While Beckham spent hours taking frees on his own,
Others, quite nameless, were alcohol-prone.
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Is it professional to have such impatience
You’re shown the red card on eleven occasions?
When the team needs a leader, you’re up in the stands
With the sick and the injured, just wringing your hands.
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Is it professional to break someone’s leg
Because they once tried to take you down a peg?
To practically end their career at a stroke,
Then gloat in your book at this wonderful joke?
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Is it professional to run to the press
Whenever you think that the team’s in a mess?
On the eve of the World Cup, to lambast the coach
In public, is not the professional approach.
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Is it professional to slag off your team?
It’s a very bad way to be letting off steam.
If you’ve passion at heart and a fire in your belly,
Then give them a rocket, but not on the telly.
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Is it professional to leave in a huff
When somebody tells you you’re not good enough?
Or do you work harder and knuckle down more
And prove you’re the man that you had been before?
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Don’t lash it on – you should be fairly sparing,
We wish you well with all this Mister Sheening.
Let us know exactly how you’re faring,
We know that you’re unused to trophy cleaning.
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Congratulations on your hard-won mission,
But please don’t fill that Cup with too much beer,
Please hand it back in much the same condition,
When Shels win back the bloody thing next year.
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Eventually the pitch lies bare,
The players all departed.
A silence hangs upon the air,
Morose and heavy-hearted.
The floodlights cast their mocking glare
Upon the luscious clover,
But all I do is stand and stare
Because the season’s over.
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The fans all file out of the ground,
Deflated and dejected.
The crackling tannoy makes no sound,
Now mute and disaffected.
The Champions have now been crowned,
Give praise unto Jehovah.
But no, my sorrows aren’t yet drowned,
Because the season’s over.
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Eight exciting months have passed,
As always, much too quickly.
And winter’s thorns come thick and fast,
So menacing and prickly.
The League arrived with massive blast,
Like some great supernova,
But now I stand and stare, aghast,
Because the season’s over.