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The Wedding Of Jenny Mcgill - Poem by David Lewis Paget

There were red roses, and white roses
At the wedding of Jenny McGill,
For she was a Roman Catholic,
And he of the other ilk,
But the priest had refused the Catholic Church
In the way that it was, back then,
For she was a Roman Catholic,
And he Presbyterian.

But her love had bloomed like a red, red rose
And his love had bloomed as well,
For love is the great uniting force
Of the Lord, this side of hell.
So she baked the bread with her loving hands
And he broke the bread with his,
The love shone out of his Protestant eyes
At the thought of wedded bliss.

Now she'd been raised in West Belfast
And he on the Shankill Road,
They were never supposed to fall in love
Like this, so they'd been told,
For the Orange Lord is an English Lord
And shunned, in the Irish way,
While the Lord of the Green is an Irish Lord,
So said the I.R.A.

They warned her once, they warned her twice
This wedding could never be,
For he was a Presbyterian
This John McGonachy,
And children had to be brought up right,
Believe in the Catholic scene,
And fight to unite dear Ireland
For St. Patrick and the Green.

McGonachy was told as well,
No good would come of this,
For he was a Presbyterian
And Jenny a Catholic.
His parents threatened to cut him off,
His friends just said: 'We'll see! '
He even got a visit at work
From the uniformed R.U.C.

But love should break down barriers,
And love should reign supreme,
They looked for a church to wed them both,
The Presbyterian.
She looked a picture when down the aisle
She walked, like an Angel queen,
He wore an Orange buttonhole,
And she a spray of Green.

The vicar read the service as
They gazed in each other's eyes,
Her love had bloomed as a red, red rose,
And his as a white surprise,
They made their vows so tenderly
Her dress, so white, so pale,
And then 'twas time to kiss the bride,
She lifted up her veil.

The stained glass window by the nave
That showed our Lord in grace,
Had lost some of the coloured glass
Around the Saviour's face,
Two shots rang out, and then two more,
The air was very still,
When red, red roses bloomed once more
On the dress of Jenny McGill.

The lovers died in each other's arms
And love died too, that day,
They carried them out of the chapel door
As some others turned to pray,
And some prayed to the Orange Lord
And some to the Green Lord still,
The Lord in the stained glass window wept
At the wedding of Jenny McGill.

They buried her down in a Catholic row,
And him by the Shankill Road,
Even in death they'd be kept apart
By the Green and the Orange code.
But the Lord is love, and he lifted them up
To a dwelling all white and cream,
Where the roses bloom in the wintertime,
And there's neither Orange nor Green.

27 July 2008


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Poems About Green

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