When I was a young boy many decades ago
I thought babies like flowers in the gardens did grow
That's what I was told and what I did believe
Children have their innocence and are not hard to deceive.
Happy childhood memories the best memories of all
And my younger years in Millstreet I will always recall
On evenings in Summer up to the mid Fall
In the Townpark at the West End we played gaelic football
The clock on our lives ever ticking away
In time it only does seem like yesterday
Since to the fields of my young years i said goodbye
On looking back the Seasons how time seems to fly
Hibernia's wild shores i may never more see
Since i have left Irelandbut Ireland has not left me
Though i have not seen it for years and from there live far away
In my visualizations i visit it often sometimes every day
If there's a hell then I am doomed and for hell I am heading
For I drove my car when I was drunk from Connie Tarrant's wedding,
I drove my car when I was drunk and lived to tell the story
Though I don't find no pride in that and that won't bring me glory.
The wanderlust was in them and they moved from place to place
In their horse drawn gipsy caravans but they were a happy race
Of people for they had the gift of music and they had the gift of song
And to the dispossessed of Cromwell their ancestry belong.
Since the last time I see old Wonthaggi many weeks and months have gone by
Above the scrub by Powlett River the lark sang in the sunny sky
The country side by the old coal Town I do see when I visualize
And on the bracken clad hill of Baxter's land I see the roos box at sunrise
In the middle of February they always came to Annagloor
And parked their horse drawn vans by the by road the travelling Irish poor
They came for the March horse fair in Millstreet Town horses they bought and sold
And a beautiful Pinto to them was a horse worth more than gold.
I often sat upon the dunce's stool
In the class room in Millstreet Town Primary school
My parents they could not feel proud of me
I was not the type of boy they wished me for to be.
The familiar sounds made by the male snipe above the bog at night
With wings and tail he makes a goat like noise whilst in his courtship flight
In Spring and early Summer him i often did hear
But that was many years ago and many miles from here.
I recall when I was a young boy in my ninth year going on ten
I heard the shy cock pheasant cucking in early Summer in the rushy glen
He was one that I did hear often though him I rarely ever did see
A memory from the mid fifties that lives on in my memory,
In the old rushy fields close to Millstreet Town
The Finnow bank high in flood waters of brown
And in the cold chill of a November dawn
The salmon are swimming up river to spawn
Good memories remain with me and good memories never die
Of Summer days on uncle Dan's and aunty Mary's farm in green old Lisnaboy
Above the rushy meadow the lark carolled in the sky
And the new mown hay it scented sweetly in the sunshine of July.
Good memories will remain with us until the day we die
And I often recall my happy days in distant Lisnaboy
Wildflowers bloomed in the sunlit fields after the Summer rain
And the cuckoo's voice in the leafy grove was to be heard again.
Phil Cronin is a man who is well travelled and half way around the Planet he has flown
Yet when he talks of Millstreet in Duhallow you always hear him mention the word home
And though he's raised his children in Australia and he left Ireland many years ago
He still talks with a strong Duhallow accent an accent that he never will outgrow.
When i recall old memories one memory i enjoy
My Summer days with Dan and Mary in green old Lisnaboy
The sweet scent of the meadows in June and in July
On sunny and windy weather when the sun shone in the sky
Though i never may see Baxter's land again
Fond memories of the place with me remain
I often walked Heather Tobias female Kelpie Nugget there
A chocolate brown one more dark brown than a hare.
The young women of my prime years are ageing on the Internet pictures of some of them i do see
On Millstreet Town's World renowned web site that brings back old memories to me
Breda Tarrant, Catherine Moore and Eileen Murphy may be many years past their prime
But they have been wearing their years well and have not been bowing to old father time
With pikes we tossed out the hay for sun and wind to dry
On warm Summer days in a distant July
Yet in fancy i can get the sweet scent of hay
Wafting in the warm breeze in the heat of the day
The high fields by the mountain are looking rather bare
And in the farm shed the cattle for fodder bellow in the frosty morning air
And the old stream from the mountain bank high to the river flow
And across the quiet old countryside the cold north east wind blow.
On Clara's slopes in mid July i ate the whortleberry
And the splendid views i do recall towards the hills of East Kerry
The whortleberry small blue fruits that ripened on the heather
From late June until late July in changeable Summer weather.
I hear the bellbirds in the wood on the hill
And magpie he opened his silvery bill
And he fluted his wild and his beautiful air
As a Nature songster few with him to compare.
The road from Duhallow for me not the road to renown
And worse for me I'd feel like a stranger now in Millstreet Town
Where the changes keep happening with each passing day
From the the Town by old Clara I live far away.
The flute like song of the olive backed oriole I fancy I hear
On the tall gums of Sherbrooke in the Spring of the year
The cockatoos call and the nesting birds sing
Oh to be in the Yarra Ranges in the prime of the Spring
The sweet scent of hay in the meads of July
And the skylark seemed like a small speck in the sky
He carolled so sweetly as upwards he did soar
Above the old high fields of green Claramore
The Powlett river crawls it's way through the scrublands
And by the sandhills bordering the sea
Where the red wattlebirds call on the coastal banksias
And in the caravan park magpie lark sings pee wee
The travellers parked their horse drawn vans at the Shannaknock cross when I was a young boy
And recalling such good memories is a thing I still enjoy
And though their colorful Romany caravans are no longer to be seen
Good memories last a life time and we recall what has been.
The songs of the currawongs I fancy I hear
In the high woods at Olinda far distant from here
And the soughing of the wind in the high mountain ash trees
Of the Sherbrooke hills I have such fond memories.
In the babbling stream at Claraghatlea the white breasted dipper does sing
His voice it cannot be mistaken on a chilly evening in the Spring
A bird born near and living in the river of a water life he only know
The mental pictures remain with me from all of those decades ago.
The songs of the old poet I remember from the Land of the gray hooded crow
A man who had seen many Seasons and of Nature's ways much he did know
His rhymes had far more depth in them than jingles and his words with me do remain
And his songs in my heart are singing they take me to past times again.
Back there in the fields by the old stream I daydreamed I would be a poet
That I would become very famous a literary person of note
But daydreams as we know are daydreams and daydreams do seldom come true
And life it has formed the habit of giving us what we are due.
In his day a famed Gaelic Footballer a legend around him did grow
A hero for Cork and for Millstreet but that was a long time ago
One of the best forwards in Ireland when he was in his glorious prime
He is at rest with life's departed we all become victims of time.
The biological clock is ticking and time's not on my side
And from the one known as the Reaper not anywhere for to hide
Some five and thirty years ago I was in my life's prime
And only in the memory can one go back in time
Tonight my mind is full of memories of the old home far away
By the Killarney Road near Millstreet Town where I first saw light of day
The male robin by the old house piped on the cypress tree
The Spring sun upon his red breast in fancy I can see
The mornings were cold I remember the old fields with frost hoary gray
And the hungry cattle in the farm sheds were bellowing for silage and hay
And robins, thrushes, sparrows and blackbirds by the back door were pecking crumbs of bread
Swept out from the kitchen floor by the housewife of them many more hungry days ahead.
Overlooking Duhallow and Sliabh Luachra and overlooking Millstreet Town
How often in my younger years I remember I often climbed to Clara's Cross and ran all the way down
Through the high fields of Claramore and Claraghatlea but back then I was in my prime
And I too have grown that much slower my master is old father time.
My memories of childhood are fading as I grow older and more gray
Yet in my wild flights of fancy I get the sweet scent of hay
In the mown meadows of Summer in the far northern July
And upwards above the rank rushes the brown lark carols as he fly.
Old memories they linger or so 'twould appear
And the sounds of the past I still fancy I hear
In the moonlit meadow of pleasant July
The corncrake the migrant rail often did cry.
I recall the crickets chirping and the scent of new mown hay
In the meadows of my childhood years ago and far away
And the dark winged swallows singing circling in the sunny sky
And I all alone with Mother Nature on a morning in July.
It has been three years and five months since my friend Jedder died
But when I am out walking I fancy she is at my side
With her eyes glued to the bulge in my trousers pocket for the hidden tennis ball
For chasing that or fetching stick her favourite games of all.
Above the rushy field near the roadway to Rathmore
The skylark carolling as upwards he did soar
In the gray morning sky and singing as he fly
His song still in my heart will be with me till I die.
On a beech tree in the Parkland pink breasted chaffinch chirps and sings
Far away in Rotorua City of the thermal springs
From the boiling lake the gray steam rising and mud pools bubbling night and day.
Memories of Nature's wonders until death with me will stay.
The frost had left the windows looking gray
And no bird called at the first light of day
And the only sounds in yard at Claraghatlea
Made by cows in byre who bellowed for their hay.
We spent many happy evenings in the Buninyong Crown Hotel
And we laughed and we made merry as memory serves me well
And we spent our money freely and we drank our merry fill
And we left some of our wages in Ron and Heather's till.
I'll have good memories of you Lew until the day I die
And the only regret that I have I never said goodbye
We never got to say goodbye but how were we to know
That we would never meet again no never ever no.
I have sung about Duhallow and the rivers, streams and rills
And I've sung about Sliabh Luachra and about the Boggeragh hills
And the lake at Gortavehy and the wood at Claramore
But the memories are fading of a green and distant shore.
Boxing had Muhammad Ali his greatness beyond dispute
And cricket had Don Bradman and baseball had Babe Ruth
And rock and roll had Elvis referred to as the king
And hurling had it's hero in Cork's own Christy Ring.
The farmer said 'twill rain again for sure
And dykes and drains were full in Annagloor
And river gray to brown was flowing bank high
And northern winds howled in the wintery sky.
When Annabelle Reen won the All Ireland for singing now that seems a long time ago
It must have been in the late fifties what year offhand can't say I know
But I recall the celebrations the bonfires blazed in Millstreet Town
For the lovely young girl with the sweet voice who had sung her way into renown.
She was nineteen and he was twenty by the bluebell patch they lay
On the rank grass by the river on a sunny Summer's day
And the wild birds chirped and whistled on the bushes and the trees
On a near to perfect sunday with the slightest freshening breeze.