(The Blue Green Door)
Lyrics: Patrick MacGill (1891-1963)
Additional Lyrics and Music: Tim Dennehy
Guitar, Keyboards and Harmonica: Garry O'Briain
Patrick MacGill was born in The Glenties, County Donegal and from the age of twelve he spent his life in hired labour. Known as the Navvy Poet, he became the spokesman for a mute and ignored section of society. His interlocking novels, 'Children of the Dead End' and 'The Rat Pit' are essential reading. This poem appeared in 'Songs of the Dead End' in 1912. It was the poet's response to evictions in his native Donegal and when I began to hum a melody, fresh images oozed through. It is dedicated to displaced people everywhere and particularly to the children of Chernobyl.
sun moves on its path of light across the heaven's floor.
The welkin beams above the night and lights the vacant shore.
The mountains sentinel the glen and all its emerald store,
The meadow, copsewood and the fen but they return no more.
The honeysuckle in the vale was ne'er so fair before.
The roses scent the evening gale and shawl the blue-green door.
The watchdog waiting hollow-eyed before the padlocked store,
No more will be the peasant's pride for they return no more.
stilled the evening latch; the peat-fire's glow is o'er.
The ivy fattens on the thatch where birds secure their home.
The ocean twines its throbbing arms around the silent shore
And raises loud its wild alarms but they return no more.
the beach the lugger lies beside the useless oar.
No more it will hold the fisher's pride and bear it to the shore.
Where once the weaver plied his trade the shuttle's flight is o'er.
The ditch now holds the rotted spade and they return no more.
silent now the evening chime, the reaper's song is o'er.
They wander weary in a clime and drink fond thoughts of home.
Oh cruel your fate land of my birth, your heart seared to the core,
Your children banished o'er the earth and they return no more.