• Kate Clarke

Alan O'Leary Called

Alan O'Leary called me, doll,

the good ones are looking out for me now.

A big man, big heart, he cherished you.

Last time we saw him he was dancing

to Wes McGhee, some West Texas blues,

like there was no floor at all, high on his toes.

"I must throw some shapes - excuse me, love-birds."


I'd forgotten, his voice is a dancer, too.

Donald O'Connor is in there somewhere.

He spoke of a session in Glasgow,

fiddles and pipes and your Claddagh ring

working its way across twelve or six strings.

Jameson, Guinness and Kerry man jokes.

Did you go to The Barras, looking for smokes?


"He called me up later," said Alan

"hey Alan, I found six songs that night.

For a Reading chancer, that's alright."

Knowing your people as I know them, doll,

I see why you sought out brothers like him.

A foundling, good folks were family to you.

You found them, though, and they loved you too.




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