The Luck of the Irish

Lyrics and music: Lorenzo Testa

Among the slogans of paddywhackery all over the world, there’s usually the ridiculous idea of the so-called “Luck of the Irish”. How can Irish people be considered lucky after all they had to live during the years? Famine, emigration, British occupation, civil war, and much more… While talking about it with an Irish friend, I had the idea for these half-joking lyrics.

Me grandaunt was a poor maid
grew up in Kildare
She used to drink poitín
to make her life bare

Her husband, a fisherman,
lived by the sea
he sailed out from New Ross
but never came home

Six childer raised up
in a house old and damp
they started to work
at 13 years old

Two died for the famine
and one for the cold
The oldest, the rebel
was sent to Ceylon

So tell me oh dear
where’s our pot of gold?
I stumbled ‘till West Clare
To find there was none
At the top of me lungs,
leaned out over the cliffs
I shouted ye oversea
“Lucky me arse!”

Someone crossed the sea
To work under the ground
A coal mine was the lodge
Where Uncle Johnny died

While Tommy was sent
on a far Turkish strand
His young body lies now
down there in the sand

Then came the Easter
the Rising, the war
The struggle for being
a nation once more

James Connolly shot
While tied on a seat
The Black and Tans marching
Out there in our streets

So tell me oh dear
where’s our pot of gold?
I stumbled ‘till West Clare
To find there was none
At the top of me lungs,
leaned out over the cliffs
I shouted ye oversea
“Lucky me arse!”