The Streets of Dublin

Lyrics and music: Lorenzo Testa
Tune: The Donegal Traveller (traditional)

Having spent so much time in Dublin during my life, I have a special relationship with the town, despite all its contradictions. I watched it change during the years and get through the economic crisis with more homelessness and teenage drug problems than ever. Tourists are singing and drinking at Gogarty’s, unaware of all this. But right now when writing these notes the “Home Sweet Home” movement is occupying offices in the centre of Dublin, to give shelter to homeless people for the winter and raise awareness of the problem.

I was barely in my twenties when I came to you
When many of me friends searched for luck over there
And I learned to know the smells of your streets
The names of your alleys, your cobbles, your quays
Strolling along them, around the storehouse
I met the girl who would become me wife
Then I knew your music and I made it mine
Keeping those memories close to me heart

When then I went back the time has passed by
And I found out a city so far from its past
Store and pub shutters were sorely shut down
The Italians, the Turkish, the Polish were gone
As a blow in the breeze a sound came from the east
‘Twas that Spanish man under the Gaiety’s roof
I passed him whistling the song he was playing
Then I left on an empty and torn Grafton Street

I’m watching you dying
slowly in the days
I hope that the Liffey
will wash out your sins
Now that your glory
is well dead and gone
Dublin me darlin’
what’s left for those who will come?

Tracksuited kids kick pebbles in streets
Knackers and junkies sit on the stairs
Their gazes are empty while staring ahead
They’ll end up in Supermac’s counting their coins
A young girl is begging out of Stephen’s Green
she’s all wrapped up in a blue sleeping bag
While in Temple Bar you are selling yourself
to the Americay that’s swigging a pint

I’m watching you dying
slowly in the days
I hope that the Liffey
will wash out your sins
Now that your glory
is well dead and gone
Dublin me darlin’
what’s left for those who will come?