Guest Observation: Jem Casey

In honor of the day. From Flann O’Brien’s “At Swim-Two-Birds,” whence this comes, and where it might be better appreciated in context.

Workman’s Friend (or, A Pint of Plain)

When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night –
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When money’s tight and is hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt –
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say that you need a change,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan,
When hunger grows as your meals are rare –
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

In times of trouble and lousy strife,
You still have got a darlint plan,
You still can turn to a brighter life –
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN

“… There’s one thing in that pome, permanence, if you know what I mean. That pome, I mean to say, is a pome that’ll be heard wherever the Irish race is wont to gather, it’ll live as long as there’s a hard root of an Irishman left by the Almighty on this planet, mark my words.”

1 Comment

Filed under Current Affairs, History, Literature

One Response to Guest Observation: Jem Casey

  1. One of my favorite poems, from one of my favotire books.
    Here’s an item a pal made for me a good 30 years ago, and it still hangs on the wall of my office; http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1546605&id=564344602

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