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A Poem about Dublin’s Characters by Tony Gorman


The characters of old Dublin we’re proud of them all
As their ghosts on the websites give us all a rallying call
Reaching out on still photos and in old movie strips as well
Revived from the archives for the stories that they tell

Of the Diceman and his movements deliberately slow
With his face all painted white and his dice like spots on show
For his slow motion actions were just to keep us all amused
And to those that didn’t know him they’d be totally bemused

And with old Johnny Forty Coats the feelings were the same
And the dress code he decided on it soon shot him to fame
I guess he was a lonely man with no relatives to care
And to spend his life in destitute it wasn’t really fair

Bang bang was loved by everyone using a key as his top gun
He’d aim it and shout out bang bang it was his sort of cowboy fun
He’d do it from a bus platform so everyone would see
And I’m proud to say that there were times he aimed his key at me

There was the scary and dancing Mary’s who were different then each other
One danced around everywhere the other made kids shudder
There was hairy lemon with his clothes in rags and a beard right down his chest
A harmless character with an odd ball way to list down with the rest

And it’s only in old Ireland that these characters could claim fame
As the people took them to their hearts christening them with their nickname
And we honour their place in folklore as their names went far and wide
They were part of Ireland’s history and we’ll remember them with pride

Though Dublin is filled with history those characters of our past
Will fill the gaps in pages with the stories that they cast
And as we sit in a Dublin pub their stories will ring out
We’ll raise a glass in an Irish toast and give them a rousing shout

Here’s to all our old characters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Bang Bang, The Diceman , Johnny Forty Coats, Scary & Dancing Mary and Hairy Lemon and all the rest.
May they never want for anything again in their new life?

2 Responses

  1. Noela McAuslan says:

    Johnny Forty Coats was my great uncle and he did have family living in Dublin. He had two sisters and one brother. His older sister Jane was living when he was around. His brother Peter died young and his other sister Christina was my grandmother and migrated to Australia in 1921

  2. Bernard Fagan says:

    That’s nice to hear that Johnny had and has relatives around today.

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