Irish Eyes

Melody - Anthony John Clarke, 1993

© Anthony John Clarke, 1993

John's family, it was everything
And the children were his life
And the neighbours always spoke of John so well,
For once the cards stacked in his favour
And the offer came his way
Twenty pounds for one night's work, he might as well.
John drove his lorry down an empty road.
Carryduff through Saintfield Tollymore
But they found poor John's body
On the side of the lonely road
And the neighbours heard the police tap on the door.

Well the police they took the phone call,
It said there'd been some mistake
And apologies were sent to all concerned.
Two hooded men had stopped John's lorry
On the side of the lonely road,
But their bullet had been meant for someone else.
John's family tried to understand it,
They prayed in church for strength to pull them through
But they'd been seeing lorries
On the sides of the lonely road
From Nineteen Sixty Nine to Ninety Two.
This ain't no precious song about Ireland.
So don't you dare mistake it
For the ones that you whistle when you're going home.
It's not all leaving from some harbour,
It's not all step into the parlour.
Why should Irish Eyes keep smiling through it all?

Well there were investigations,
Five minutes on the news
And the mass card wore a picture of John's face
There was outrage; two letters in the paper
And both sides of the fence;
They sensed disgrace
And sure enough there were elections
Familiar cowboys tried to steal the show
Men spoke of changing attitudes,
While thirteen tired platitudes
Pushed hope and John's lorry off the road.

Lyrics used by permission. If you like contemporary Irish folk songs, you MUST check out this page.

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