Songs of Cork No 915: The Ballad Of Phil Hogan

The Echo's resident balladeer Jimmy Crowley set out to berate Phil Hogan in his latest weekly song, but also turned his ire on his 'do-gooder' critics...
Songs of Cork No 915: The Ballad Of Phil Hogan
TOUGH WEEK: Phil Hogan

THERE’S a long tradition of satire and literary merry-making in Ireland upon whose bosom I find myself borne these last few weeks.

I’m beginning to think there is ample zest and grist in the mill of day-to-day happenings and news to temper my quill. So, in the spirit of satire and embracing the sacred right of the bard to disapprove of elites and the law-dee-daws, here goes with a song about Phil Hogan, the man of the moment.

Though I started out to slag and berate Phil for his apparent cavalier approach to the Covid guidelines, I began to feel sympathy for him as time went on. I turned instead on his critics, as I’m wont to do; on the Super Do-gooders whom I mentioned two weeks ago.

There’s a great man in America called Jim Page and we’re friends since the heady days of the anti-nuclear campaign when, unless you have conveniently forgot, we, the musicians of Ireland stopped the Government from installing a nuclear power plant near a sacred place, Our Lady’s Island in the county Wexford.

Well, Page was there and he had the gift of ad lib versification; making a song up as he went along, which is a fantastic gift.

Two other good men that I know or know of also had the gift: Woody Guthrie and my cousin, Martin ‘Smiley’ Daly, a member of Stokers Lodge and twas a wonder the way he wove the lines and verses in public without any rehearsal. Sure, maybe that’s where the real truth is?

Sing today’s song to the tune of Brennan On The Moor.

Phil Hogan came to Ireland in Anno Coronae,

He drove a Ford Cortina and stopped along the way.

He wore a three-day bristle and his socks began to hum,

He checked into the K-Club near Straffan’s gentle thrum.

Chorus after each verse:

And it’s Hogan’s on the go, Phil Hogan’s on the go.

With the GATT and free-trade papers in his pocket off he goes.

Phil Hogan being sharp set to dinner first did hail.

With consummé and mussels and lobsters by the tail.

Then he had a call or two round the Lilywhite to do,

Then back unto the K-club to fetch a shirt or two.

He heard that there was mighty craic in Clifton’s stony glade,

With rosy boys like Sean O’ Rourke and other jovial blades.

With jocular justiciaries of grim tenacity,

And gentle crooning senators like Donie Cassidy.

And then, pell-mell for Clifton! Avanté! Westward Ho!

Oh, God! Is that a guard I see in the valley down below!’

With plámas and diplomacy, we’ll soon put things to right

He gets off with a warning then off into the night.

Now Hogan he reached Clifton at the setting of the sun,

He laughed at all the caviar, the Bailey’s and the fun.

They were drinking wine and porter with capon and with swan

And he sang a song with colleagues called ‘Thank you, Ma’am, said Dan.’

When Micheál and when Leo they heard the dreadful tale;

How dare he have such devilment; tis him they’d have to nail!

Did he not know that craic was banned and faces must be long?

In this grim old Granny State where you’d never hear a song.

Now Ursula she got cheesed off when she heard the news come through;

She used up every mein Gott! and himmel! that she knew.

Saying, ‘Hand to me that ten-penny!’ as soon as Leo spoke,

She handed Phil his notice from underneath her cloak.

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