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 Colorado Sandstorm Music



Black Day

©2009, 2020 Sandra L. Reay


Micky Dougherty blue up a car, a bridge, and part of his leg

When he got up we gave him a bowl and set him down to beg
Lucky he was no other was hurt and only himself to blame
Lucky we were we had such a spy and loyal to the game
Jimmy Connolly, deep in his cups, decided to strike a blow
He was partial to fighting and not to the cause, but that we did not know
He had a daughter, Aine Grace, with tangled curls of gold
She followed her da' around like a pup and not yet five years old
chorus  The rain came down. Washed out Derry town
  All that we were doing went unseen
  We held each other strong. Sang the whole night long
  T'was a Black Day for the wearing of the green
Jimmy Connolly took a gun to the roof of the old hotel
When the troops came marching by, he blew most of them to Hell
He took off a-running. Ach, such a hew and cry
You think he might have wished by then to grow some wings and fly
He ran down to Flanagan's pub where the music drew a crowd
Pulled himself together, marched in straight and proud
Stopped the music to announce the deed that he had done
And demanded that we stand with him, so he'd not have to run
Flynn and Ryan dragged Jim out and down to Foyle moat
They did not know what else to do so hid him on Duggan's boat
Mick Dougherty found Aine Grace crying in the street
He led her down to Flanagan's for her father there to meet
They crossed paths with Duggan who was headed for his boat
He said they'd meet the others and together they would float
Down the river to the loch, out to the sea and gone
He thought that they would all be safe, if they reached the loch by dawn
They made it down to Clooney and toward Saint Columb's park
They thought their luck was holding, hidden safely in the dark
But the British troops were lined up waiting for the boat to pass
When the first light of the morning turned the Foyle to bright glass
Five good men and one small girl and not yet lifted sail
Not one of them survived the shells that came down on them like hail
We saw it from upriver when the boat went up in flames
Nothing left for us to do but remembering their names
chorus Jimmy Connolly, Mickey Dougherty
  Billy Duggan, Michael Flynn,
  Patrick Ryan, Aine Grace Connolly
  T'was a Black Day for the wearing of the green.
Black Day
Full-length Demo
Bring 'Em Home - Sandy Reay & Friends
Bring Em Home Cowboy Music CD
Listen to full song on YouTube

"I came up with the last line in the chorus, then wrote the chorus. Sylvia Murray and I discovered we were both writing Irish songs. She gave me the idea for putting a little girl in the song.

"I had to go to Phoenix, to take care of my mother after her eye surgery. I slept on the couch in her living room so I would be nearby if she needed me. While she slept, I wrote the verses to the song. It turned out to be too long for a song.

"Writers try to find opening lines that will grab the reader or listener's attention, make them want to read or hear more. The longer the song or poem, the stronger the opening line has to be. I think this poem has the best opening line I've ever written."



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