Grand, grand, which quickly covers a multitude. He held up his bag,
Veggies for the week.
You couldn’t miss Eugene at 6’6”, towering above the crowded market. I remember a smell of beer from him when we were kids. The doctors said he was growing too fast and couldn’t put up weight. So after the instant it took him to hoover his dinner, he’d drink a pint bottle of Guinness. He and I sat together in secondary school and I also remember him snoozing during the first two classes in the afternoon.
39 quid he cost me last week, and the previous week the same thing.
He’d noticed the dog limping. Lanky doesn’t work, so money’s tight and there are no veterinary subsidies.
So what happens if he’s not right this time?
We’ll have to operate and stitch the tendon.
And how much will that cost?
It’d be cheaper to bring him to Lourdes.
The veggie stall is just in front of the arch, under which sits a man with an accordion and a friendly face. He’s there most weeks and there’s another fella, with big black horn rimmed bifocals, who stands it with him singing unfamiliar songs. Have you heard Luke Kelly sing, he played with the Dubliners? Well Luke had a unique talent, beyond description. I remember my mam crying one day as she listened to Luke sing a Phil Coulter song on the radio, “Scorn not his simplicity”. Makes me cry to this day, but it’s the voice, Luke’s voice.
There have been Luke imitators since he died and more often then not they get it arseways, his songs are laments and their voices too thin. But the guy with the glasses who stands in with yer man who sits under the arch, he has the Luke voice and if you wait a while he’ll sing Raglin Road.
Paddy Kavanagh loved a girl he could never be with, and wrote a poem and put it to this old air. The combination gets me, always, Paddy’s words, Luke’s voice, the lament, the arch, the unrequited love. If you want a little cry, ask him nicely to sing the song.