The streets of New York
I was eighteen years old, when I went down to Dublin
With a fistful of money and a cartload of dreams.
"Take your time," said me father, "stop rushing like hell,
And remember all is not what it seems to be.
For there's fellows would cut you for the coat on your back.
Or the watch that you got from your mother.
So take care me young bucko and mind yourself well
And will you give this wee note to me brother.
At the time Uncle Benjy was a p'liceman in Brooklyn
And me father the youngest looked after the farm
When a phone call from America said,"send the lad over"
And the ould fella said sure it wouldn't do any harm.
For I spent my life working this dirty old ground
For a few pints of porter and the smell of a pound.
And sure maybe there's something you'll learn or you'll see.
And you can bring it back home, make it easy on me.
So I landed at Kennedy and a big yellow taxi,
Carried me and my bags through the streets and the rain.
Well my poor heart was pumping around with excitement,
And I hardly even heard what the driver was saying.
We came in the short parkway to the flatlands in Brooklyn,
To my uncle's apartment on East 53rd,
I was feeling so happy I was humming a song,
And I sang you're as "Free as a bird".
Well to shorten the story what I found out that day.
Was that Benjy got shot in a downtown foray,
And while I was flying my way to New York,
Poor Benjy was lying in a cold city morgue.
Well I phoned up the old fella, told him the news,
I could tell he could hardly stand up in his shoes.
And he wept as he told me, go ahead with the plan
And not to forget to be a proud Irishman.
So I went up to Nelly's beside Fordham road,
And I started to learn about lifting the load,
But the healthiest thing that I carried that year,
Was the bitter sweet thoughts of my home town so dear.
I went home that December 'cause the old fella died,
Had to borrow the money from Phil on the side,
And all the bright flowers and grass couldn't hide,
The poor wasted face of my father.
I sold up the old farmyard for what it was worth,
And into my bag stuck a handful of earth,
Then I boarded a train and I cought me a plane,
And I found myself back in the U.S. again.
It's been twenty-two years since I set foot in Dublin,
The kids know to use the correct knife and fork,
But I'll never forget the green grass and the rivers,
As I keep law and order in the streets of New York.