‘A Night At The Ritz In Lifford’ © Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

‘A Night At The Ritz In Lifford’
© Joe Canning 2016. All Rights Reserved.

The anthem played unto it’s end,
in that cinema hall I stood.
I’d just watched old Count Dracula drink
of his victims’ blood,
The lights came on, ’twas time for me,
to head home fast and straight,
to our little home in Birdstown, on the
edge of Ballindrait.

Now I thought I was strong of mind, that,
“vampires don’t scare me”.
even though that movie wasn’t what I went to
It was supposed to be Roy Rogers. “Or was it
Randolph Scott?
whate’er it was, the journey home, my confidence
would rock.

Outside the sun had been replaced
by a golden evening moon,
No friends to walk the road with me,
two long miles on my own.
I felt the fear within me build as I hummed
my nervous sounds,
as I passed the final street light on the
edge of Lifford town.

I wandered on to Drumbuoy hill passed
‘Barrys’ in the dark,
Upon the breeze the wafting air from
the wings of circling bats.
The hairs stood high upon my neck, my
nervous system rattled.
In fear and dread I then approached the
graves by Murlog chapel.

The moon shone bright and lit my way as I
walked the roads’ white line,
but a darkening cloud enveloped her and my
bravery did decline,
I was thinking of the Banshee, of the dreaded
teeth and fang,
and that night I found that I could run as
fast as any man.

I sped past Bridget Dohertys’ shop, the chapel
and the Manse,
where lived the Reverend Bewglass once, a kind and
saintly man.
I realised that up ahead was a place called
Quintons’ lane,
That place where I was told, on nights, cruel Faeries
could appear.

I was now in depths of cowardice and my pants
were damp with fear,
A cobweb brushed against my face, I screamed, but
no one heard,
I prayed for Holy Marys’ help and a sin free life
I pledged,
then my trousers became more than damp when a fox
jumped through the hedge.

By the time my heels had cooled again I had reached
Mc Dougalls’ barn
where it was said, the living dead, walked there and
travellers harmed,
I sprinted down the road again ’til I reached the ‘hurley’
I prayed I’d make the last half mile before my heart
gave out.

’twas then the moon appeared again and sparkled did the
It lit the way along the road for a soul that thought
’twas lost.
I then passed Andy’s orchard where I panicked once
For I feared the old ‘white woman’, she that haunted
Houstons’ lane.

I scurried on and whistled loud in the middle of the
I imagined ghouls and gargoyles and a thousand croaking
Then up the brae I made my way to the foot of Tom Thrones’
and saw the lights of home sweet home, three hundred yards

That night I dreamed of devils with long forks within my
saw headless men, heard screams and wails and knaves that
burned in hell.
No more I walked the chapel way nor the lanes that caused me
Each night I walked home after that, I went round by

Photo: Glowing Moon Landscape by Donegal Skies


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