‘Kitty’s’ © Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.

‘Kitty’s’
© Joe Canning 2018. All Rights Reserved.
 
Two rounds of bread and butter
And a mug of golden tea,
Cost us a shiny sixpence.
Back in nineteen sixty three.
 
Five songs we got for thruppence,
The coin with a dozen sides.
And the doggie men from Derry,
Filled Harte’s bar on racing nights.
 
Our stomping ground was Lifford,
When it had a busy street,
Our shoes were winkle pickers,
That we stuffed to keep them straight.
 
We hung around the jukebox,
In Kate Mc Cusker’s Cafe,
Dancing to the Rollin’ Stones,
And the Beatles as we laughed.
 
There was Tommy Canning’s Cafe,
That stood beside the Ritz,
I confess it was my father’s,
And I worked in it myself.
 
But I alway went to Kitty’s,
When I’d earned my two bob bit.
Where the girls all loved the Shadows,
And an Elvis type called Cliff.
 
We loitered by the public house,
As the older ones came out,
With bottles full of Carlsberg,
Tuborg Gold and Guinness stout.
 
They were heading for the Mecca,
To find a girl to dance
But first they had to drink their beers,
And dispense with the empties first.
 
We hoped they wouldn’t smash them,
For they staggered quite a bit,
Besides, we knew their value,
Each was worth a thrupenny bit.
 
On a good night we’d get dozens,
And we’d hide them in a stash,
And on Sundays when we sold them,
For the Ritz we had the cash.
 
And when we left the pictures,
To Kitty’s we would go,
A plate of chips for nine pence,
Football Specials or a Coke.
 
Sometimes we’d smoke a Woodbine,
A Sweet Afton or a Player,
And woe betide our backsides,
If our father’s they would hear.
 
We sheltered in the phone box,
When the rain would hammer down.
Push button A and button B
For forgotten penny coins.
 
And then we started courtin’
As the teenage years rolled on,
Our turn came to dump the bottles,
And we‘d stay out late till dawn.
 
And so the the cycle it rolled on,
And then came changing times,
No more Kitty’s, no more Ritz,
No more jukebox dimes.
 
But boy did we have fun back then,
As our youth just strolled away,
’tis with hope in heart I wish the same,
For the youngsters of today.
 
(Memories of happy times)
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