The Rare Ould Times

Raised on song and story
Heroes of renown
The passing tales of glory
That once was Dublin town
The hallowed halls and houses
The haunting childrens' rhymes
That once was part of Dublin
In the Rare Ould Times.

My name it is Sean Dempsey
As Dublin as can be
Born hard and late in Pimlico
In a house that ceased to be
By trade I was a cooper
Lost out to redundancy
Like my house I fell to progress
My trade a memory.

And I courted Peggy Deignan
As pretty as you please
A rogue - and a child of Mary
From the rebel Liberties
I lost her to a student chap
With skin as black as coal
When he took her off to Birmingham
He took away my soul

Ring-a-ring-a-rosie
As the light declines
I remember Dublin City
In the Rare Ould Times

The years have made me bitter
The gargle's dimmed my brain
For Dublin keeps on changing
And nothing stays the same
The Pillar and the Met are gone
The Royal long since pulled down
As the grey unyielding concrete
Makes a city of my town.

Fare thee well my Anna Livia
I can no longer stay
And watch the new glass houses
That spring up along the quay
My mind's too full of memories
Too old to hear new chimes
I'm a part of what was Dublin
In the Rare Ould Times