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Brendan Behan

A hungry feeling came oer me steeling,
And the mice were squealing in my prison cell.
And that old triangle went jingle jangle,
All along the banks of the Royal canal.

2. To begin the morning, the screw was calling,
Get up you bowsey and clean your cell.

3. On a fine spring evening, the lag lay dreaming,
The seagulls wheeling high above the wall.

4. The screw was peeping, the lag was sleeping,
While he lay weeping for his girl Sal.

5. The wind was rising and the day declining,
As I lay pining in my prison cell.

6. In the female prison there are seventy-five women,
I wish it was with them that I did dwell.

7. The day was dying and the wind was sighing,
As I lay crying in my prison cell.

Footnote:  A byous Irish song to commemorate the joint birthday this week, and Irish ancestry of The Flag's Jim Lynch and Peter D Wright.  Although this song quickly entered the mainstream of the folk tradition it started off life in the theatre.  A poignant song of a prisoner's utter longing and despair it opened Brendan Behan's play The Quare Fellow and frames it thereafter, sung off-stage as if from a cell.  When the play was first produced in Dublin in 1954 it was sung by the author himself.  Sadly Brendan died all too young in 1964 and his funeral was the largest seen in Dublin since that of Michael Collins in 1922. 



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