Following on from my previous post (Raised on songs and stories):
Steeped in the literary tradition described in my last post, it is hardly any wonder that I sometimes played with words and scribbled poems of gladness and sadness, rhyming and not, personal narratives, sometimes incomplete and frequently edited on odd bits of paper….. never read by anyone but myself.
Until my first year on the Education Committee, when as part of the subcommittee on Creativity and the Arts in Education I wrote a short introductory drama through ditties for the 2009 Education Conference in Gorey. Little did I realise that I would also be called on to chase out to buy a costume to participate in the short drama – parodies of Nursery Rhymes and well known songs – calling on Batt O’Keefe the Minister for Education to improve funding for the arts. For some years there was a web recording of the event; but I googled today and it’s either been archived or committed to dust – no harm as it was a really poor quality recording!!!!
But here goes with some of the ditties:
Dough , my dear, is what we need
To pay for art and song and mime
Me alone with thirty kids
For music, dance and song and rhyme
So I ask for extra hands
Lots of experts in the know
Teams to teach these dreaded strands
Batt to send us all that dough .. ow ..ow ..ow (Doe, a deer)
Humpty Dumpty sat in the room
Humpty Dumpty looked for a loom
Fabric and Fibre
He couldn’t find either
It’s enough to fill Humpty with sadness and gloom
Sparkle sparkle paint and glue
It’s no wonder I am blue
30 kids with drums to play
Put the instruments away
Take out props and follow cue
I must do some drama too (Twinkle Twinkle)
Little O’Keefe (Batt O’Keefe was Ed Min)
Should lose his brief
And get back to his roots at the chalk face
Give him 29 (kids)
No sink and no time
Just Units and Strands – what a rat race (Little Bo Peep)
The Drums will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow
There’ll be sighs
Just thinking about tomorrow
Fills my heart with horror and with sorrow
All that noise
When I’m stuck with a class of thirty whistlers
I stick out my chin, try to grin and play
I dread you tomorrow
You’re only a day away. (from Musical Annie,,, The Sun will Come Out)
Hey diddle diddle – no piano no fiddle
And a teacher that sings out of key
The parents want ‘bands’, the inspectors want strands
And they all seem to want it from ME.
This probably served as a precursor to the short “tongue-in-cheek” history of Kilcock I wrote some time later for the “opening of the new school” celebrations. We had a lot of talent but needed a focus to draw it together in a coordinated performance.
Long long ago in early Christian times
When chieftains battled up and down our roads
To show their wealth they brought along with them
Craft workers and not just men with swords
Such was our Coca – highly skilled of hand
Who stitched, embroidered her lordship’s clothes so grand
But she was holy too and liked to pray
And in the evening always slipped away.
So when the chief encamped around this place
She found a well – it filled her full of grace
She said I’ll stay and start a little cell
That’s how Kilcock is here – the truth I tell.
Long years passed by and many changes came
The stories of Kilcock and Ireland are the same.
The Norman John de Hereford and his son Tom
Sent clerics down – they built a church of stone
King Harry 8 in his “church” take-over bid
Was unsuccessful – the Catholics just hid
Until his army passed to Kinnegad
And the priests said mass just as they always had.
In medieval times a cross was placed
In the centre of the Green, the Market Space.
And people celebrated at the site
Singing songs and dancing with all their might
Sad stories of the men of ’98
Then Famine caused the population doom
As many died, or left for faraway lands
The people and the town were filled with gloom.
But the people of Kilcock did not despair
The Royal Canal brought business to the scene
And goods were floated in and out by barge
And later, on faster transport powered by steam
At that time too the equine pundits moved
To Punchestown for festivals and fun
And Sr Fintan taught us racing poems
And now we’ll treat you to our favourite one.
Around that time the PP viewed his flock
Said few can read and write – oh what a shock
I’d better get some education going
He asked the Brothers, men of highest knowing
To start a school for boys that they might learn
Some reading, writing, ‘rithmetic in turn.
Now what about the girls I hear you say
The PP wrote a note to USA
He wrote “This comes from Ireland, from Kilcock
“We need some ladies of your teaching stock”
And so the sisters started up this little school
And ran it by the Presentation Rule.
That was the year of 1879
Classes were taught in the convent at the time
In 1953 Scoil Choca Naofa was built
And Srs Eithne, Dympna, Brendan landscaped the site
It served us well for more than 50 years
But 300 children in 5 rooms was much too tight
So Board and Parents, Teachers and the kids
Made lots of noise, sent letters to the Dail
And Conor, Gerry, Tom and all their crew
Built this fine new place of learning for us all.
So cheers to all who’ve worked so hard for us
Buíochas daoibh go leir ‘gus bualadh bos