Forget your useless yearnings and your worries and your pride
And join our friendly ceilidh by a Foremass fireside.
We’ll make a semicircle round the open Irish hearth,
The dearest and the sweetest spot in all the wide wide earth.
We’ll seek the pathways of the past, on Memory’s omnibus
We’ll tell the younger folk the yearns our fathers told to us,
And if you have no funny yarns or wondrous tales to spin
Just cross your legs and light your pipe, relax and listen in.
We’ll introduce a ghost or two and resurrect some elves
While the firelight dances brightly on the dresser’s shining shelves
With neighbours teasing neighbours, friends making fun of friends,
Till our laughter shakes each rafter and with the night wind blends.
And while we talk of lots of things from love to war and hate
We’ll throw a pinch of gossip in to keep it up-to-date.
Thus with the key of comradeship the door we open wide
Into the home of happiness, a Foremass fireside.
‘The Bard of Foremass’
Foremass Lower, Sixmilecross, Co. Tyrone.
26TH March 1957
FOOTNOTE FROM HIS SON P.D.- By a Foremass Fireside – in country parts anyone who travelled outside of their own part of the county was expected to come back and tell some tall tales of their travels and most of them could exaggerate a bit. Like a cattle dealer who travelled to fairs all over the country and told of the corn growing in a farm in Ashbourne, Co. Meath where you would have to take three steps back to pull a handful of corn from the stack. The corn in Co. Meath may grow taller than the corn in Foremass but not as tall as the tales we were told. Such was the fun of the talk around the fireside in Foremass or indeed any Irish fireside.