19 AUGUST 1972, Page 6

Thirty-two, less six

It seems the statesmen speak in words the people do not hear,

It's left to us, the common lot, to tell them what we'll bear; It's a thing to be the chairman of the Unionists, great and free, It's a thing to challenge Westminster, that place across the sea, It's a thing to knock down Stormont, to support the IRA, And it's a thing to be a decent man, just shot deal by the way.

And the cowboys go around prancing in the Springfield and the Falls, And a young girl lies there, bleeding, with the slogans on the walls, And the slogans say God rot the Pope ' and 'Damn the IRA' And a Coldstream Guardsman's murdered and rejoins the common clay.

The flat self-loading rifles hit the Creggan and the Lodge, And the hand-grenades go bursting amongst drunkards on the dodge And another twenty precious souls leave wife and child behind And the politicians subtly say it's all a state of mind; Then the Saracens come trooping up, Fianna Fail says 'Boo,' And the wide boys on the frontier just keep on shooting through, And in the end, the tanks come up, to knock down church and town, But by that time all the brave ones equal lie in common ground; And a bunch of startled clerics, ecumenically bent, Will say, "We didn't mean quite that — it was by heaven sent."

But was it sent by heaven, or by Satan, pr by worse?

And the simple fact they'll never know will be the Irish curse.

Francis Hunter