In times gone by when on the banks the fish were not so few
Irish lads they left their home those fishing ships they went to crew.
And when at last the holds were full and ships came to St. John’s
the boys felt at home so played and drank until their money was all gone.
Now broke again and not able to afford passage back to Ireland grand
so it came that, one by one, the Irish invaded this Newfoundland.
Now St. Paddy knows his far-flung folk and visits often enough
not just to keep an eye on them but to have a jar, a scoff and a scuff.
Especially on the seventeenth he always finishes his day
with his kinfolk down in Newfoundland—they know how to play.
And so when next day dawns and Paddy strolls home sister Sheilagh meets him coming in
mad as all she takes her brush, hits him saying “I told you that’s a sin!”
And the flakes falling from Paddy’s head fall to earth as snow, a rush!
A winter storm after Paddy’s day we know as Sheilagh’s Brush.
But now this year, as it often does, a weekday is the special day
so Paddy went for a Sunday stroll through the George Street Bars to play.
Now for a change he’s come back home one day before his norm
since last night the snow was falling; outside the drifts they form.
But fear you not; he’s not done yet, and I figure he’ll go out again this eve
and Sheilagh’s brush will be felt again before winter takes its leave.
Notes: Banks: the Grand Banks, the sub-sea continental shelf off the coast of Newfoundland; traditionally excellent fishing grounds, now host to a flourishing oil & gas industry, Jar: any alcoholic drink, Scoff: a good meal, Scuff: a dance, George Street: small street in downtown St. John’s known for its colourful night-life.