Posted: Thursday, October 18th, 2018

The Dance of all Dances, by Paul O’Rourke

The Dance of all Dances

The plans are made,it’s going ahead,

The dance of all dances there’s no more to be said.

“We need the band” Mary Wallace did say,

One by one they were called, they agreed to play,

There was Molly, Jack, Jonny and Fay.

The news went around the whole parish knew,

Tricky dance moves were practised only a few rows ensued.

The band they practised they were right and ready,

Johnny on drums had one great fear That the stage was unsteady.

As the night came close summer dresses were aired,

Shirts were ironed with precision and care.

It finally arrived the big night had come,

Shoes were polished and the hair oil it did run.

They paid at the door two shillings a head

Jim Murphy’s biscuit tin box was soon full to the edge.

To tell the truth it started off quiet,

Men to the left, women to the right.

Young Micky Lee had his eye on Jane

But truth be known she thought he was a pain,

He hoped that night she would catch his eye

But whenever he glanced over she stared up towards the sky.

As the night went on things livened up,

The band were flying, they were doing their stuff.

James and Mary started off a quick step

The crowd they cheered when James gave his trademark lep.

A cry came out from the packed dancefloor

For the siege of Ennis followed by a great roar.

The band got ready, this is the one,

They straightened up they’re time had come.

Johnny he started with a beat on his drum,

The patrons exited, it was too much for some.

Word went around Frankie White had arrived

Full to the neck with Guinness, that was no great surprise.

Frankie took to the floor he surely had enough,

It was then that things got a bit rough.

He flew through the air with a mighty lep

But on his way down he struck Seanie Depp.

Now Seanie’s temper rightly took control

And on the floor the two did roll.

In the furore Mary Joe lost her wig and

Into the hall some all yawn released a pig.

The band played on they would not run

Until Tommy Byrne landed on poor Johnny’s drum.

The battle raged on the siege was now real

“call the guards” shouted out Paddy Friel.

Molly Byrne’s new teeth were now on the floor

Afraid they’d be stamped on as people ran for the door.

Then JJ Grant with hands like shovels

Grabbed Tony Malone and nearly choked him for his trouble.

A bag did swing from Clidna Shaw and met Bridget Green Square on the jaw.

The pig ran amuck and bit Sheamie Cleere

And on seeing the blood he collapsed with fear.

The priest arrived and on seeing the carnage

Fell to his knees and prayed for harmony,

Tommy Griffin tripped over Father’s rosary beads

And landed head first into Jimmy Creed.

The guards came in force, arrests were made,

The pig was handcuffed and Frankie detained.

They both ended up sharing a cell,

Three months hard labour for raising hell.

The band broke up Johnny was never the same,

For without his drum the poor man went insane.

Never again was a dance ever held,

The hall it looked like it had been shelled.

That night never to be forgotten laments are still sung,

Of that night in the hall fondly known as“the battle of Johnny’s drum”.


Paul O’Rourke