Henry's Songbook

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The Old Alarm Clock

  • (Trad)

    When first I came to London in the year of 'thirty-nine
    The city looked so wonderful and the girls were so divine
    But the coppers got suspicious and they soon gave me the knock
    I was charged with being the owner of an old alarm clock

    Oh next morning down by Marlborough Street I caused no little stir
    The IRA were busy and the telephones did bar
    Said the judge, I'm going to charge you with the possession of this machine
    And I'm also going to charge you with the wearing of the green

    Now says I to him , Your Honour, if you'll give me half a chance
    I'll show you how my small machine can make the peelers dance
    It ticks away politely till you get an awful shock
    And it ticks away the gelignite in my old alarm clock

    Said the judge, Now listen here, my man, and I'll tell you of our plan
    For you and I are countrymen I do not give a damn
    The only time you'll take is mine - ten years in Dartmoor dock
    And you can count it by the ticking of your old alarm clock

    Now this lonely Dartmoor city would put many in the jigs
    The cell it isn't pretty and it isn't very big
    Sure I'd long ago have left the place if I had only got
    My couple of sticks of gelignite and my own alarm clock

    (as sung by The Dubliners)

    Tune: The Garden Where the Praties Grow

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1965:] A humourous song describing the I.R.A. bombing campaign in England during 1938-39. It is typical of the light-hearted approach by the I.R.A. soldiers serving 'overseas' at that time. The tune is 'The Garden Where the Praties Grow'. (Paddy Tunney, notes Dominic Behan, 'Easter Week and After')

  • [1998:] Dominic Behan recorded the Old Alarm Clock back in about 1957, by the way, and indeed sang Marylebone. As I recall the associated story, in 1939 the IRA were hampering the British war effort as best they could. Germany had a lot of Eire sympathisers then, on the basis that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. (Ewan McVicar,, 30 Sep)

  • [1999:] Webster's New World, Ma Offer's favorite dictionary, says gelignite is a sensitive blasting explosive that is a mixture of nitroglycerin, nitrocellulose, etc. It's also called "gelatin dynamite." (Joe Offer,, 16 Oct)

Quelle: Ireland

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aktualisiert am 25.04.2002