Johnny Spillane

Got to have at least one olde Irish ditty in the repertoire.

Johnny Spillane be my name
I’m neither of fortune or fame
but with my able hardy back
I climbed out of the potato sack
and made a family and a living

Life was bleak in County Cork
me the twelfth arrival of the stork
my family had neither land
nor any opportunity at hand
so I shipped off to Ameri-cay

Having no papers or money
oh, that land of milk and honey
she was mighty, mighty harsh
it being ‘no dogs and no Irish’
so I did what I had to do

Getting off that bottom rung
was no sweet song sung
the dollars and coins were sweated
as I obeyed and marionetted
biding my time all the while

Then I caught me a lucky break
an offer from a Mallow rake
to supply the needed muscle
enforcing his wayward hustle
and my pockets began to fill

Now, I sit behind a desk
others working at my behest
a society respected man
who started with nary a plan
blessed, if there be a God

My past, I keep it well hidden
when I was doing others’ bidding
for no one would ever believe
what I did so I could achieve
and drag myself out of the gutter

Now I’m acting like the Cromwell Brits
it gives my elderly parents fits
scorning the powerless once like me
though they’re not truly a threat as I see
all they want is their dreams to be

Divergences and Destinations

You’ve gone and traded it all for a crucifix
Become a stillborn clock that no longer ticks
Abandoning the abject for the chapel of relief
Closed eyes and ears, questioning’s ceased
From most defiant rebel to supine obedience
Newly coated with a veneer of benevolence

We gleefully downed many a wall of Jericho
Our trumpet blasts scattering the forces of woe
Now possessed by your guide book of bad and good
It tells exactly what you shouldn’t and should
‘Cause but one slight misstep of nuance or word
And down with a vengeance comes Damocles’ sword

So ladle guilt to the damned, condemn the worst
Crucify the afflicted, sink the arks of the cursed
Thumbs-up, thumbs-down fervent fealty newfound
Roman togas exchanged for Nepenthe’s satin gown
Does your thorny crown bring pleasure or pain?
Is it fool’s gold, divine treasure, of Abel or Cain?

Your baptism into the family of Abraham’s kin
Lends Jesus to fund the payroll of your sins
But what of the question on that that calvary cross?
He filled with mortal doubt, unsure of the cost
On his mapless trail towards destiny’s grail
Did he still succeed when tortured and nailed?

Stumbling at times into a land of barren hearts
My pain and hurt remains not an end but a start
Our route diverged, remaining no longer one
My salvation least of all from a favorite son
The rocky path of resistance, my chosen course
Mine of no regrets or hedging bets—just not yours