Collection of Irish Song Lyrics
Streets of New YorkAuthor: Liam Reilly
Copyright: @Bardis Music
I was eighteen years old when I went down to Dublin
with a fist full of money and a carload of dreams
"Take your time" said me father, "stop rushin' like Hell,
and remember the world's not what it seems to be"
"For there are fellows that will cut you for the coat on your back,
or the watch that you've got from your mother"
"So take care me young bucko and mind yourself well,
would you give this wee note to my brother?"
At the time Uncle Benjy was a policeman in Brooklyn
my father the youngest looked after the farm
then a phone call from Amerikay said, "Send the lad over!"
the old fellow said, "Sure it wouldn't do any harm."
"For I spent my life working this dirty old ground
for a few pints of porter and the smell of a pound.
Sure then maybe there's somethin' you'll learn or you'll see
you can bring it on home to make it easy on me."
So I landed at Kennedy and a big Yellow Taxi
took me and my bags through the streets and the rain
My poor heart was thumpin' around with excitement
I hardly even heard wat the driver was sayin'
we came in the Shore Parkway through the Flatlands of Brooklyn
to my uncle's apartment on East Fifty Third
I was feeling so happy I was hummin' a song
and I sang "You're as Free as a Bird"
But the short of the story what I found out that day
was that Benjy was shot down in an uptown farray
and while I was flyin' my way to New York
poor Benjy was lyin' in a cold City morgue
I phoned up the old fellow and I told him the news
I could tell he could hardly stand up in his shoes
and I wept when he told me, "Go ahead with the plan,
and not to forget, be a proud Irish man."
So I went up to Nelly's beside Fordam Road
and I started to learn about liftin' a load
but the heaviest thing that I carried that year
were the bittersweet thoughts of my hometown so dear
I went back that December 'cause the old fellow died
had to borrow the money from Phil on the side
and all the bright flowers and brass couldn't hide
the poor wasted face of my father
I sold off the old farmyard for what it was worth
and into my bag stuck a handful of earth
then I boarded a train and I caught me a plane
and I found myself back in the US again
its been twenty two years since I set foor in Dublin
my kids know to use the correct knife and fork
still I'll never forget her green grass and her rivers
as I keep law and order in the streets of New York