The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn

Shane MacGowan

McCormack and Richard Tauber
Are singing by the bed
There’s a glass of punch below your feet
And an angel at your head
There’s devils on each side of you
With bottles in their hands
You need one more drop of poison
And you’ll dream of foreign lands

When you pissed yourself in Frankfurt
And got syph down in Cologne
And you heard the rattling death trains
As you lay there all alone
Frank Ryan brought you whiskey
In a brothel in Madrid
And you decked some fucking blackshirt
Who was cursing all the Yids
At the sick bed of Cuchulainn
We’ll kneel and say a prayer
And the ghosts are rattling at the door
And the devil’s in the chair

And in the Euston Tavern
You screamed it was your shout
But they wouldn’t give you service
So you kicked the windows out
They took you out into the street
And kicked you in the brains
So you walked back in through a bolted door
And did it all again
At the sick bed of Cuchulainn
We’ll kneel and say a prayer
And the ghosts are rattling at the door
And the devil’s in the chair

You remember that foul evening
When you heard the banshees howl
There was lousy drunken bastards
Singing Billy’s in the bowl
They took you up to midnight mass
And left you in the lurch
So you dropped a button in the plate
And spewed up in the church

Now you’ll sing a song of liberty
For blacks and paks and jocks
And they’ll take you from this dump you’re in
And stick you in a box
Then they’ll take you to Cloughprior
And shove you in the ground
But you’ll stick your head back out and shout
“We’ll have another round”
At the graveside of Cuchulainn
We’ll kneel around and pray
And God is in His heaven
And Billy’s down by the bay

CĂș Chulainn is an Irish warrior hero and demigod in the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore.
John McCormack was an Irish singer.
Richard Tauber was an Austrian singer and film actor.
Frank Ryan was an Irish politician, journalist, intelligence agent and paramilitary activist who participated in the Spanish Civil War.