I was 18 years old when I went down to Dublin
With a fistful of money and a cartload of dreams
“Take your time,” said me father. “Stop rushing like hell
And remember all is not what it seems to be
For there's fellas would cut you for the coat on yer back
Or the watch that you got from your mother
So take care, me young bucko, and mind yourself well
And will ya give this wee note to me brother?”

At the time Uncle Benji was a policeman in Brooklyn
And me father, the youngest, looked after the farm
When a phone call from America said, “Send the lad over.”
The old fella said, “Sure. Wouldn't do any harm
For I've spent my life working this dirty old ground
For a few pints of porter and the smell of a pound
And sure, maybe there's something you'll learn or you'll see
And you can bring it back home make it easy on me.”

So I landed in Kennedy and a big yellow taxi
Carried me and my bags through the streets and the rain
Well, me poor heart was thumpin' around with excitement
And I hardly even heard what the driver was sayin'
We came in the Shore Parkway to the flatlands of Brooklyn
To me Uncle's apartment on East 53rd
I was feeling so happy I was humming a song
And I sang “You're As Free As A Bird”

Well, to shorten the story, what I found out that day

Was that Benji got shot down in an uptown foray
And while I was flying my way to New York
Poor Benjy was lying in a cold city morgue
Well, I phoned up the old fella; told him the news
I could tell he could hardly stand up in his shoes
And he wept as he told me, “Go ahead with the plans
Never forget: Be a proud Irish man.”

So I went down to Nellie's beside Fordham Road
And I started to learn about lifting the load
But the heaviest thing that I carried that year
Was the bittersweet thoughts of my hometown so dear
I went home that December 'cause the old fella died
Had to borrow some 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 up the old farmyard for what it was worth
And into my bag stuck a handful of earth
Then I caught me a train and I boarded a plane
And I found myself back in the US again
It's been twenty two years since I've set foot in Dublin
My kids know to use the correct knife and fork
But I'll never forget the green grass and the rivers
As I keep law and order on the streets of New York
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