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Track 11: Angela's Ashes

by Tscho Hoffmann
arranged by The MacLeods

This song is a short version of Frank McCourt's Book »Angela's Ashes«.



When I look back on my childhood
I wonder how I survived at all.
My childhood, of course, was a miserable one
A happy one's hardly worth your while.
But worse yet's the miserable
Irish cath'lic childhood.

The only things that were plenty enough
Were hunger, sorrows and rain
All in all we were wet
The Shannon brought cough and disease
The rain drove us into the church
Our refuge – the only dry place.

Angela's ashes at Limerick town
Where the streets are as grey
As the clouds in the sky
Rovin' around, search for coals and for life
If you're lucky some milk for your tea
With more luck for the Lyric* two pence.

In summer we lived down in Ireland**
In the kitchen we drank our tea.
But in winter we lived up in Italy**
'cause Ireland was cold and was wet.
But no matter where we do live
The fleas where always around.

My father asked me, when he came drunk at night
Whether I would die for my land.
At my first communion the priest said to me
That I should die for my faith.
And I sit there and ask myself
Whether anyone wants me to live.

The first communion is an important event,
'cause you go on collection tour.
But I had big trouble and I couldn't go
'cause I threw up God in the backyard.
But with a trick of Mike the fit
I got in the Lyric* for free.

* The Lyric was the low class cinema in Limerick.
** Ireland and Italy are in the story synonyms for the basement and the first floor of the McCourts' house.


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