Another Happy Christmas.


Another Happy Christmas.


Twas the night before Christmas and all was not well

The house was silent, there had been trouble, you could tell

The children were in bed, pretending to be asleep

But quietly across the landing, they did creep

Listening for Santa at the top of the stairs

But what they heard, had brought them to tears


Mummy and Daddy were fighting again

Calling names and words only used by bad men

One had been brazen the other one bold

Tears had been shed and lies had been told 

Mother was crying alone by the sink

While father had taken too much to drink


Happy Christmas, my arse, he shouted with a yell

But no one was listening as far as he could tell

Happy Christmas he shouted at the mirror on the wall

Then staggered and stumbled, on his way down the hall

And just caught his balance as he was about to fall

Another Happy Christmas, oh the joy of it all.


Christmas lights so cheerful and bright

Carol singers, children squeal in delight

But there is no room at the hostel tonight

For the old man who walks the streets by night

The only shelter or bed to be found

Is an empty bench on frozen ground


He carries his sleeping bag, tied up with string 

His precious tin whistle, some days he may even sing

To earn a few coins before being moved on

And a cup of coffee to keep him warm is soon gone

Those nagging pains of hunger and arthritis in his back 

All his worldly possessions in an old rucksack.


Life wasn’t always so tough so hard and so cruel

He was bright and intelligent, one of the cleverest in school

But the drink and the drugs soon lead him astray 

On the horses and dogs he fluttered his life away

His wife and family, his friends, he gambled and lost

The price he had to pay, such a terrible cost.


The nights are long and empty and as lonely as her day

Her one true love, has long since gone away

He chose another calling,  she sheds another tear

Lights a penny candle and kneels to say a  prayer

She has no family or friends, no one seems to care

Oh how she feels so lonely and hates this time of year


In a dark cold church an old priest sits on a pew

And thinks about life and a girl he once knew

Of the sacrifice and the choices he made

The memory of her face will never fade

That look of shock and disbelief, he could never forget

He gave his life to Church and God, no room for regret.


A timid cough startles him, his mind was worlds away

An old lady stands before him, face now old and grey

But there is something familiar about those haunted eyes

Ghost like from the shadows, he could not fail to recognise

“Hello Mary it has been awhile -it’s me, Jack

In the gloom and darkness she whispered back


“Bless me father, for I have sinned,”……


C Denis Murphy 15 June 2019.


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