VICTORIA

Brian O’Higgins

In Dublin until recently English domination was symbolised by numbers of oversize monuments honouring English monarchs and national heroes. In 1937 the bulk of these were demolished by ‘persons unknown’ using ‘Irish Cheddar’, a home-made explosive. At that time a gigantic statue of the Famine Queen stood, or rather sat, in front of Leinster House. Panic-stricken, the authorities ordered it removed by the Office of Public Works and hidden until the time was deemed ripe to put it back. A few years ago it was taken even further out of harm’s way, it was sent to Australia.

Admiral Nelson, perched atop a pillar in O’Connell Street, ‘kept his place’ until 1966.

The lion and the unicorn were fighting for the crown,
Then up spoke the Irish Cheddar and they both came tumbling down
The second George departed too, from Stephen’s Green in town,
And they’re coming for YOU, Victoria!

Victoria, they’re coming for you soon,
Victoria, it may be when the moon
Is shining on December frost or on the flowers of June
But they’re coming for YOU, Victoria!

A ‘gas-main’ burst in Belfast on the eve of Poppy Day,
And loyal doors, and windows too, blew rapidly away.
Came the dawn in Dublin, and the naughty so they say
Sent a message to the Castle for Victoria.

Georgie lost the seat he had; king Billy lost his head;
The lion lost his balance and the unicorn has fled,
And as sure as you’re a stumpy humpty bumpy lump of lead
They’ll be coming for YOU, Victoria.

Nelson’s weather eye, they say, is looking out for squalls;
They’re nervous in the Phoenix Park and round old Dublin’s walls
But whosoever keeps his place and whosoever falls,
They’ve a double date with YOU, Victoria !!!


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