The Town Of Kings



John Manning

The blackbird sings in the town of Kings

And I am a very young boy,

Getting up in the gloom of my own bedroom

In Bridge Street Athenry.

On my way to school I would wait as a rule

For my pals to gather in the Square,

Play pitch and toss by the old  Norman cross

Or our home work together we’d share.

When our school day was done  we’d go for a run

Round the Pound or by the river we’d play,

Then up the Old Court we had plenty of sport

In its ruins we spent many a day.

Then off down the hill to Taylor’s sawmill

Fish for trout in the fast running stream,

Off then for a rally in our famous ball ally

For our days never ended   t’would seem.

The places we played as our footsteps strayed

On the walls of our ancient town;

These halcyon days and fond boyhood days

Too soon were a past history.

For there came the day when I wandered away

But you’re still such a fond memory.

To return how I long but my friends are all gone

To a place where it’s better to be.

It has changed so they say but for ever t’will stay

My beloved Baile Ath an Riogh.

Just when daylight ends my dream  ever tends

Back to places and friends it would fly,

And I’d see them I know like in the old  days long ago

In my home town of old Athenry.


Athenry in 1856

From Slater’s Directory Source: Galway Advertiser 20/1/2000 Slater’s Directory for 1856 has this to say about the town of Athenry: “Athenry is a small incorporated ...