Paul Durcan

1944 / Dublin

The Rise And Fall Of Mary Silk

J.J. Silk was true Free State gentry;

Made his fortune by a judicious admixture Of fraud and piety in the 1920's;

By 1930 had settled in the town of Nenagh

As a prosperous, horse-riding, Catholic solicitor. In due course he wedded a smiling virgin

But he soon wiped the smile off her face. However, after seven years of nuptial torture, She gave birth to their only child and daughter Whom they christened Mary

(After Our Lord's Mother).

And Mary was the apple of her father's eye, Slim and small, half-girl, half-boy,

The veritable onion, the essential peach;

In her teens she rode out at her father's side When he was Master of the Nenagh Hunt, And he had her educated -

'Edge-y ew-cated' he would snarl in the golf clubhouse barrIn the best Catholic boarding-school in England

Followed by a year in Switzerland 'improving herself.' After her final law exam, she settled down

In her father's emporious office in Nenagh

Which, he had planned long ago, she'd inherit.

The other young blood in the office,

Liam Fant, showed her the ropes;

He, himself, was a fanatical nobody

Bent on scaling the social ladder

And, at last, after seven years

Of sitting beside Miss Silk in the office

One night he got her drunk on a bucket of babycham

And copulated with her on the back seat of his Vauxhall Viva.. The next thing that Daddy Silk knew

Was that the virgin Mary was no longer a virgin. Against his will, but at her ~other's behest, And to the vile Liam Fant 's gleeful delight,

Mary Silk was quickly married off to her vole-faced lover. Old Man Silk seethed with impotence

Beside the fireplace in the Victorian drawing-room, Bashing the brass fender with poker and tongs

But to no avail. Of to no avail

(Sing) To no avail, to no avail.

To no avail, to no avail.

The baby was not three months landed in Nenagh When its father started off on a stint of wife-beating To such an extent that Silk the Elder

Was left with no choice but to fire Fant

Thinking that Mary would stay with her father.

But daughters are stranger than fathers can say

And Mary chose to stay with her horific spouse

And live on the unearthly charity of God's sour milk:

Such was the Rise and Fall of Mary Silk.
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