Dangerous Dan McHugh
This poem was based on a famous poem that my father used to recite – ‘The Shooting of Dan McGrew’, by Robert Service. It is a tale of the Klondike Gold Rush of the 1890s – Dangerous Dan is sitting with his ‘light of love, the ‘lady that’s known as Lou’ in the saloon, when a stranger staggers in from the freezing Arctic night. He plays a terrible, sad tune on the saloon piano, and then pulls a gun, and he and Dan blaze away at each other, as the lights go out. When the light comes back on, both are dead, but ‘the lady that’s known as Lou’ is with the stranger, (stealing his poke of gold dust) rather than with Dan, hinting at the possible reason for the gunfight.
I moved this terrible tale to Portadown, and made Dan a Buckfast Delivery man!
Seventy percent of all the Buckfast Tonic Wine sold in N. Ireland is reputed to be drunk in the Portadown/Lurgan area, and it is possible to ring up certain Taxi firms, and get a bottle delivered to your door – wrapped in a brown paper bag, of course, as discretion is all part of the service! In fact, even the door is not necessary – your squat, or your current location in the park, or the old tow-path under the bridge at the river Bann will do equally well, provided cash is rendered on delivery!
I re-wrote this one, adding more insults, for the 2012 Bard finals.