Rafting Down the Rio

Come sit beside the fire, old friend,
And dream that bamboo stems
Have risen up around us
‘Mid flowers that shine like gems.
And we are back in fairyland,
And thro’ the golden haze
We’re rafting down the Rio –
In the old Jamaica days.

Oh! the old Jamaica days!
Faintly through that leafy maze
Comes the croon of Creole melodies
As down the stream one strays;
In those darkened water ways,
And we’re rafting down the Rio –
In the old Jamaica days.

In those mighty mountain ranges
What memories lie hid,
Through the stricken streets of Kingston
Stalks the ghost of Captain Kidd.
While phantom Henry Morgan
Sets Port Royal in a blaze,
As we’re rafting down the Rio –
In the old Jamaica days.

Oh! the old Jamaica days!
How we used to lie and laze,
And think of people working
As a curious kind of craze;
Wear and tear of brain and muscle
How we wondered if it pays,
As we rafted down the Rio –
In the old Jamaica days.

There’s a terror in the tree tops, and where the shadows brood,
For the wild cat and the scorpion
And the snakes are seeking food.
The alligators blink at us,
From fever-haunted bays,
And the woods knew Devil worship –
In those old Jamaica days.

Oh! the Jamaica days!
When the sun’s mid-winter rays
Have failed to pierce the fogs that fill
Our murky alley ways.
We’ll beside the fire, old friend,
And as the embers blaze,
Go rafting down the Rio –
In the old Jamaica days.

Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French, 1980, Helicon Limited, Dublin.

Tickets

Early Booking Special Offer

Each whole day covers:

  • Three / Four Lectures
  • Afternoon Recital
  • Tea / Coffee / Homemade Cakes
  • Wednesday €50
  • Thursday €65
  • Friday €50
  • Students €19

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The 16th Percy French Festival

Our Great Disconnect

17th, 18th, 19th July 2024

At Castlecoote House

The Percy French Festival 2024 acknowledges the major support of Excel Industries; Whyte’s; CastleAcre; C&F Quadrant Ltd; Davies Group; Hidden Ireland.

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