Things That Matter

Father’s lost all the money he made.
I think it’s the best bit of fun;
He says I must go into trade
And make bricks, like my gran’papa done.

We’re living out here in a wood,
We don’t have no pie and no cake;
But, lordy! The fishes are good
I help him to catch in the lake!

We are going abroad for a spell,
A tutor had me in his clutch;
And Sis was to learn how to yell
In French and Italian and Dutch.

An’ Mother says, “Isn’t it sad?
No knowledge we e’er can implant.”
But I’m a lot gladder than glad,
For I’m learning the things that I want!

Ther’s no grand piano down here –
How Sis and I hated the thing –
But Sam plays banjo by ear
And we’re learning to vamp and to sing.

At Christmas Pa hadn’t the cash
For a single mechanical toy –
But as there is nothing to smash
I’m not called “a mischievous boy!”

Ma thinks that I miss the small gals
That looks down on us now with such airs
But squirrels are awful good pals
And Sam has a parrot that swears.

We’ve not seen a doctor for weeks;
Pa looks like a Bowery Tough;
And Ma has got red in her cheeks
That isn’t put on with a puff.

There’s just one small cloud in our sky –
I suppose it is wrong to complain –
But Pa says he is going to try
And make a big fortune again.

We’ll live in some horrible town
Where no one knows how to have fun;
And he will be Millionaire Brown
And I’ll be his prig of a son!
But meanwhile our money is spent;
We’ve nothing to get or to give;
On schools we don’t spend a red cent,
But we’re learning – we’re learning to live.

By kind permission of the Editors of the Irish Cyclist and Motor News.

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


Early Booking Special Offer

Each whole day €50. Students €10

  • Three / Four Lectures
  • Afternoon Recital
  • Tea / Coffee / Homemade Cakes

Tickets to the talks taking place in the theatre room in Castlecoote House must be booked in advance, seating is strictly limited per event and we expect these to be fully booked well in advance so please book early to avoid disappointment

Ticket Office:

  • +353 (0)90 666 3794

Don’t miss out, Festival tickets sell out quickly!

We are very sorry to say that we can’t do refunds as they play havoc with the ticketing system. If you can’t make it, we’d rather you gave your tickets to a friend who can.

The 15th Percy French Festival

French Awakenings

19th, 20th, 21st July 2023

At Castlecoote House

Honorary President of the Festival, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Informed Social & Cultural Discussion of Ireland Today.

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The Percy French Festival 2023 acknowledges the major support of Excel Industries, Dublin; Whyte’s; CastleAcre; C&F Quadrant Ltd; Davies Group; Hidden Ireland.

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