The Grand Old Duke of York…and Us.

Charlie Freel sends his latest poetic offering.  An acerbic comment on a pivotal moment in Paisley’s early career that somewhat debunks that particular myth.                




Do you remember Sixty Four? Were you there?

In the big man’s agitation, did you share?

Did you converge on Divis Street, from the North, West, South or East?

Did you obey the Grand Old Duke, were you there?


To remove that bloody treacherous rag, he called us out.

He pledged it would not fly, old Ulster’s laws to flout.

But while we marched on Divis Street, the enemy to meet.

The Grand Old Duke stopped short, outside the City Hall.


We were all disowned next day, as he washed his hands.

He declared riots in Divis Street, were not his plan.

He claimed to have made a simple call, to protest at City Hall,

And then march us all, back down the hill again.    And again and again and yet again.

Until that bloodstained treacherous old rag, finally earned him all the power he craved.



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