Molloy and Malone, Magee and Muldoon

I saw an old photograph of the road where my house is recently. It dated from sometime in the early 20th century, and featured a horsedrawn hearse with four formally-dressed funeral directors smoking while waiting outside a church for the funeral service to end. It captivated me, the life-in-death-in-life of it. Alas, I can no longer find it on the interwebs, but it evoked an era possibly contemporaneous with this one, from 1914.

Picture taken from a gallery posted online by BelfastLive.

Anyhow, it inspired a bit of verse, written for no good reason in an approximation of iambic pentameter.

Molloy and Malone, Magee and Muldoon

Molloy and Malone, Magee and Muldoon

Wait by the roadside, Tuesday afore noon,

Outside the wee redbrick church that was built

With money raised from parishioner guilt.

Magee and Muldoon, Molloy and Malone

Come from the New Lodge, the Ardoyne, the Bone

To bury, when time comes around at last,

The dearly departed of all North Belfast.

Muldoon and Molloy, Malone and Magee,

Smoking in black suits of conformity,

Won’t darken the door of the chapel at all.

They prefer the bar, or the grey snooker hall.

Malone and Magee, Muldoon and Molloy,

Scowl at the sunshine which they can’t enjoy.

Theirs is the burden and theirs is the curse

To hoist us on their shoulders and into the hearse

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