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Wee Shooie

a tribute to Hugh Wiley on his 80th birthday

Born in nineteen-twentyone
A rootin'-tootin'-son-of-a-gun
Loved and respected by everyone
- Wee Shooie!

Born and raised near Tullygarley
He never was a stingy Charlie
In fact quite the opposite of Jacob Marley
- Wee Shooie!

Brother to Billy, Lottie, Maureen
I remember once we taped him snoring!
Machine gun sounds but never boring
- Wee Shooie!

His first job working for a farmer
His first week's wages - five and a tanner
He thought you milked cows with a spanner
- Wee Shooie!

The next job took him to Whitehead
At three a.m. it's out of bed
An Ulster fry then off he sped
- Wee Shooie!

His ma made sure it was well fried
You don't embark on an eight mile ride
Without something to warm you deep inside
- Wee Shooie!

For eighteen years the engineer's mate
Standing on the old foot-plate
Shovelling coal at a furious rate
- Wee Shooie!

Then, meanwhile, one Mavis Reilly
Wanted to change her name to Wiley
It made one stoker awfully smiley
- Wee Shooie!

Alma Cottage was their home
He worked the garden rich with loam
Nevermore this man will roam
- Wee Shooie!

Their marriage blessed with children four
The pram would sit outside the door
Could anyone ask for anything more?
- Not Wee Shooie!

On Friday nights he'd come up the path
To a welcome dip in the old zinc bath
Then listen to the McCooey's for a laugh
- Wee Shooie!

Then a big change in fifty-seven
A new house in Millbrook - oh what heaven!
A bathroom, a garden and a fireplace (Devon)
- Pleased Wee Shooie!

They hadn't much, but they took much pride
And a loving home they did provide
To Ballylumford now the bike he'd ride
- Wee Shooie!

And then in nineteen sixty-one
Came a wee late one - our Yvonne
He had to work harder, but soldiered on
- Wee Shooie!

Yes, times were hard and money was scarce
And Mavis had little in her purse
But things would get better and never worse
- Thought Wee Shooie!

I recall the time when brother Ron
- A rebellious cuss and awfully thran
Ran away from home and the rain came on
- This worried Shooie!

We hunted and searched for the little mouse
Like pussycats trying to find a mouse
And where did we find him? - in granny's coalhouse
- Relieved Wee Shooie!

I recall the night Dad came home late
He must have had Guinness and whiskey straight
He tumbled right over the garden gate
- Blind drunk Wee Shooie!

He'd skinned his nose and mum was mad
He couldn't go out it was so bad
In the case the neighbours laughed! - 'Twas sad
- For Wee Shooie!

And what about that night so dire
With Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire"
He had to face my mother's ire
- Did Wee Shooie!

What happened that night was very droll
The "Ring of Fire" had made a hole
In mum's new suite - the bells did toll
- For Wee Shooie!

The drink, the dance, with fag in hand
All led to a disaster grand
The fag it slipped - now smoking's banned
- For Wee Shooie!

The years went on, the children grew
They all left home - the chicks they flew
But they remembered the comfort and love they knew
- With Mum and Wee Shooie!

Then the grandkids came along
To Drumahoe Road they'd often throng
A place they felt they did belong
- With Mum and Wee Shooie!

The happy years went awfully fast
With Nat King Cole and James Last
And trips to Canada - now past
- For Wee Shooie!

Since ninety-three he's lived alone
But everyone's near - just on the phone
All it takes is a dial and a ticking tone
- For Wee Shooie!

He's eighty now and has had his fill
Of "stair-rods", inhalers and feeling ill
If you shook him he'd rattle he's so full of pills
- Is Wee Shooie!

And now he'd find life awfully trying
If it weren't for the love and care of Irene,
Bill, Ron, Mona, Yvonne - all dying
- To please Wee Shooie!

But never despair, there's always hope,
And I know he'll find the strength to cope
His will is strong - and he's no dope
- Never that Wee Shooie!

When he finally reached the Pearly Gates
(As we all will sometime - soon or late)
St Peter will tell him of his fate
- Wee Shooie!

"Wee Shooie," he'll say, "You want to know
Is it "UP" or "DOWN" you're meant to go?"
(And he'll say this with his cheeks a-glow.)
- To Wee Shooie!

"Well," rubbing his hands, "you'll be glad to hear
It's 'UP' you'll be going to meet your Dear!
You've done enough stoking on earth, I fear,
- Wee Shooie!"

Then waving him through, Wee Shooie will glide,
Until he stands trembling in heaven inside -
And ??? Hastening to greet him ???
??? His own dear bride ???
!!!!! Happy Wee Shooie !!!!!


Owner/SourceDerek Wiley
Linked toFamily: Clements/Gamble (F51)

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