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The Butcher of Killarney Street

[Side Door]

Words: Brendan Nolan
Music: Traditional
Ould Segosha Music

This is loosely based on childhood visits to the dentist in Killarney Street, just to the north of Dublin City center. I remember getting a sense of woe going there. I can't say any of the kids around me enjoyed the experience either. I'm not sure who christened the dentist 'The Butcher' but at the time it seemed entirely justified.

Oh it's a fine Monday morning and I'll be off school
I should be dancing with joy but I am no fool
I've a big date today that me Ma'll make me keep
To see that infamous Butcher of Killarney Street

Now the butcher, sure he wasn't a butcher at all
We gave him that name cause he scared the pants off us all
If you'd call him a dentist you'd be on the drink
The Inquisition more suited his techniques I think

I'd a tooth in the back of me mouth that was bad
It had to come out, sure it was drivin' me mad
And if the tooth came out clean and I played me cards right
The tooth-fairy would leave me a sixpence that night

Now it's doubtful that novocaine was known to this man
If it was it would have messed up his grizzly oul plan
Sure with his pokes and his pliers, his picks and his drill
Sure the thought of the whole thing it frightens me still

In the waiting-room kids were lined up in a row
In our short-pants all shakin' from our heads to our toes
For the sounds from that room made the hair stand up straight
As we waited and sweated on our impending fate

Nor Whacker Murphy he was the toughest lad in our school
And the first time he saw the butcher, oh, he acted real cool
But when the session was over, Whacker staggered out the door
A mortal lad like ourselves and a hero no more

When me time came around I could not feel me legs
When I stood on the ground twas like walking on eggs
The nurse helped me in, sat me down in the chair
I bid goodbye to this world as I said all me prayers

In walks the butcher and shines a light in me face
He said, "open your mouth boy, I haven't got all day"
Well he poked up and down with his pick to be sure
And his breath would knock a vulture off a mound of manure!

He then went to work with no regard to my pain
He put the pliers in me mouth but then he took them away
He said, "part of another tooth's getting in the way still
So, don't move a muscle while I crank up the drill

I'd heard the stories of torture, now here was the proof
And when the drill touched me fiacails* I near hit the roof
Survival took over and me legs came alive
And I kicked him in his manhood with a smashin' high five!

The blood rushed from his face to God only knows where
He keeled over on the floor as I ran outta there
He was writhing in pain as I made my escape
Tearing out of the building with me Ma in me wake

Oh the adrenaline kicked in and I was running like a hare
I'd have run all the way home but it was ten miles from there
When me Ma caught me up she said, "hold on there oul skin"
"I'll never take you to see that oul butcher again"

Oh, that was the best news that I'd heard alright
But sadly I'd be out of the money that night
But when I woke the next morning me eyes opened wide
To see a shiny new sixpence was lying by my side

But there's more to the story, for I got the tooth out
And I didn't feel a thing thanks to my frozen mouth
I put it under me pillow ..... I got another sixpence
And I'll never have to see that oul butcher again!

*Fiacail: Gaelic word for 'tooth'