THIS POEM HAS NOW BEEN A SONG FOR A LONG TIME. I'M FINALLY GOING TO RECORD IT THIS SUMMER..
Kathy O’Toole was a painter, not the ones you hang on walls But skirting boards and ceilings, window frames and doors Steel-capped boots, jeans slung low, curls cut close to her head Paint on her t-shirt, between her toes Big Irish smile wherever she went
Kathy O’Toole came from Cavan but a-travellin’ she did go And we met her in London in a pub on City Road Oh we weren’t in a hurry ‘cos it was Friday night And 5 or 6 pints later We’d put the world to rights
Men looked at Kathy in the caff, wondered, scratched their heads And she wished them all a good day, as she ate her beans and eggs And if they scowled or if they said she’s taking the job of a man She winked at them and whistled a song On the way out to the van
There was Kathy O’Toole and me, Tony, Tommy K Up and down the Holloway Road drinking all the way And Sundays we’d sleep it off we didn’t drink at all ‘Cos Monday morning she’s up the ladder In her overalls Then one day she said, it’s time for me to go I need to see my family yeah I must go back home But this is your home Kathy O’ with Tommy K and me Where you can drive your van and a painter be And love whoever you please
Oh slow down Kathy slow down consider what you do I know that you miss Cavan, but is Cavan ready for you? oh how I tried to change her mind but I just wasn’t able So we walked up to the Nag’s Head And drank the men under the table
So we were feeling rough, on the way down to the bus That would take her up to Stansted, and far away from us She cried a bit for London, for Tommy and for me Then started off for home All across the Irish Sea
Oh are you still in Ireland, Kathy did you stay? Or did you go to Australia, France, Americay? In Moy and Ballyconnell do you make the walls look new? Do you gloss the doors of Ulster? Was Cavan ready for you?