Kathy O’Toole


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?

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