Page 2. " pushed on by the stench of the blight "
Between 1845-1852, Ireland was in the grip of The Great Famine, a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration. During the famine Ireland's population decreased by 20-25%, approximately one million people died and another million emigrated from Ireland. The cause of the famine was a disease that effected potatoes, commonly known as potato blight.
Page 3. " Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me "

"Beautiful Dreamer" is a popular American song written by Stephen Foster. It was published in 1864, the year of Foster's death.

Listen on Spotify - performed by Roy Orbison


Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me,

Starlight and dewdrops are waiting for thee;

Sounds of the rude world, heard in the day,

Lull'd by the moonlight have all pass'd away!

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,

List while I woo thee with soft melody;

Gone are the cares of life's busy throng,

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!


Beautiful dreamer, out on the sea

Mermaids are chanting the wild lorelie;

Over the streamlet vapors are borne,

Waiting to fade at the bright coming morn.

Beautiful dreamer, beam on my heart,

E'en as the morn on the streamlet and sea;

Then will all clouds of sorrow depart,

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

Page 14. " bang in the middle of Monto "

Monto was the name given to a once notorious red light district in Dublin, it was made up of the area bounded by Talbot Street, Amiens Street, Gardiner Street and Sean McDermott Street. The name is derived from Montgomery Street (known now as Foley Street), which runs parallel to the lower end of Talbot Street. At its peak there were up to 1,600 prostitutes working there, making it (reputedly) the largest red light district in Europe.

Monto was also a haven for the IRA, particularly during the War of Independence, with several safe houses for the Republican rebels, including Phil Shanahan's public house.

Google Map


Page 23. " Lady Gregory's rose bushes "

An Irish dramatist and folklorist, Lady Augusta Gregory co-founded the Irish Literary Theatre and the Abbey Theatre with writers such as WB Yeats. She wrote numerous short works for both companies.

Page 24. " Oh, the bridge is broke down...says Brian O'Linn "

"Brian O'Linn", or "Bryan O'Lynn", is a traditional Irish song:

Bryan O'Lynn was a gentleman born

He lived at a time when no clothes they were worn,

But as fashion went out, of course Bryan walked in

"Whoo, I'll lead the fashions," says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no breeches to wear

He got him a sheepskin to make him a pair,

With the fleshy side out and the woolly side in,

"Whoo, they're pleasant and cool." says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no shirt to his back,

He went to his neighbor's and borrowed a sack

Then he puckered the meal bag up under his chin

"Whoo, they'll take them for ruffles," says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no hat to his head,

He thought that the pot would do him instead,

Then he murdered  a cod for the sake of its fin,

"Whoo, 'twill pass for a feather." says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn was hard up for a coat

He borrowed a skin of a neighboring goat

With the horns sticking out from his oxters, and then

"Whoo, they'll take them for pistols,"  says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no stockings to  wear,

He bought him a rat's skin to make him a pair,

He then drew them on and they fitted his shin,

"Whoo, they're illegant wear,"  says   Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no brogues to his toes,

He hopped on two crab shells to serve him for those,

Then he split up two oysters that matched just like twins,

"Whoo, they'll shine out like buckles," says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn had no watch to put on,

He scooped out a turnip to make him a one

Then he planted a cricket in under the skin

"Whoo, they'll think it's a-tickin,"  says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn to his house had no door,

He'd the sky for a roof and the bog for a floor,

He'd a way to jump out and a way to swim in,

"Whoo, it's very convanient," says Bryan O'Lynn.


Bryan O'Lynn, his wife, and wife's mother,

They all went home o'er the bridge together,

The bridge it broke down and  they all tumbled in,

"Whoo, we'll go home by water," says Bryan O'Lynn.

Page 24. " two buns fecked from Bewley's "

Bewley's shop front
Public DomainBewley's shop front - Credit: Talkie_tim
Bewley's is one of Dublin's best known cafés, and there are three branches in all. The Georges Street branch opened in 1894, the Westmoreland Street branch opened in 1896 and the Grafton Street branch opened in 1927.

Page 25. " Into the Liffey and the Tolka "

A bridge over the Liffey in Dublin
Public DomainA bridge over the Liffey in Dublin - Credit: Jtdirl|Jtdirl
The Liffey is the river which runs through the centre of Dublin.

The Tolka is a river which flows from County Meath through Dublin.


Page 25. " The Poddle and the Hangman's Stream, the Bradoge and the Cemetery Drain "
The River Dodder
Public DomainThe River Dodder - Credit: Sarah777
The Glasnevin Tower in Glasnevin Cemetery
Public DomainThe Glasnevin Tower in Glasnevin Cemetery - Credit: Jtdirl
The Poddle is an artificial river which runs through Dublin, drawing water chiefly from the Dodder.

The Bradoge is a river which rises in upper Cabra, two miles from Dublin. It flows through the city; under the Richmond Penitentiary, under the old basin of the Royal Canal near the Aqueduct, under Newgate and Halston Streets, and to the Liffey opposite East Arran Street.

The Cemetery Drain is a stream that runs beneath Glasnevin Cemetery before joining the Tolka just past the Botanic Gardens.