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  • Living

I'm only havin' the one

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 12:47pm

Story by David Burke
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I'm only havin' the one

Only havin' the one ...

I'm only havin' the one

Only havin' the one ...

STRICTLY speaking, this column should have appeared last week. After all, the pubs re-opened on Monday September 21, the Autumn equinox, having been closed since before the Spring equivalent — more than the six months in which the day is longer than the night.

However, it would have been a wise publican who could have said with absolute certainty that he or she would be back in business that day. There have been too many disappointments since the c-word entered our collective consciousness.

In fact I’m hoping that by the time you read these words a week after I write them you will still be able to go and enjoy your pint. In other words, I hope no more severe measures will have been imposed on us.

The picture that accompanies this column is a pint of Guinness — the quintessential Irish drink. Well, I’m old enough now to be able to admit without blushing that I never liked Guinness.

When I was a young fella, I passed my driving test at the age of 17 and was given pretty good access to my dad’s car, on one condition. If I came in smelling of drink, bye-bye car.

My father being a Pioneer, and my mother almost but not quite a non-drinker, and both parents being endowed with an excellent sense of smell, drinking beer of any kind was a no-no.

If I was desperate for alcohol I suppose I could have taken an odourless vodka, but I was not that desperate. And I was aware of the dangers of drink driving, even if the law was not nearly as severe way back in the 1970s.

So by virtue of having lived in France and studied French, the occasional glass of wine was deemed acceptable. These days when I want a long drink, a pint of cider is my only man.

Anyway, this is all merely a preamble to the main event of this week’s column, a verse by the inimitable Kevin O’Dwyer which was pinned up on the front door of Junie’s on Shop Street for Poetry Week. Read and enjoy!

I’m only havin’ the one

I was out on the town on Friday night

I was only havin’ the one,

So I ducked down the Cellar for a quiet


I was only havin’ the one.

I broke my rule and I went again,

I know, I was only havin’ the one.

I climbed the stairs heading for home,

Sure I was only havin’ the one.

I crossed the street for a ‘joe maxi’,

I was only havin’ the one,

But there were no jammers — 

no bloody taxi

Though I was only havin’ the one.

So I slipped into Junie’s to bide my time,

I was only havin’ the one,

Drank and spoofed with barman Brian,

I’m only havin’ the one.

Leaving, I hear music and it not that far,

I’m only havin’ the one,

So I head for Hardy’s and then the

Brogue Bar,

But I’m only havin’ the one.

When I awoke in the morn — 

what did I think?

Sure, I only had the one!

Had someone slipped Velcro into my 


’Cause I was only havin’ the one.

I tried to rise, to raise my head

And I only havin’ the one,

But my whole body was stuck to the bed

And I only after the one.

When I went out last night my thoughts

were pure,

I was only havin’ the one.

Now it’s back to the Cellar seeking a


And I’ll be needing more than the one.

— Kevin O’Dwyer

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