by Niamh Cooper
(Sung to the tune of ‘The Sick Note’, by The Dubliners)
Dear Ireland, I write this note to you,
To tell you of our plight.
And at the time of writing,
I’m not a pretty sight!
I’ve COVID hair, I’ve cracked my chair,
My pants are awf’lly tight.
And I write this note to say,
Why I’m not going out today.
13 long months, feels like 30,
It’s been a scary ride.
And if I’m very honest,
I’m still trying to decide.
What did I think when life slowed down?
It made us all stop dead.
We were afraid, had no control,
Felt sick and tired, and dread.
Before, we were all racing,
And running everywhere.
Forgot just how to take our time.
Forgot – just how to care.
The virus hit, quietly at first,
We thought it was a bat.
We didn’t quite believe it,
Then heard – maybe a cat!
The stories were abounding,
And yet we did not stop.
And thousands went to Cheltenham,
To see the horses hop.
On Paddy’s Day, parades were off,
Who thought we’d see the day!
We knew then this was serious,
On balconies they played.
The schools were shut, the pubs were too.
We thought we’d lose our minds.
But then we started thinking,
We have more quality time.
We zoomed with friends we hadn’t seen,
We baked, hoarded and sowed.
And people, they were dying,
And our eyes were oh so sore.
No funerals and we were sad,
When Bergamo trucks passed through.
Then Boris got the COVID.
Donald said it was flu.
Coronavirus hit us hard,
And people lost their jobs.
We clapped, we cried, we put up flags,
Amidst our quiet sobs.
And watched when in America,
The Donald carried on.
As if no virus hit the world,
Like a miracle, it’d be gone.
The virus hasn’t gone away.
In fact, it’s still around.
For yet another year I fear,
But do not drink bleach now!
Just wash your hands and wear your mask,
Don’t hug, don’t kiss, don’t play.
Please practice social distancing
And with people don’t stay.
Dear Ireland, you are on your knees,
Now slowly you get up.
And when you quietly sip your tea
Please will you raise your cup.
And remember these last long months,
When COVID came to stay,
Made us stop, think, listen more,
And live life, come what may.
We’re looking to the future now,
And to a brighter time.
When we can write another song.
And this one, it will rhyme!
© Niamh Cooper, 2021
with Erin Rado
Niamh [Neeve] Cooper lives in west Cork in the south of Ireland, with her two teenage daughters and two unruly Bichon-un-frisés. She grew up bi-lingually (English, German) in Cologne in Germany to an American Dad and an Irish Mum. When Niamh is not working in educational publishing, she can be found reading, writing, baking or dancing her way to the seashore. The latest string to Niamh’s bow is writing stories that get under her skin, and her most recent publication, a charity book called ‘Lights on the Horizon’, was created by over 20 writers, photographers and publishing professionals during lockdown in 2020. The book was published by Niamh’s publishing company, eThentique. All proceeds go to first responders. You can read about it on www.ethentique.com. You can support frontline workers by purchasing the book on www.craftersofireland.com
Niamh’s stories, flash fiction, short memoirs and poetry have been published and highly commended on thejournal.ie, writing.ie, The Evening Echo, Fish Publishing and others, and her work has been performed at Listowel Writers’ Week, and broadcast on NYC radio show ‘Ireland Calls’, with Treasa Goodwin-Smyth. Niamh blogs at 5MinuteMusings.com.