IN THE YEAR 2001
by
James Young
It was Sammy McNally that done it,
He was never done swinging the lead.
And one bloody day as he swung it,
He hit me a blow on the head.

'Get up!' sez he, trying to lift me.
I never heard one word he said.
'Are y' deaf?' sez he, trying to shift me.
But I wasn't deaf... I was dead!

Of course, I went straight up to heaven,
It's three million miles past the sun.
I arrived at a quarter past seven,
In the year of 2001.

I seen a big lad in the hallway,
Sez I, 'I'm just in from Belfast.'
'Is that so?' sez he, 'I am from Galway.
Sure, we've let an old Prod. in at last!'

I said I was happy to meet him,
And asked him what I should do.
'Come with me,' sez he, 'and I'll show you
We have a special department for you.'

I followed him down a long passage
Where it led to, your man wouldn't tell,
But my God, I soon got the message
When I saw a sign pointing to Hell!

'Aah' sez I, 'for God's sake have pity!'
'It's all for your sins in the past.
And he led me right into the city...
A place, the dead spit of Belfast.

'Is thon Hell?' sez I quite astounded:
'It is so, indeed.' sez your lad.
'If that's Hell,' sez I, looking round now,
If that's Hell, it can't be too bad!'

But the whole thing was very provoking,
Here was a place I knew well.
Surely to God, they were joking,
Surely Belfast... wasn't Hell!

But there, God love it, before me
The big City Hall stood in state.
With a tri-colour flying above it
And two Civic Guards at the gate.

That was only the start of the torment
I soon was to learn all the facts.
The Pope was living in Stormont
And Paisley was cleaning the jacksie.

The head of the great Orange Order
Had long ago given himself up
Lemass had abolished the border
And L'pool were out of the cup.

In here perfect freedom is given,
To wander about, it's as well.
It's just that some think it's Heaven
And then, again, some think it's Hell!'

I'm a ghost now, but I'm just a beginner,
But if I was a mortal again,
I'd be nice to the Micks and the Shimmers
And I'd write to the Pope now and then.

Every man on this Earth is your brother
So don't write those things on the wall,
For, if we love one another...
We'll find out there's no Hell, at all.



Thanks to Peter (Ulsterman) for the following help with translation and local knowledge:

Lemass ( Sean Lemass, former Prime Minister in Dublin )
Fenians ( Republicans )
MacLiamoor (Famous actor in The Gate Theatre Dublin)
The Group (Small theatre in Belfast)
Sandy Row (Loyalist area in Belfast)
Fornenst (In front of me)
The end