7 Deadly Facts (poem)

"7 Deadly Facts” - Colm Mac Athlaoich (Apr 29th 2011)

Around the time my first son was born I wanted to write something to mark his arrival. I was doing a lot of festival gigs at the time and I found that humorous poems always garnered a better reaction in those large crowd settings. So, I played around with the idea of something silly and funny, that was masquerading as a parent imparting knowledge. In addition, I wanted to amplify that realisation every kid has that their parents don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about.So I took that to the extreme and built out a list of ludicrous “facts” that made me laugh. I then started whittling them down to my favourites and I ended up with seven that worked best. My mind immediately jumped to traditional parenting ideas of old like the 7 deadly sins, and I had a perfect title – 7 deadly facts. This made me smile, knowing that there was also a bit of wordplay with the term “deadly”, a Dublin slang term for great or cool. And thus, the poem below clicked into place and was finished. It’s never been shared in print before, because it undoubtedly works better as a performance piece, but it still makes me smile. I hope it does the same for you. 

7 Deadly Facts

When I was a kid
the Internet was in black & white
it ran on diesel
and had to be wound up every night 
before you went to bed 

When I was a kid
the island of Ireland
was made of completely detachable parts
and had an engine on it just north of Donegal
and for three weeks every summer 
the country would chug down to somewhere
off the coast of France
on its holidays

When I was a kid
in Waterford it was actually made of crystal which made plumbing particularly disgusting FACT

When I was a kid
if you won the World Cup in soccer you got to keep the other country for 4 years until the next World Cup thus coining the term "Getting a Brazilian" FACT

When I was a kid
we used to dress up as tax inspectors at Halloween and fleece our stupid neighbours FACT 

When I was a kid
the most popular television programme
was an Irish language slapstick show
Na Trí Stooges
starring Larry, Curly
agus Modh Coinníollach FACT

When I was a kid
the most popular drink in Ireland was a million pints of whiskey deep fried with a short documentary about Phil Lynott projected through the middle of it on the rocks FACT

"7 Deadly Facts" - Paddy Lynch (April 29 2011)