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On The Border Run

Tea was traded for coffee... turf for coal... sugar for chocolate for sale on the black market either side of the border between Eire (now known as the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland...
Tea was traded for coffee… turf for coal… sugar for chocolate for sale on the black market either side of the border between Eire (now known as the Republic of Ireland) and Northern Ireland…

The line that Craig the clever chap
Carving Ulster in three, drew on a map
The maximum area the minority could hold
Cleft to the Union barely a Century old
Resented by all this border imposed
But borders bring opportunity we supposed
When war broke out shortages were rife
We knew how to move contraband to ease the strife
You only conned the taxman, sure what is the harm
Sure you cant get by on the money earned from a farm
That is how to the frolics and fun
My father joined his cousin: on the border run!

Leitrim and Fermanagh have long winding roads
Different taken each night with forbidden loads
We had turf, but no coal, but we had tea
They had the coal and they had coffee
Sure we had the sugar and butter and isnt it grand
Trading beyond the law between the two halfs of our land!

One night it was decided they would head up with tea
To swap or to sell for what its value would be
Bring down what they would buy as they always did
Bribe the B-Specials who would ignore what they knew was hid
A third man, long vetern of smuggling was with them this night
Asked if for the craic to join them his young daughter might?
Sure the child she is welcome to join us on the road
The car is strong all agreed, she would be no load
They planned for her to sit on the chests of tea
To hide it so no police inspecting would see…

Now she was important – not just there for the fun
She was excited: till she saw the gun
The B-Special pointed at the window: she was fearful, amazed
The men nonchalant, completely unfazed
Answering all the questions, showing papers that the policeman could see…
But the girl was frightened… and started to pee!

If what a dilemma: what would her dad say
Oh why did she have to come in the car today
The smell got stronger as she was dreading
Someone started to sniff as the smell was spreading
The policeman noticed nothing or at least nothing said
Then the girl did the thing all the menfolk did dread
Tapped her dad on the shoulder saying “Listen to me…
I really am sorry, i just wet the tea!”

Now the police were interested in their official way
Tell us there please what that child did say
As odd to them as if code what she had spoken
Quickly glossed over by her father now awoken
“Shes a foolish child, ignore her” he said not wincing
The B-Specials let them go them sounding convincing…
One classic border run story I as a child by my father was told
The tea with added flavour and aroma: it still was sold!

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