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A Toast
(c) 1996, W. Scott Messer. Recorded by Darby O'Gill, "Waitin' for a
Ride", 1996, Dog Sheet Music. (et al).
Notes: An autobiographical piece, sweet regrets, friends who have
gone away. A Toast has won a few weighty songwriting awards, has
been recorded by a number of groups, (always with some changed
words).
A Toast
W. S. Messer

         G
You’ve all got your brothers, your comrades and lovers
                                                   C               D
Your friends, your companions, your partners in crime
          G                                 C             G
And the girls that you meet in the pub or the street
        C             G           D           G
That’ll set you to singin’ or writin’ in rhyme
                                             Am
One or two of them stay, one or two pass away
         G                                C                 D
And the rest of them fade like a dream that is lost
          C                       D              G          Am
And we watch them walk out without raisin’ a shout
    G                   C           D   G
Without realizin’ or counting the cost

Chorus:
        G                              Am
Fill me jar up with porter, me time’s gettin’ shorter
   G                                C             D
I’ll sing about Michael, and Conor and Merv
      C                  D              G                  C
But I faith need the stout for to get the words out
       G                                  C        D   G
For to whet me oul’ whistle and get up the nerve

Now Merv you recall wasn’t handsome or tall
But a cracker, a snapper, a divilish sort
Oul’ Nick would stand by with a tear in his eye
When Merv played his box just to tease him for sport
He was all full o’ passion, but when he got lashin’
He lost all his money, his wits and his luck
So to save his own life he went back to his wife
And he traded his box for a bakery truck

Conor from Cork came up lookin’ for work
A masterful man with a jar or a row
He and Susan came by to give Darby a try
It started them singin’, they’re still singin’ now
Oh, wasn’t it grand when they sat with the band
And delighted us all with their laughter and smiles
But they went back home; they left us alone
And they’re so hard to see over six-thousand miles

Cancer reached out its hand and it stole from the band
The finest man ever God made from the start
Michael was brave as he marched to his grave
With a smile on his face and a song in his heart
With a shot of surprise we can hear his voice rise
As the song is all done and the ‘plause starts to let
He says: Fill up me jar, set it there at the bar
And I’ll come for a toast when I’m done with this set
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