This book also discusses the various and the famous anecdotes and stories at the time of the publication of the book. The author has written this book in a very interesting and in a very efficient manner.
The book starts from the childhood of the author. The place you are going to read in the book is Ireland. The book we are talking about has won many of the big awards as well.
Whe n Dad's job goes into the third week he does not bring home the wages. O n Friday night we wait for hi m and Ma m gives us bread. The darkness comes down and the lights come on along Clas- son Avenue.
Other men with jobs are home already and having eggs for dinner because you can't have meat on a Friday. You can hear the fam- ilies talking upstairs and downstairs and down the hall and Bing Crosby is singing on the radio, Brother, can you spare a dime?
Malachy and I play with the twins. We know Ma m won't sing Any- one can see wh y I wanted your kiss. She sits at the kitchen table talking. Wher e are my. Mam says, Leave those boys alone. They're gone to bed half hungry because you have to fill your belly with whiskey.
He comes to the bedroom door. Up, boys, up. A nickel for every- one who promises to die for Ireland. Deep in Canadian woods we met From one bright island flown. Great is the land we tread, but yet Our hearts are with our own. Francis, Malachy, Oliver, Eugene. The Re d Branch. Knights, the. Fenian Men, the IRA. Up , up. Mam is at the kitchen table, shaking, her hair hanging damp, her. Can't you leave them alone? Jesus, Mar y and Joseph, isn't it enough that you come home without a penny in your pocket.
She comes to us. G o back to bed, she says. I want them up, he says. I want them ready for the day Ireland will be free from the center to the sea. Don' t cross me, she says, for i f you do it'll be a sorry day in your mother's house. He pulls his cap down over his face and cries, M y poor mother. Poor Ireland. Och , what are we. Mam says,You're pure stone mad, and she tells us again to go to bed. On the morning of the fourth Friday of Dad's job Ma m asks hi m if he'll be home tonight with his wages or will he drink everything again?
He looks at us and shakes his head at Ma m as if to say, Och , you shouldn't talk like that in front of the children. Mam keeps at him. I' m asking you, Are you coming home so that we can have a bit of supper or will it be midnight with no money in your pocket and you singing Kevin Barry and the rest of the sad songs? He puts on his cap, shoves his hands into his trouser pockets, sighs.
Later in the day Ma m dresses us. She puts the twins into the pram and off we go through the long streets of Brooklyn. Sometimes she lets Malachy sit in the pram when he's tired of trotting along beside her. She tells me I'm too big for the pram.
I could tell her I have pains in my legs from trying to keep up with her but she's not singing and I know this is not the day to be talking about my pains. We come to a big gate where there's a man standing in a box with. I told you before I'll be home, he says. Ma m talks to the man. She wants to know if she can. Dad's wages so he wouldn't spend it in the bars.
The man shakes his head. I'm sorry, lady, but i f we did that. Lotta men have the drinking problem but there's nothing we can do long as they show up sober and do their work. We wait across the street. Ma m lets me sit on the sidewalk with my back against the wall. She gives the twins their bottles of water and sugar but Malachy and I have to wait till she gets money from Da d and we can go to the Italian for tea and bread and eggs. Whe n the whistle blows at half five men in caps and overalls swarm through the gate, their faces and hands black from the work.
Ma m tells us watch carefully for Da d because she can hardly see across the street herself, her eyes are that bad. There are dozens of men, then a few, then none. Ma m is crying, Why couldn't ye see him? Ar e ye blind or what? She goes back to the man i n the box. Are you sure. No, lady, he says. They're out.
I don't know how he got past you. We go back through the long streets of Brooklyn. The twins hold up their bottles and cry for more water and sugar. Malachy says he's hungry and Ma m tells hi m wait a little, we'll get money from Da d and we'll all have a nice supper. We'll go to the Italian and get eggs and make toast with the flames on the stove and we'll have jam on it.
Oh , we will, and we'll all be nice and warm. We go from bar to bar looking for Dad. Ma m leaves us outside with the pram while she goes i n or she sends.
There are. Dad when he comes home with the smell of the whiskey on him. The man behind the bar says,Yeah, sonny, whaddya want? You're not supposeta be in here, y'know. I'm looking for my father. Is my father here? Naw, sonny, how'd I know dat? Who's your fawdah? His name is Malachy and he sings Kevin Barry. No, Malachy. An d he sings Kevin Barry? He calls out to the men in the bar,Youse guys, youse know guy Malachy what sings Kevin Barry?
Me n shake their heads. One says he knew a guy Michael sang Kevin Barry but he died of the drink which he had because of his war wounds. The barman says, Jeez, Pete, I didn't ax ya to tell me history o' da woild, did I?
Naw, kid. We don't let people sing in here. Causes trouble. Specially the Irish. Let 'em sing, next the fists are flying. Besides, I never. Naw, kid, no Malachy here. The man called Pete holds his glass toward me. Here, kid, have a sip, but the barman says,Whaddya doin', Pete? Tryina get the ki d drunk? D o that again, Pete, an' I'll come out an' break y'ass.
Ma m tries all the bars around the station before she gives up. Jesus, we still have to walk all the way to Classon Avenue and I have four starving children.
She sends me back. The men in the bar think it's very funny that the barman should be filling baby bottles but he's big and he tells them shut their lip. H e tells me babies should be drinking milk not water and when I tell him Ma m doesn't have the money he empties the baby bottles and fills them with. H e says, Tell ya mo m they need that for the. Tell ya Mom. Ma m is happy with the milk. She says she knows all about teeth and bones and rickets but beggars can't be choosers.
Whe n we reach Classon Avenue she goes straight to the Italian gro- cery shop. She tells the man her husband is late tonight, that he's prob- ably working overtime, and would it be at all possible to get : a few things and she'll be sure to see hi m tomorrow? The Italian says, Missus, you always pay your bill sooner or later and you can have anything you like in this store.
Anything you like, missus, because I know you're an honest woman and you got a bunch o' nice kids there.
We have eggs and toast and jam though we're so weary walking the long streets of Brooklyn we can barely move ourjaws to chew. The twins fall asleep after eating and Ma m lays them on the bed to change their dia-. She sends me down the hall to rinse the dirty diapers in the lavatory so that they can be hung up to dry and used the next day. Malachy helps her wash the twins' bottoms though he's ready to fall asleep himself. I crawl into bed with Malachy and the twins.
I look out at Ma m at the kitchen table, smoking a cigarette, drinking tea, and crying. I want to get up and tell her I'll be a man soon and I'll get a job in the place with the big gate and I'll come home every Friday night with money for eggs and toast and ja m and she can sing again Anyone can see wh y.
I wanted your kiss. The next week Dad loses the job. H e comes home that Friday night, throws his wages on the table and says to Mam, Are you happy now? You hang around the gate complaining and accusing and they sack me. They were looking for an excuse and you gave it to them. He takes a few dollars from his wages and goes out. He comes home. The twins cry and Ma m shushes them and cries. We spend hours i n the playground when the twins are sleeping, when Ma m is tired, and when Dad comes home with the whiskey smell on him, roaring about Kevin Barry getting hanged on a Monday morning or the Roddy McCorley song,.
Up the narrow street he stepped Smiling and proud and young About the hemp-rope on his neck The golden ringlets clung, There's never a tear in the blue eyes Both glad and bright are they, As Roddy McCorley goes to die On the bridge ofToome today.
She says, G o out, Frankie, go out, Malachy. We don't mind going to the playground. We can play with the leaves piling up on the ground and we can push each other on the swings but then winter comes to Classon Avenue and the swings are frozen and won't even move.
Minnie MacAdorey says, Go d help these poor wee boys. They don't have a glove between them. That makes me laugh because I know Malachy and I have four hands between us and one glove woul d be silly. Malachy doesn't kno w what I' m laughing at: H e won't know anything till he's four going on five.
Minnie brings us in and gives us tea and porridge with jam in it. MacAdorey sits in an armchair with their new baby, Maisie. He holds her bottle and sings,. Whe n he sings he marches around. Stay i n the playground. Malachy tries to sing that song but I tell hi m stop, it's Maisie's song. He starts to cry and Minnie says, There, there.
You can sing the song. That's a song for all the. Minnie says, Don't frown, Frankie. It makes your face dark and Go d knows it's dark enough. Some day you'll have a little sister and you can sing that song to her. Och, aye. You'll have a little sister, surely. MacAdorey smiles at Malachy. Minnie is right and Ma m gets her wish. There's a new baby soon, a lit-. Minnie says there was a holiday i n heaven the day this child was made. We all love Margaret. She has black. Leibowitz says the world never.
She makes me dance, says Mrs. When Dad comes home from looking for a job he holds Margaret and sings to her:. In a shady nook one moonlit night. A leprechaun I spied. With scarlet cap and coat ofgreen. A cruiskeen by his side. Oh, I laugh to think he was caught at last, But thefairy was laughing, too.
He walks around the kitchen with her and talks to her. He tells her. He tells her he'll take her to Ireland and they'll walk the Glens.
He'll get a job soon, so he will,. The more Dad sings to Margaret the less she cries and as the days pass she even begins to laugh. Ma m says, Look at hi m trying to dance with that child in his arms, hi m with his two left feet. She laughs and we all laugh. Ma m would. The twins cried when they were small and Dad and. Whe n he passes. McCorle y song. No w drink on him. Ma m tells Minnie. MacAdorey, He's in heaven over that child. I should've had a little girl a long time ago. Och , they're lovely, aren't they?
The little boys are grand, too, but you need a little girl for yourself. My mother laughs, For myself? Lord above, i f I didn't nurse her I wouldn't be able to get near her the way he wants to be holding her day and night.
Minni e says it's lovely, all the same, to see a man so charmed with his little girl for isn't everyone charme d wit h her? The twins are able to stand and walk and they have accidents all the. Mam says we're all driving her crazy. She dresses the twins, puts them in the pram, and Malachy and I take them to the playground.
The cold weather is gone and the trees have green leaves up and down Classon Avenue. We race the pram around the playground and the twins laugh and make goo-goo sounds till they get hungry and start to cry. There are two bottles in the pram filled with water and sugar and that keeps them quiet for awhile till they're hungry again and they cry so hard I don't know what to do because they're so small and I wish I could give them all kinds o f food so that they'd laugh and make the baby sounds.
The y love the mushy food Ma m makes in a pot, bread mashed up in milk and water and sugar. Ma m calls it bread and goody. If I take the twins home now Ma m will yell at me for giving her no rest or for waking Margaret.
We are to stay i n the playground till she sticks her head out the window and calls for us. I make funny faces for the twins to stop their crying. I put a piece of paper on my head and let it fall and they laugh and laugh. I push the pram over to Malachy play- ing on the swings with Freddie Leibowitz. Malachy is trying to tell Freddie all about the way Setanta became Cuchulain. I tell him stop telling that story, it's my story. H e won't stop. I push hi m and he cries, Waah, waah, I'll tell Mam.