THIS GOES OUT TO IRISH! Had to write ya somethin', goil!


The night was too beautiful to pass up, even for a poor working girl like me. I loved nights like these, right before it rains.

So I ran. Out of his apartment, out of the tenement, out into the street, and beyond. I ran from my "home," all the way down to Duane street, a good halfway across the borough. I head a soft voice somewhere nearby singing an old Irish song my mother sang for me when I was younger.

Someone was singing my song.

"If you listen I'll sing you a sweet little song

Of a flower that's now drooped and dead.

Yet dearer to me, yes, than all of its mates

Tho' each holds aloft its proud head.

'Twas given to me by a girl that I know

Since we've met, faith, I've known no repose

She is dearer by far than the world's brightest star

And I call her my wild Irish rose.

My wild Irish rose, The sweetest flower that grows.

You may search everywhere,

But none can compare

With my wild Irish rose.

My wild Irish rose,

The dearest flower that grows.

And someday for my sake,

She may let me take

The bloom from my wild Irish rose.

They may sing of their roses which by other names

Would smell just as sweetly, they say,

But I know that my rose would never consent

To let that sweet name be taken away.

Her glances are shy whene're I pass by

The bower where my true love grows.

And my one wish has been that someday I may win

The heart of my wild Irish rose."

I looked around the block, but the only lights I could see were streetlamps and a pool of yellow candlelight from one fire escape. I saw a cigarette burning from that fire escape and I knew that was where the boy who sang my song would be. I walked over, taking note of the sign--I could barely read it in the dark, but I thought I saw "Lodging House" and maybe "Newsboys." I walked over to the fire escape and saw the thin form of a boy, maybe a year or two older than me. I carefully climbed up the fire escape.

"Who's deah?"

"M' name's Rose, lad, I heard ye singin' me song."

"Youah song, eh?"

"Yea, me song. Me ma sang it for me when I was jus' a wee lass, climbin' trees on tha Emerald Isle."

"She don't sing it fawh ya nomawh?"

"She isn't aroun' ta sing fer anyone. My family died on tha boat trip over. I was only thirteen."

"My parents died when I'se thoiteen, too," the boy nodded. "I'se Kid Blink ta me friends, or jus' Blink if ya'se in a hurry. It's been fouah yeahs since me fam'ly died, an' I'se been a newsie almos' as long. Tanight's me seventeenth boithday."

"My sixteenth is tonight, too."

"My present ta you is whatevah ya want dat I can give ya."

"An' tha same from me to you."

"You foist, since ya's youngah. Whaddaya want?"

"Since ye put it s' nicely, I'd like another song from ye."

"If ya insist."

He sang another sad, sweet Irish song she knew. "Now your turn, laddie buck. What d'ye want fahr yer birthday?"

"A kiss from a beautiful lady like yaself," Blink grinned.

"Well, since ye put it so sweetly..."