|WILLOW'S MAGPIE No 57|
At the 'Shamrock' Inn in Kilburn, north west London, the preparations for St. Patrick's Day were well in hand; extra bottles of Irish Whiskey and barrels of Guinness had been laid on and several regulars were practising what they meant to do well on the day itself: getting gloriously drunk.
One mighty old labourer proved particularly successful; having reached that stage where it is obligatory to burst into song, that's what he did, at the top of his voice and, for an Irishman, remarkably unmelodiously and raucously:
"did ye mother come from Oireland, cos' there's something in ye Oirish, and the Oirish in ye steals me heart away . . . . " he bellowed.
At the other end of the bar sat a little chap, crying softly into his pint of Guinness.
The large, buxom barmaid noticed his sadness, leant over the bar and took his hand into her plump fingers.
"Poor lad", she said, "have ye just come from the old country yourself then?" She hadn't seen him in the Shamrock before this night.
"No, I have not, the little man sobbed, I am a musician".