"Drogheda's the Place for Me"

This article by Evelyn Kirwan was originally published in the Old Drogheda Society Journal 1998:

"The song was written by Larry Branigan who was born in 1904. He was brought up in the Oulster Lane and Scarlet Street area and after doing his Leaving Certificate with the Christian Brothers, he commenced work in the offices of Dublin Port and Docks. He often described arriving in Dublin in 1922, wearing knickerbockers as the shells rained down on the Four Courts during the Civil War.

Larry only made one continental trip - to Paris in 1936, where he resisted efforts to recruit him for the war against Franco in Spain. He was widely read and an enthusiastic Gaelic scholar. He travelled to Dublin every morning until his retirement in 1966 and was once described by the Drogheda Independent as Ireland's "greatest commuter".

Married in 1957 to Kathleen McGrane, Larry moved to the Cord Road. He was an avid walker, swimmer and cyclist and could be seen for many years wandering the byroads of Louth and Meath, accompanied by his friend Tom McConnon, late of Patrick Street.

Larry has a sweet tenor voice and would sing at the drop of a hat. He wrote many songs. His "Drogheda's the Place for Me" is a love song to his hometown. He sang it at every opportunity. Not many people listened but he would be happy to know that the song is still there after his death which occurred in 1990.

                                                    "Drogheda's the Place for Me"

                                                       Tell me you know the way
                                                        Beamore or sweet Baltray
                                                Down by the Boyne, its pleasant there
                                            Hawthorn and Roses and sweet fragrant air.
                                                        Maybe we'll go to Slane
                                                         Or round by Rosnaree
                                                   In by the Bolies, it's always fair
                                                      Drogheda's the place for me

                                                        Drogheda's a pleasant town
                                                      Where streets go up and down
                                             High Lane and Low Lane and Duleek Gate
                                                 St. Peter's, St. Mary's, just don't be late
                                        Out by dear old Stameen and round by Mornington
                                                     Laytown or Butlin's its all the same
                                                         Drogheda's the place for me

                                      You hear the joybells ring, you hear the Tholsel chime
                                                Down by the Rampart, we have a park
                                                   Out by the Obelisk we'll have a laugh
                                                      Where Billy crossed the Boyne
                                                         Newgrange is there to see
                                                 Dublin or Belfast or Cork by the Lee
                                                         Drogheda's the place for me

                                                   Now lately there came to town
                                                  Pope John Paul of great reknown
                                                     At Kilineer he bowed a knee
                                                  Prayed we'd be free from hostility
                                  People from North and South, greeted with one great shout
                                              John Paul looked up and "Be God" says he
                                                      Drogheda's the place for me

                                         (with acknowledgement to Patrick Branigan, nephew)

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