Twin Baillie’s Salvation

The burial was over and the drouthy mourners drank
ln memory of a loyal son now missing from the rank
A loyal son of William now lifeless, cold and mute
lnterred, as he requested with his orange sash and flute.
But long before their sorrows had an alcoholic death
Before the gates of heaven, stood Adam, short of breath
For long and weary is the climb up to that hallowed home
And ‘Twin’ had blown his flute for years to spite the Pope in Rome.

So there he stood impatiently till Peter waddled out
Long years of being watchman had made him slow and stout
Then Adam answered truthfully as Peter searched his past
Till came that fateful question that hit’Twin’ like a blast
The old flute squirmed convulsively ‘Twin’ turned as white as Snow
And old St Peter jumped with fright when Adam thundered rc
How sad my son how sad thy fate, thy doom is sealed alas
I wish thine answer had been “yes” concerning Holy Mass

The years have dimmed my weary eyes and I was somewhat rash
I thought you were a Hib my boy – what colour is your sash
‘Twin’ nearly choked with anger and thumped his ghostly breast
It’s orange and I’m prood o’ it, tae hell wi’ a’ the restl
Now, now my lad said Peter thy youth may be excuse
For such perverted loyalty, but not they tongue so loose
Come! give me ample reason for seeking entrance here
‘Twill need a lot to counteract that Orange sash I fear

With furrowed brow and furtive look Twin racked his early life
For one redeeming feature, so he mentioned his dear wife
“Ye’ll ken a gied her every chance some happiness to seek
A let her go tae late nights when it wis ma nicht shift week
A wish a’d brought my weddin group tae let ye see her smile
The boys at work a saw it and ye’ll ken they liked her style
But Peter stopped his praises with a stern uplifted hand
Enough my son ye’ll tell me next ye had her in the band

Aye an so she wis Old Petsie boy she’ll gie ye ony tune
She fluted for a ladies baun in Edinburgh toon
At this Old Peter closed his book and laid his pencil doon
Transfixing poor Twin’s spirit with a soul corroding froon
My son ye seek admittance with a virtue such as this
You gave your spouse her freedom – yes for any vagrant kiss
Ye threw temptation in her path unmindful of the shame
With men like Jacky Broon aboot – tis yours my son the blame

And then my son she played the flute, I shudder at the thought
Of those sweet lips ye often kissed degraded by such rot
Had she played, “The Lord’s my shepherd” then perhaps with us ye’d join
But no my son she’ kicked the Pope’and encored with the’ Boyne

Hast thou no recollection of some worthy deed on earth
Some little well done action that would prove your Christian worth
Twin pondered for a moment then gave a happy squeal
“l showed wee Barnery Lafferty the way to draw his steel.”

Old Peter’s look was eloquent of Twins impending fate
As he slowly sadly turned away and made to close the gate
But a sobbing cry of pity made him pause and look around
The sight of Adam’s terror made him feel a heartless hound

“O Peter, Peter, let me in A’ll even turn ma coat
A’ll play “Faith of my fathers on this orange flute I’ve got.”
My son ye’ve bought redemption through this noble Christian act
Ye’ll be the only Orangeman to get in by this pact.”

Poor Adam blew some opening bass upon his trusty friend
But that old orange instrument was faithful to the end
For when it felt the master try to play some Fenian score
It shook the vault of Heaven with the “Sash my father wore.”

The twin was roused to madness for the flute had saved the cause
And every loyal tune he knew was fingered without pause
Till suddenly a blinding flash and with a deafening roar
Poor Adam landed in a heap in front of Satan’s door.

Here was no niggling welcome the inmates roared like mad
From Nick himself a welcome shout “Another Orange Lad”
There’s hundereds thousands o’ yer kine come in among yer ain
Your kine since 1690 have been coming down like rain

But when he got poor Twin inside he cursed with mocking lear
What ere you did on earth ye swine the opposite do here
Ye revelled in your orange sash and kicked the poor old Pope
But here ye’ll wear a green one ye poor misuided dope

Thus cursed for all eternity to wear the green and white
Twin marches thro his hellish home a poor and abject sight
Jeered at by the Orangemen not one of them a freen
He plays the “Boys of Wexford” and the “Wearin’of the Green”

John Mallaghan