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Lest We Forget – Who Was Born 77 Years Ago Today?

He was born 77 years ago today, November 17th, 1940, into a Dublin city working-class household, living at No. 1. Lattimore Cottages, Sheriff Street, the son of a of Jacob’s Biscuit Factory employee.

In his late teens, in 1958, he would move to England, undertaking various manual jobs including; steel fixing on a building site, a vacuum cleaner salesman and an oil barrel cleaner.

But it was as a musician and singer that he was to attract world wide attention. Playing in the style of Pete Seeger and Tommy Makem, he undeniably became one of Ireland’s greatest folk singers. Yes, we speak of the Irish singer, folk musician and actor, Luke Kelly, who alas passed away on January 30th 1984, having been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

His final resting place is to be found in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin, with his grave marker bearing the simply inscription: Luke Kelly – Dubliner.

The Unquiet Grave

The wind doth blow today my love, a few small drops of rain.
Never have I had but one true love, in cold clay she is lain.
I’ll do as much for my true love, as any young man may.
I’ll sit and mourn all on her grave, a twelve month and a day.

The twelve month and the day being gone, a voice spoke from the deep.
Who is it sits all on my grave and will not let me sleep?
‘Tis I ’tis I, thine own true love who sits upon your grave,
For I crave one kiss from your sweet lips and that is all I seek.

You crave one kiss from my clay cold lips but my breath is earthy strong,
Had you one kiss from my clay cold lips, your time would not be long.
My time be long, my time be short, tomorrow or today,
May God in heaven have all my soul, but I’ll kiss your lips of clay.

See down in yonder garden green Love, where we used to walk.
The sweetest flower that ever grew is withered to the stalk.
The stalk is withered dry my love, so will our hearts decay,
So make yourself content my love, till death calls you away.

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