The Contender lyrics

by Jimmy MacCarthy

When I was young and I was in my day
Sure I'd steal what woman's heart there was away
And I'd sing into the dawning
Saw a blaze into the morning
Long before I was the man you see today.

I was born beneath the star that promised all
I could have lived my life without Cassandra's call
But the wheel of fortune took me
From the highest point she shook me
By the bottle live by the bottle I shall fall

There in the mirror on the wall
I see the dream is fading
From the contender to the brawl
The ring, the rose, the matador, raving

And when I die I'll die a drunk down on the street
He will count me out to ten in clear defeat
Wrap the Starry Plough around me
Let the piper's air resound me
There I'll rest until the Lord of Love I'll meet

There in the mirror on the wall
I see the dream is fading
From the contender to the brawl
The ring, the rose, the matador, raving

There in the mirror on the wall
I see the dream is fading
From the contender to the brawl
The ring, the rose, the matador, raving

Song Details

The Dublin City Ramblers

Writer: Jimmy MacCarthy - Irish singer songwriter from Macroom, County Cork, Ireland.

Brief: The song is about 1930s Irish boxer, Jack Doyle - also known as The Gorgeous Gael. He was born on the 31st August 1913 in Cobh, Ireland and died on 13th December, 1978 in Paddington, London. He was a tall, good-looking, multi-talented individual: a contender for the British Boxing Championship, a Hollywood actor and an accomplished tenor... his generous nature and love for the drink was to be his downfall.

References:
Cassandra: In Greek Classical Myth & Legend, Cassandra was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba, endowed with the gift of prophecy but fated never to be believed - refers to anyone whose prophecies of doom are unheeded.
The Starry Plough (flag) - banner was originally used by the Irish Citizen Army which was a socialist, Republican movement. James Connolly, co-founder of the movement with Jack White, said the significance of the banner was that a free Ireland would control its own destiny from the plough to the stars.

Category: Irish Folk Ballad

Popular Celtic Artists: Christy Moore, Tommy Fleming, Finbar Wright, John McDermott, Ciarán Nagle, Tommy O'Sullivan, Sean Mythen, Mark Forrest, Harry O'Donoghue, Paul Carroll...

Logo The Contender - Various Artists

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