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written for Jack McGuire as a sequel to "Stormy Winds"


I'll tell the tale that I was told of the man who once loved Liz McGee.
They found his confession tied up in red ribbon,
With love-letters he had received . . .

With her blood on his hands and a fear that the noose was pursuing,
He fled hither and thither, encircled by nightmares of ruin,
From Tyrone down through County Kildare and then west to Kilkelly,
By day skulking in ditches and bedding down in darkened alleys.

How he longed to get off that wild merry-go-round;
For, wherever he'd hide, there no peace could be found.
He signed on to a crew soon America-bound: sailed for Boston.

Whirligig twisting and turning and churning around and around
Head in the rushing wind, feet never touching the ground.
Whirligig twirling and swirling and winding around and around
First it will raise you high, then it will drop you right down.

Under name that he'd changed, with the gold that he'd stole for his Lizzie,
He bought a part-share in a business. It soon became busy.
As the profits poured in and his partners met ends too untimely,
He became a rich man and a pillar of Yankee society.

But respect and a fine house in Leverett's Lane
Could bring no contentment, nor ease for heart's pain.
For he wanted a soul-mate to share what he'd gained, and to love him.


He had hired as his housekeep a widow by name Caitlin Corcoran;
She recalled to him Lizzie, her hair was the same shade of auburn.
In time he designed to put to her an offer of marriage,
Thinking there to escape the past sins where his conscience had tarried.

"No other", declared he, "'Tis you that I'd choose."
"You honour me", says she, "but I must refuse.
Before I am free to remarry, I've something to do."


"I came to this country," said she, "some years back, newly married,
With a duty to blood that I can't yet allow has miscarried.
In search of a sailor who was the betrothed of my sister,
To tell him that she and their son had been slain by some drifter."

"Oh what was your name as a maiden?" cried he.
"Like Lizzie's" she answered, "my name was McGee."
They found him next morning, feet dangling free ... hung from a rafter.


Stormy winds lash us all,
Rich man or poor.
They whirl us and hurl us
'Til we reach death's door.
whirligig twisting and turning
Adapted from a photo of artist Lyman Whitaker's "The Twister Star Huge", a type of whirligig.

Created: November 17, 2014. © Stephen Alsford