A Pint Of Plain (The Workman’s Friend)

Brian O’Nolan – Irish poet of usually critical and satirical works against those who abuse their power, he most often wrote under nom-de-plumes such as Brother Barnabas, Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen; this to protect his job as a civil servant.  A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man, also known as The Workmans Friend, is that whenever things are going badly in your life, whether it be work, money or relationship problems, a pint of beer will always make things seem better.  A “pint of plain” refers to a pint of Guiness rather than a “half & half” (called a Black and Tan in the US) or other mixture.  Sometimes the simplest, tried and true is your best go-to! The poem was voted inside the top 50 of Ireland’s 100 favourite poems.

This was put to music by Brendan and Fergus Gleeson.  Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor and film director, best known for his performance as Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter films from (2004–2010).  His son Fergus is also an actor and also a composer.

 

          G             D                     C              G
When things go wrong and will not come right
             C               D            G
Though you do the best you can
          G            D                  C         G
When life looks black as the hour of night
   C         D                         G
A pint of plain is your only man

G                           C     D
Chorus:           Your only man; it’s your only man.
G        C                  D     G

A pint of plain is your only man.

 

When money’s tight and hard to get
And your horse has also ran
When all you have is a heap of debt
A pint of plain is your only man                      Chorus

 

When health is bad and your heart feels strange
And your face is pale and wan
When doctors say you need a change
A pint of plain is your only man                      Chorus

 

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan
When hunger grows as your meals are rare
A pint of plain is your only man                      Chorus

 

In time of trouble and lousey strife
You have still got a darling plan
You still can turn to a brighter life
A pint of plain is your only man                      Chorus

 

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