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A tribute to Pete

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I knew a man his name was Pete
The gentlest soul that you could meet
His clothes were shabby and often torn
His boots were old and very worn
His diet was bread and tea most days
His work was hard with little pay

Not giving much thought to pencil and pen
He went to work when he was ten
Some local farmers took him on
The work was hard and the days were long
Milking cows and saving turf
Were some of the jobs to earn a crust

When he as older and more mature
He got a job that was more secure
A basic wage paid out each week
Was just the job to help poor Pete
A change of clothes and new boots to wear
And a second-hand bike to take him there

In frost and rain he cycled far
To break up rocks and mix with tar
And then to fill the potholes up
With a couple of shovels of this black stuff

Returning to his shack at night
A meal to cook and the lamp to light
A primus stove and a frying pan
Not much to cook on for a working man

He died one night while in his bed
All alone in this cold damp shed
I wasn’t there, I was far away
Working hard to earn my pay

But he had older and wiser friends
Who stuck with him to the very end
And they were there and they laid him to rest
For Pete to them was the very best

Had things been different and rolls reversed
Pete would be there, his sorrow to express
For he saw the best in everyone
And never judged if they did him wrong

Farewell my friend I miss the craic
And the many times I stopped to chat
The shack stands empty and all alone
The shack you loved and called your home.