Enniskillen Urban Councillors V Troops in Fermanagh in WW2

The Holy Urban Councillors.

(Of Enniskillen – This poem in the Fermanagh Herald of 27-9-1941 describes the position of the Enniskillen Urban Councillors who were strict guardians of the Sabbath Day but were forced to yield to pressure to allow soldiers and airmen from the UK, USA, Canada, South Africa etc., access to the cinema on Sunday. Sunday golf in Enniskillen was also breached at this time. )

Oh we’re the holy Councillors of Enniskillen Town,

We fear the Lord, we keep the law, we stand for Church and Crown,

We love the Ten Commandments; to keep them is our boast,

But the one concerning Sabbath days is that we love the most.

On Sundays to all kinds of sport we offer stern denials,

All joy we shed, and go instead with long and solemn dials,

To keep the townsfolk holy too, we do our little best;

By banning entertainments on the Seventh Day of Rest.

But recently a horde of pagan soldiers who prefer

Sitting at moving pictures to kneeling down to prayer

Descended on our holy town with bayonets, guns and rifles

And swept aside out righteous laws, which they described as trifles.

And ruefully ‘neath force majeure, our statutes we forsook

Discarding the Commandment, and the teaching of the Book;

It doesn’t seem quite logical I fear we must agree,

But what in thunder could we do? No other choice had we.

To save our face in the fall from grace we made a solemn stricture

That only those in uniform on Sundays see a picture.

So gnash your teeth or thump your craws, it’s all the same to us,

We’ll make you all respect our laws no matter how you cuss,

And hearken, Sabbath breakers, when you come to your reward,

You’ll all be sniffing brimstone while we are walking with the Lord.

With halos round our holy heads, in stained-glass windows glorious

We’ll be remembered in our Church, the holy men victorious;

And thus like saints and martyrs will our memory go down

The holy, holy, holy men, of Enniskillen Town!


TIM – Transcribed J.B.C. 25-12-2006.

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