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LEGEND-TEXT

Now here’s a story sure to charm, Of a noble captain and his sinking swan

Lost in folklore changed by time, A ripping yarn that will stretch the mind
Old Donald Drake was a man of steel, A captains ticket, a trusty keel
Where all his life just these and Ale, His ship a Hooker, no gleaming gem
But to him much more, his heaven his hell, A name so apt as to cause disbelief
For the Black Swan herself was an ugly beast, It was mostly coal that filled her bows
And its dust and dirt marked her deep inside, The captain’s too was marked by soot
From his blackened cap to his sailors boots, This look he suited and as soon came true
The Dirty Duck as his nickname grew.

Folklore starts with a living tale, Of a dirty duck and his life of sail
Where legends grow the facts are lost, And myth becomes with time embossed

And so is true for our captains demise, At the hands of wind and a failing tide
That fateful night was Xmas eve, One century hence when the seas did heave

The Swan was full of finest ale, The bows were creaking in a winter’s gale
From Bristol port he had set out, To service Belfast’s real ale drought

The Irish sea was passed with ease, But in Belfast Lough with a growing breeze
His luck ran out and the captain’s failed, Some say because of the love of ale

At Kinnegar a bar of sand, Delivered Drake to the Promised Land
Or maybe not as legends grow, And myth distorts what people know

For now when Kinnegar folk are asked, They say his fate was astride a cask
Drifting off towards the moon, Singing loud an old folk tune

Whether true or whether not, The Swans lost cargo marked a spot
For casks of ale both rare and fine, Drifted shorewards and just in time
Were saved from peril against the rocks, By some thirsty men from the Kinnegar docks

From far and wide they came to gloat, About the Dirty Duck and his sunken boat
The casks washed up and cleaned and tapped, Were quickly savoured chap by chap

As Christmas day both came and went, With ale to help and tongues not spent
The story grew and myth began, The legend now was close at hand

The press of course would have its say, With presses hot on Christmas day
Newsletter, Wig and Telegraph, Would toast the Duck and its howling gaff

But paper men should well look out, For the power of drink when its handed out
For by the time the presses ran, Distorted facts and shaking hands
Had grown the Duck beyond a man

Tales of daring would without, Due of course to a cask of stout
The Dirty Duck a hero now, Must have a shrine to his great renown

So as you stand and look around, Although the thought may be profound
This place, this warmth, this atmosphere, Is a lasting memorial to a love of beer

Now rest a while in this hallowed ground, And get off your arse and buy a round!