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Thank Heavens, We Are Living In Rathgar!

Jimmy O'Dea
Jimmy O'Dea

I came across the lyrics to this amusing old song while my mother was doing research into the history of the Presbyterian church in Rathgar. Further investigation reveals it to be a song by Jimmy O'Dea.

I'm not quite sure when it dates from, but the references to dictators and isms lead me to suspect the 1930s, O'Dea's heyday. I have no idea how the tune goes, but if anyone has a recording, I'd love to hear it.

Leafy Rathgar

A lot of this is still true of Rathgar, which maintains a slight village-like existence in the midst of the not-quite metropolis. It's probably my favourite part of Dublin, leafy suburb that it is, and where I would dearly love to live.

Thank heavens, we are living in Rathgar
In these days of agitators,
Isms, schisms and dictators,
When one never knows whom one is talking to;
When we’ve princes picking winners
And we’ve plumbers at golf dinners,
It’s so difficult to really say who’s who.
Even at our rugby dances
One’s beset by vulgar glances,
And our finer sensibilities are shocked.
‘pon my soul I’m not romancing,
We are more danced against than dancing,
And the flappers come and tell you they’re half cocked.
So, thank heavens, we are living in Rathgar.
O the solid, quiet refinement of Rathgar,
Where we have our evening dinners,
Where we never hear of Shinners,
And even those who can’t afford it have a car.
There are some quite decent suburbs, I am sure.
O Rathmines is not so bad or Terenure.
O we’ve heard of spots like Inchicore,
But really don’t know where they are;
For, thank heavens, we are living in Rathgar.
Someone must live in Kilmainham,
So it’s hardly fair to blame ‘em,
And in Dartry they are almost civilised.
But in Fairview, goodness gracious,
Fellows tennis in their braces;
In Drumcondra all their shirts are trubenised.
Although it’s worth relating,
It’s really devastating,
At Baldoyle I saw my butcher in the ring.
So what with cinemas unsightly,
And the Gaiety gone twice nightly,
It’s no wonder that we’re proudly forced to sing …
That, thank heavens, we are living in Rathgar.
O the solid, quiet refinement of Rathgar.
In Killester they eat cockles
And those fearful things - pigs knuckles;
But you’ve never heard of tripe in Grosvenor Square.
O those accents on the Northside quite appall,
But they never get beyond Rathmines Town Hall.
They’ve so many kids in Kimmage
That they say life’s just a scrimmage …
(Oh I’m tired - I’m going to the Buttery to have one …)
So, thank heavens, we are living in Rathgar.


  1. limewire wrote:

    lol amazing stuff dude.

    Friday, April 30, 2010 at 8:26 am | Permalink
  2. B wrote:

    I have an mp3 of this if you want it. Email me.

    Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 4:18 am | Permalink

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