'I can brew tea, I can tweet, I make my own bed/But this isn't a talent everyone said' - we'll be missing the Rose of Tralee poems tonight
The Rose of Tralee 'party pieces' are not part of the judging process but they're arguably the most entertaining aspect of the televised RTE event.
Traditionally those Roses who lacked a tune or had two left feet or the inability to whistle could fall back on an aul poem.
Not anymore. Poetry was banned last year as organisers felt the poems celebrating Irish heritage and the festival itself were slowing down the show.
The decision came after 14 Roses opted to recite poems in 2015 which the organisers felt "slowed down the momentum of the show".
So, as the Roses take to the stage in the festival Dome tonight and tomorrow night they'll be forced to dive deeper into their reservoir of talents and perhaps dance a jig or blow raspberries with their armpits.
Here are five poems from festivals past you won't see the likes of again...
Lisa O'Halloran, Liverpool Rose, 2013 read her poem 'What's My Talent?' which managed to flit tonally from comedic to tragic in the space of a sentence and back again.
"I can't sing, I can't dance, I can't Gangham Style
So I've been wracking my brains now for quite a while
What to do, what can I do on this stage?
What extraordinary feats will impress Daithi O Se?"
"I can brew tea, I can tweet, I can make my own bed
But this isn't a talent everyone said.
All I've got is some thoughts floating around my head
Not a talent as such, more ideology
Which is typical of me with a background in psychology."
And then the tone gets a bit mad...
"If my life was a movie I'd pick a film by Disney
Where baddies get their comeuppance eventually,
Depression would lit, the recession resolve,
And Rory McIlroy would remain consistent at golf.
"Oreos would be healthy for me
We'd get Torres back on a transfer that's free
And war could be solved with simple debate
And people would stop with racism and hate
And suffering and poverty would subside
And starving kids in Africa would live and not die."
Dark, dark stuff indeed. Check out the full poem here:
Melbourne Rose 2013 Christine McGrattan recited her self-penned poem 'Choices'. Christine's granny passed away two years previously and her poem is for people living away from home who face the decision whether or not "to come home when things happen". It's addressed to her proud mum who is sitting in the audience and, with some emotive background music to accompany her, it's a bit of a tearjerker...
"It's at times like these that it's hard to be away
Am I meant to go home or am I meant to stay?
I feel I should be there, I should really help you through this
But then when I leave again that might only make things worse
It's at times like these the distance I can see
The million miles I have travelled, they now become real
"It's now not as easy as jumping in the car
To be there for you now I need to travel far.
It's at times like these that I feel pretty selfish
I left you behind because a life abroad was my wish
I travelled to Australia to follow my dreams
And because of my choices I can't be there for you it seems.
It's at times like these that I've shed some tears
Because I can't be there for you like you've been there for me throughout the yreas
But never doubt it mum, for you I'm always here
I'll be waiting by the phone when I can't be there to dry your tears."
Donegal Rose Maria McCole recited her own poem, 'My Donegal, The Pretty Face of this Land' in 2011. She was accompanied by another haunting backing flute which was perhaps slightly at odds with the lightweight tone.
"As a proud wee lass growing up on this isle
I think of my hometown and I can't help but smile
With talk of recession from one and from all
There'll be none of that craic up in our Donegal
With sandy white beaches and wildlife galore
There's nowhere more perfect on this Irish shore.
Where else would you get it? Can anyone say?
Down River Swilly on a hot summer's day.
To Glenties, Bundoran and my own Letterkenny,
Sure to look at such beauty, it won't cost you a penny.
With mountains and cliffs and speech of our own
I'm telling you hey we're a world of our own.
Our mammies love Daniel, our grannies do to
But us girls can't forget Bernard McHugh
Our lovely wee escort full of red hair and craic
Sure he made us so proud when he met Cilla Black."
And on it goes...
The 2013 Darwin Rose Bridget Haines read The Very Cranky Bear and tucked Daithi up in bed. She sent everyone to sleep including Daithi who said he was about to "doze off". You and us both Daithi.
Another Darwin Rose wrote a poem about leaving Cork for Australia and it went thus...
"As I'm standing in Cork airport with a very heavy heart
Knowing I should be excited and overjoyed for this adventure to start.
I made the dash to the elevator as I watched my dad slump through the doors
I then hand over my boarding pass and head for Australian shores
We landed in Perth where it opened its arms
And we soon realised our lives were not going to be so hard
So we continued our journey and found ourselves in Cairns
Where travelled the east coast and fell in love wiht Autralian charms."