Ode To Phil

On an August morn
A star is born
In the form of a child
Though early manner mild
This child was styled for the wild.
On this emerald shore grows
A black Irish rose
Had to fight from the start
Before he could succeed in his glory
Here’s the man that shapes the story.
Born black in streets predominantly white
From an early age
Racial taunts were a common sight
This is where this rose
Showed all his might
And with a greater insight
Resisted the urge to fight
And persisted with his taste for life.
Born a mixed breed
Of the human seed
It was with a slightly different take on life
The one he’d lead
With no father around
In this old catholic town
He was often plastered
A black Irish bastard
But with his mother mastered
A belief he was unique
And all this may only serve
To propel him to reach his peak
Later channelled his emotions
In his artistic potions
His musical devotions
Reap the benefit when his heart opens
He had that certain persona
That certain aroma
That scent of a star
Hell bent and determined to get far
He was one for a jar
Often found at the bar
At one with the boys
But knew other joys
With his physique and charm
Ladies would compete for his arm
Different one each week
When you’re young, what’s the harm?
Men would warm to him
Ladies would swarm to him
A star was born within.

Took his shape in his youth
Put his faith in his group
Success to date stands as proof
That he was right in his pursuit
Of artistic recognition
But there are hazards in that position
It can be hard to maintain
In the game of fame
Life in the fast lane
Can exert a strain
Which can start a chain
Of drugs, drink, and rock ‘n’ roll
In this lifestyle, that is hard to control
Weighs down the soul
You fall way down a hole
Had a taste for that liquor
And that taste was growing bigger
Drugs were changing quicker
He was ruining his liver
So he took a step back
And just focused on his music
His lyrical genius,
And ability to use it
To fuse it
Into something special
Liver damaged is where this rose
Shed its first petal
Temporarily stopped drinking
But this ship was slowly sinking
The outside eye can never truly see
What occurs in privacy
But in hindsight, he lyrically
Almost blatantly
Described his descent
And his repent
‘He’s just a boy that has lost his way,
He’s just a boy that’s all’
Echo my bedroom wall
Emphasise his downfall
Echo cries for help in his withdrawal
The lies he used as a shawl
To disguise his body’s dying call.

The heart rendered
May Philip always be remembered
On these Emerald shores
Left so many besotted
On these Emerald shores our black rose
Ensured he will never be forgotten.
For those who come in their throngs
To embrace in his songs
Those who love him rights or wrongs
And those that still long
To have the man, the legend, the rocker
Back for one more encore
Back one more time to conquer
For those who wish you could have stayed longer
To your Sarah, Cathleen, Phyllis, and Dennis
Those who held the heart of Phillip
The man behind the menace
That family man
With that long chin
Who at the slightest whim
With a flash of that warming grin
Put women in a spin
The legend that is
And the man that’s been
And the legacy that follows him
We wallow in self pity
As we remember the black rose
That graced this lonely city
The renegade that did ride like the wind
That died as a King
Because we’ll remember the man behind the image
Before the drug, that got a hold of him
But never got his soul within
In his lyrics and his songs
His memory still lives on
And as ‘The Sun Goes Down’
On this ‘Old Town’
You can almost hear the sound
Of the bay of Howth hum
For its ‘Wild One’
‘Wild one, you’ve been away too long, come back home now will ya.’

© Daniel Breslin