There’s always been something of a rapper about Mickey Graham. Here, DECLAN BOGUE takes the classic Enimem track ‘Stan’, and re-imagines it in the hands of the Cavan Gaels maestro.

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why

I folly the football at all

Cavan are playin’ the Dubs in Croker

And I can’t go at all

And even if I could, I’d be locked outside,

And they’d never hear me at all

Tellin’ the players to let it in,

To Big Tom Galligan…

Dear Mickey, I wrote you but still ain’t callin’

I left my mobile, my address, and my home phone at the bottom

I sent two letters back in January, you must not-a got ’em

I was asking for a run out in a training session

I reckon I could let ‘er in better than McKiernan.

But anyway Mickey, what’s been up? I saw you on the telly.

You were about to cry, would you not tighten up?

You were making a show of us

In front of that clown Sidebottom

It was almost worse than a Mickey Brennan knee-slide

Or Jelly trying to play hurlin’

I know you probably hear this everyday, but I’m your biggest fan

I even went to see Mullinalaghta bate Kilmacud,

That Paul Mannion, man, he’s a pure dud,

I like the stuff you did with the Gaels too, that sh*t was fat

Anyways, I hope you get this man, hit me back,

Just to chat, truly yours, Cavan’s biggest fan

This is Stan

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why

I folly the football at all

Cavan are playin’ the Dubs in Croker

And I can’t go at all

And even if I could, I’d be locked outside,

And they’d never hear me at all

Tellin’ the players to let it in,

To Big Tom Galligan…

Dear Mickey, you still ain’t called or wrote, I hope you have a free-taker

I ain’t mad, I just think I’ve a better left peg than Gearoid

I hit it harder than the Podman against McGleenan

Because you won’t call man, that’s a real choker,

Or sort me out with a county board pass for Croker,

Y’see, I’ve been there all along through the low lights,

When Mickey Lyng’s hair was just highlights,

And Terry Hyland’s ‘tache was the talk of the county,

A can of Cavan Cola and a bar of bounty,

And there you all were on the side of a lorry,

Donegal bate and none of us in a hurry,

Remember when we met in Breffni, you said if I’d write you you would write back

See I’m just like you in a way

I been through all the Cavan dark days

Like that time in 2012 when Antrim hit us for four goals

Or the players jumped on the team bus at Oxegen with breakfast rolls,

I even was in Breffni for Waterford in oh-six

When promotion to Division Two was in the mix,

My girlfriend’s jealous ‘cause I talk about Cavan football non-stop

I’d rather hang with Mickey Graham than Jurgen Klopp,

She don’t know what it was like for people like us coming up,

You gotta call me Mickey,

I’ll be the biggest fan you’ll ever lose,

Sincerely yours, Stan

PS. I’ll still take the frees if you want

My tea’s gone cold I’m wondering why

I folly the football at all

Cavan are playin’ the Dubs in Croker

And I can’t go at all

And even if I could, I’d be locked outside,

And they’d never hear me at all

Tellin’ the players to let it in,

To Big Tom Galligan…

Dear Stan,

I meant to write you sooner but I just been busy

You said your left peg’s decent, are you from the west of the county?

I got your pictures, your moustache is as good as Holla’s

We also appreciate you bunging the training fund a few dollas,

As for the interviews after the final I got carried away

I was thinkin’ ‘bout the Ulster final last year, and so was Ray,

And then I tried to get them to move the game to Navan

For no other reason but the old joke about a pregnant cow and they’re both close to Cavan,

So we’ll play them wherever they want, with one hand tied behind our back

Full of shebeen porter, we’ll squeeze Cluxton and put him on the rack,

In your living rooms the people will be thinkin’ they’re in heaven,

Or even the next best thing, the Polo Grounds in ’47,

We’ll do it for the legend of the Gallant John Joe,

And up Dessie Farrell’s transom, our toe will go,

We’ll do it for the people of Redhills, Mullahoran and Swanlinbar,

And in the dressing room I’ll be using 20 euro notes to light my Cuban cigar,

You see, Cavan are magic, the effect I have is alchemic,

We’re lifting you out of the gloom of the pandemic,

But Sam’s coming back to Breffni,

It’s been 68 years, far too long,

Just like our boys in the second half,

We love finishing strong!

* Declan Bogue is a native of Tempo, Co Fermanagh. An award-winning author and Gaelic games writer, he regularly contributes to the Irish Independent, Belfast Telegraph and Irish Examiner among other titles and was previously nominated for the Sports Journalist of the Year award. His second favourite county is Cavan.

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