Pete St John on the way Dubliners use the English language.
Dublin folk singer Pete St John is best known as the composer of 'The Fields of Athenry', 'The Rare Ould Times' and 'The Ferryman', songs performed and recorded by many other artists over the years.
Pete has now put pen to paper and published a book titled 'Jaysus Wept'' which tells the humorous story of Dublin during 'Holy Hour' when pubs in Ireland were closed by law for one hour during the afternoon.
Pete St John shares some of his favourite examples of Dublinese and says that one of the great things about Dublin is that,
We have this wonderful, inbuilt kind of onomatopoeic, a literary sense that we don't even know about.
Pete St John recalls an inspirational English teacher Mr Miller at Synge Street CBS. A love of English thought him to listen and he began to hear the Dublin dialect. He remembers one particular time at the Old Chinaman pub in Dublin where a conversation took place between women from "Fertility Flats" and "Menopause Mansions".
I'm very much into the flow of language and the way we juxtaposition things.
Pete St John uses the language he overhears when writing songs and attempts to crystallise what is already out there. He says the biggest accolade he could receive is someone reads what he has written and says they could have written it.
He defends the use of 'Jaysus Wept' for the title of his book as a colloquialism which was never intended to be offensive or disrespectful.
This episode of 'The Late Late Show' was broadcast on 30 January 1987. The presenter is Gay Byrne.