Five posts from this blog were recycled to provide five ‘thoughts for the day’ for East Coast Radio for the Sundays during August- this is the second.
If you’re as old as me, you might remember Reasons to be Cheerful a pop song from thirty years ago. It was by Ian Dury and the Blockheads and was a lengthy list of things that made him feel cheerful. Ian Dury’s list included a whole load of odd and daft stuff:
Some of Buddy Holly, the working folly
Good Golly Miss Molly and boats
Hammersmith Palais, the Bolshoi Ballet
Jump back in the alley, add nanny goats.
Eighteen-wheeler Scammels, Domineker camels
All other mammals plus equal votes
Seeing Piccadilly, Fanny Smith and Willy
Being rather silly and porridge oats.
Thirty years later, I wondered what would be on my list of Reasons to be Cheerful. Ian Dury’s list rhymed, or maybe he put in daft stuff to make it rhyme. My list doesn’t rhyme, but each thing on it cheers me up.
There would be the N11 through the Glen of the Downs and the road along the shores of Carlingford Lough in Co Louth.
There would be eating packets of Softmints on the DART and drinking tea in The Silk Road café at Dublin Castle.
There would be the voices of Kerrymen up for the All Ireland and the accents of the Ulstermen down for the rugby.
There would be the statue of Patrick Kavanagh beside the Grand Canal and the one of the buxom Molly Malone at the foot of Grafton Street.
There would be green Christmases, when you can put on your new jumper and go for a walk to escape from the house for a while, and there would be the summer evenings when you can walk Bray promenade eating ice cream.
The list could go on and on and on – those little moments of happiness, those reminders that the world is not such a bad place.
No two people are likely to have the same list; everyone’s tastes are different and what cheers up one person might seriously annoy someone else. What matters, though, is recognizing that there are reasons to be cheerful, lots and lots of them. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a whole day seem completely different, that can remind you that, even if the day has been bad, sure there’s another one tomorrow.
Saint Paul wrote in the Bible that if we have food and clothing, then we have reasons to be cheerful and we should be content. We have a whole lot more than food and clothing; maybe it’s good sometimes to sit down and make a list.