In de vele landen waar ze voorkomen, hebben zigeunervolken problemen met het meekomen in maatschappijen waar een reizend, traditioneel bestaan minder en minder gewaardeerd wordt. Hun reputatie helpt daar natuurlijk niet bij.

In Ierland is dat niet anders, en het gevolg is dat the Travelling People in de vorige eeuwen een flinke verandering moeten ondergaan om mee te komen. Dat gaat niet bepaald zonder tegenslag of tegenzin, want de traditie is sterk. Danny Farrel gaat over de jeugdkennis van de schrijver, wiens lot in het leven van charmante handelaar gauw veranderd in een neerslachtig persoon zonder toekomstperspectief.

I knew Danny Farrell when his football was a can
With his hand-me-downs and Welliers and his sandwiches of bran
But now that pavement peasant is a full grown bitter man
With all the trials and troubles of his travelling people’s clan

He’s a loser, a boozer, a me and you user
A raider, a trader, a people police hater
So lonely and only, what you’d call a gurrier
Still now, Danny Farrell, he’s a man

I knew Danny Farrell when he joined the National School
He was lousy at the Gaelic, they’d call him amadán – a fool
He was brilliant in the toss school by trading objects in the pawn
By the time he was an adult all his charming ways had gone

I knew Danny Farrell when we queued up for the dole
And he tried to hide the loss of pride that eats away the soul
But mending pots and kettles is a trade lost in the past
“There’s no hand-out here for tinkers” was the answer when he asked

He’s a loser, a boozer, a me and you user
A raider, a trader, a people police hater
So lonely and only, what you’d call a gurrier
Still now, Danny Farrell, he’s a man

I still know Danny Farrell, saw him just there yesterday
Taking methylated spirits with some wino’s on the quay
Oh, he’s forty going on eighty, with his eyes of hope bereft
And he told me this for certain, there’s not many of us left

He’s a loser, a boozer, a me and you user
A raider, a trader, a people police hater
So lonely and only, what you’d call a gurrier
Still now, Danny Farrell, he’s a man