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All songs words & music © Ed Pickford PRS/MCPS

A Young Girl’s Vocation

(Idea from a short story called ‘My Vocation’by Mary Lavin 1912 - 1996)

I was only 13 when I first got the call - with a vision as clear as the one of Paul

That my future career if I had one at all - would be spent in a Convent location

For I thought nuns were gorgeous completely serene - not a single bad tooth in a nun I had seen

When I gave them a whiff I could tell they were clean - I was keen on a nunly vocation

Now it’s often you find if you’re some-way inclined - that the stars in the sky will for you be aligned

For the fates that await are remarkably kind - to a person whatever their station

So I felt my heart dance when I happened to glance - at an advert for nuns in the paper by chance

It invited young girls that were short of romance - to apply for a two-year probation

It said, ‘Postulantants wanted - no dowry required’ - so I wrote straight away as the advert desired

And I got so exited I felt I was wired - when the Reverend Mother relied

“Oh it’s Glory to God” I heard mother shout out - though to tell you the truth she was not that devout

Then she told all the neighbours - my secret was out - I’d been chosen by God for a bride


Now the letter did say that the very same day -  that the Sisters of Mercy would be on their way

On a visit which left us in such disarray - that we need divine intervention

So we begged & we borrowed from half of the street - by the time we had finished the house looked a treat

And me Da in his suit look uncommonly neat - like he’d dressed for the final ascension

We had borrowed a clock & some irons for the fire - and the plushest of chairs than

an arse could desire

And me Ma’s Sunday frock came from Mrs Maguire - as we waited for our visitation

On the white table cloth with the lovely lace trim - we left open a book at a poplar hymn

And we lit up some candles that made the place dim - but were proof of our deep veneration

When the Sisters arrived we all sat down to broth - which is fine sustenation for those of the cloth

And without hesitation one started to cough - on account of the smoke & the dampness

Then they gave me a list of the clothes I would need - if I entered the Order & followed their lead

And me faith & resolve soon began to recede - for I don’t have the strength of St. Francis

Now as interviews go it was all very slow - and I wasn’t quite sure how to put on a show

Did I smile? Did I frown? Did I keep my head low? - did I mention I liked ‘Sound of Music’?

Now I like an idea when it stays and idea - but when things get too real it can fill me with fear

The romance of my dream I could feel disappear - but I still like the film ‘Sound of Music’

Mister Murphy arrived in his herringbone cap - and he put both the nuns in his pony & trap

And it all went quite smooth til the horse took a slap - and it flew down the street as it bolted

Both the Sisters departed for waters uncharted - and I take all the blame for the way they were were carted

And though I admit I was not brokenhearted - my belief in believe it was jolted

Well the nuns held on tight with a fearsome grip - as old Murphy half-tight took recourse to the whip

You could hear him blaspheming and both nuns did slip - to the floor of frantic conveyance

Oh I wish I could tell you that God took a hand - or say to you now it was something he planned

But that would be a lie and all liars are damned - so I’ll keep all my thought in abeyance

At the end of the street what a hullabaloo - a sharp turn to the right & the horse lost a shoe

And the air round old Murphy turned ten shades of blue - as the pony & trap did a wheelie

It was just like Ben Hur that you’ve seen on the screen - for the highway to Hell is not often foreseen

The poor nuns both had faces a spring shade of green - but were fluent in Murphy Swahili

From the Reverend Mother I heard not a word - of the visiting nuns who were shaken & stirred

But when I told my brother of what had occurred - he inferred it was worth the relating

And he said the next time that those Sisters were sent - to a foolish young girl with a pious intent

Sure they’d rather endure privations of Lent - than a Postulant lady-in-waiting

Well now that was the end of my life as a nun - you could say that it ended before it begun

And my habit was never to gleam in the sun - as I lived in devout contemplation

And our house from that day it was never the same - for there’s half it went back to the place it had came

But there’s still in my heart a small flickering flame - that reminds me of lost adoration

I’m inclined to the cross and I keep every feast - and the sound of a hymn makes me rise like the yeast

When I’m down in the gym I workout to the East - for they say that’s the saintly location

Now I write for a living and stories I tell - about taking & giving & Heaven & Hell

But when I pass a convent and I hear a bell - I remember a young girl’s vocation


A job is a job is a job is a job

A job is an occupation

But call me a snob - to stand out from the mob

You can't beat a good vocation