The 9thBB band was a sound to be heard, dogs howled and toddlers scared,
Marching forth to the beat of the drum, in military fashion spectators struck dumb.
First there was Toby, tenor trombone, with Beo on B-Flat he wasn’t alone,
High note of the cornet stitching the air, Davy playing along with poise and flair.
The instruments made one heck of a din, some held together with solder and tin,
All dinged and dented nobody cared, young lungs blew and horns blared.
But in the gas mantle’s mellow light, softly; Away In A Manger, Silent night,
Was heard in Belfast’s Holy Land, from under street lamps where we’d stand.
The big parade came around each year, along Fitzroy and Botanic the 9thwould steer,
To the grand ‘march past’ at the City Hall, Lord Mayor on the podium to oversee all.
Arthur Robinson sounding the measured beat, heard o’er the tramp of a thousand feet,
As side drums had spoke from days of yore, sadly that drum sets the pace no more.
Around the Hall we marched with pride, people lined the pavements on every side,
At the Cenotaph the order, ‘Eyes Right!’ then back to the music with all our might.
Into Bedford Street we’d wind our way, sun in our eyes, still blasting away,
As the sound ricocheted we played by ear, heading home with gusto and cheer.
Richard Williamson was a man to be proud, pleased as punch we had played so loud,
The march, ‘Our Director’ was really him, with us full of air and a lot more slim.
At the Old Boy’s Hall it was ‘God Save The Queen’, memories abiding of where we had been,
Our characters stamped for evermore, to always be carried within our core.
Monty Alexander 22.4.2013