A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man

(The Workmans Friend)

A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man, also known as The Workmans Friend, is a humorous poem written by Brian O’Nolan.

Top quotes by Brian O’Nolan
Ireland’s 100 favourite poems

He wrote under a number of pseudonyms; Brother Barnabas, Flann O’Brien and Myles na gCopaleen to protect his job as a civil servant as he often wrote critical and satirical comments about those in power.

The theme is that whenever things are going badly in your life, whether it be work, money or relationship problems, a pint of beer will always make things seem better.

The poem was voted inside the top 50 of Ireland’s 100 favourite poems.
A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man by Flann O’Brien. Image copyright Ireland Calling

A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man_Flann OBrien Image copyright Ireland Calling

A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man

When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night –
A pint of plain is your only man.

When money’s tight and hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt –
A pint of plain is your only man.

When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say you need a change,
A pint of plain is your only man.

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan,
When hunger grows as your meals are rare –
A pint of plain is your only man.

In time of trouble and lousey strife,
You have still got a darlint plan
You still can turn to a brighter life –
A pint of plain is your only man.

A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man by Flann O’Brien. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Here are The Dubliners reciting The Workman’s Friend – with each member reciting a verse.

Top quotes by Brian O’Nolan

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Ireland's 100 favourite poems

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