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Sing Frank Jones Brewery Song

SEE poem manuscript

How the Song Was Discovered

READ the song lyrics 

SeacoastNH.com received this rare original piece of ephemera from reader Mike O'Keefe of Washington, DC. Born in Portsmouth, NH, Mike graduated from the local high school in 1965 and taught history at nearby York High in Maine. When he first notified us of his discovery, Mike currently works at the refugee bureau of the Department of State in DC where he lives with his wife Ann. He has worked in Botswana, Costa Rica and other locations and was responsible for programs for two million refugees in the Sudan.

Mike's mother Mary of Portsmouth discovered the fragile manuscript in 1999 among the family papers. Mike's grandfather worked at the Frank Jones Brewery toward the end of the last century, as did many Irish immigrants. The O'Keefe family arrived in the Seacoast in the 1850s.

His great grand-uncle, Corneilus O'Keefe, owned a saloon on Market Square and represented a Portsmouth ward in the New Hampshire General Court during the 1890s. In a strange twist of fate, Mike too represented Portsmouth Ward 4 in the General Court of NH from 1972-80. Corneilus followed the typical Irish job immigrant progression, Mike says. First, he was a "sole sorter" at Gale Shoe Factory, then a barrel maker at the Jones Brewery, and finally worked at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. He was the only survivor of an accident at the Yard in the 1920s when a construction building he and several other men were on fell into a dry-dock.

. "I was so delighted to find SeacoastNH.com," Mike writes. "I have never seen a web site like it. You have done a great job. Whenever I feel homesick, I turn to your excellent web site and remember Portsmouth.

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