From Spice Girls to The Den: An ode to growing up in 1990s Ireland
17th Mar 2021
A poem dedicated to the wonder and joy of growing up in Ireland during the 1990s, by a nineties kid who just can’t seem to leave the era behind.
Growing up in the nineties in Ireland;
An experience so bizarre, yet so pure
A time of simple joys and baseline expectations,
It was looong before we learned how to contour.
When no one had ever heard of a vegan
And vegetarians still had people amazed
It was certainly far from quinoa and kale
That us 90’s girls and boys were raised.
Dinner in the 90’s was pretty basic
You had meat, garden veg, and lots of beige
Pasta carbonara was as exotic as it got
And Darina Allen was all the rage.
With dessert we had more luck, thank God
HB ice cream and penny sweets stand out for sure
Paired with a 3L bottle of TK red lemonade,
And a nibble of your candy necklace, so demure.
Cereals were next level in the 1990s
A culinary delight we ate and ate
But deciding who would get the toy inside the box?
My god, the fights it would generate.
The real pride and joy of that decade, though
Without a doubt, it has to be
Something every nineties kid recalls with a smile…
It was the offering on TV.
Midweek we had The Den and The Morbegs,
And Top of The Pops to start the weekend right
While Saturday’s were spent with Blind Date and Gladiators
And who could forget Glenroe on a Sunday night?
Special mention goes to the Saturday morning shows
Ant & Dec, Cat Deely and their fun-loving crew
And Art Attack Guy shouting “Here’s one I made earlier!!”
Oh, the things he could create with PVA glue…
Now a moment for the toys of the nineties
The stickers and Pogs we collected with such zeal
Remember trying to keep your Tamagotchis alive?
Christ almighty, the struggle was real.
We didn’t have the internet growing up, you see
We relied on other weird delights to survive
Remember Furbies and conkers and Millennium Babies?
(And the devastation when they never came alive…)
What about the iconic 1990’s style?
And the many fashion crimes we committed
Between the jelly sandals, bum bags and O’Neills tracksuit bottoms
We were cute, but alas, not well-outfitted.
When it came to hair, the middle parting was king
With two front bits slicked down either side
Then arrived Sun-In (a product with very mixed results)
And suddenly our hair looked more dead than dyed.
On our walls you’d find B*Witched and David Beckham
With lava lamps and troll dolls by our bed
Our inflatable chairs would be left by the door
Whilst our dream catchers swayed overhead.
Popbands were BIG in the nineties
In every home you’d hear East 17 sung in the shower
But the biggest and best were the Spice Girls, of course
With their high kicks and calls for “GIRL POWAHHH!”
We were a generation who went to mass every week
Who wore bin bags as Halloween costumes every year
“Who left the immersion on?!” is a question we’ll never forget
And how it brought about such panic, such fear…
Flying somewhere sunny was still a novelty back then
And we’d get our hair in cornrows as soon as we’d arrive
Because there was nothing like a bitta’ cultural appropriation
To make us nineties kids feel alive.
So here’s to growing up in nineties Ireland
and the innocent, simpler times it represented
From bland food, bad hair and trippy tv shows,
To the internet dial-up tone driving us demented.
Because for all we complain
And for all we jest
When it all comes down to it,
The nineties really were the best.
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