Dominic Bennett surprised his comic Brexit tale becomes hit on YouTube
A Co Antrim storyteller has told of his surprise after his poem about how Brexit had ruined his life became a YouTube sensation, getting 26,000 views so far.
Dominic Bennett (54), from Glengormley, delivered the witty verse about his Brexit obsession to a pub audience, with the video quickly going viral.
With risque lines aplenty, his poem chronicles how the impending Brexit causes his world to fall apart. Speaking of the reaction, he said: "I didn't expect that response at all. I have friends in Kerry and Dublin and I put it on YouTube as I just wanted them to see it before it went out of date.
"I hadn't expected anything more than about 100 hits so I'm totally shocked, but that's the way it goes."
Originally from Mullaghbawn in Co Armagh, Mr Bennett said his poem was written for a new Songs and Stories night in the Crown and Shamrock Inn at Mallusk.
"I did write it fairly quickly and would write quite a few of those types of humorous verse. Most of them are a lot longer but that one just came fairly quickly," he said.
"It's an exaggeration but there is some truth in it, I have been obsessed with watching the Brexit coverage. It's like Game of Thrones without the blood."
His natural deadpan style, he said, has come with practice after three years of writing and performing. "Usually I memorise them but it doesn't always work, it depends how much alcohol is taken."
Mr Bennett said he was hoping to help revive the forgotten art of traditional singing and storytelling.
"It's just going back to the old days of people entertaining themselves in pubs, and getting away from smartphones and loud music," he said.
"That's what we set out to do. We've only had two [events] so far and it's gone really well. It's something we hope to keep going. The Crown and Shamrock is a smashing, brilliant traditional pub and the ideal venue for it.
"There's lots of bars with traditional music in them, but we thought the storytelling part of songs doesn't get as much attention."
He added that humour was the perfect way to approach the toxic nature of Brexit debates. "It is humorous. Brexit's on everyone's mind. So you think to yourself, what was on your mind before that, what did I spend my time doing before Brexit?
"Obviously a lot of people have made their own mind up about what side of the argument they're on. Certainly, for a lot of people it's been an all-consuming topic for quite some time and possibly for quite some time to come."
Despite being glued to Brexit news coverage, Mr Bennett said he was as mystified as the rest of the population about what comes next. "I said at the start that some version of May's deal would go through but I really haven't a clue now, it doesn't look likely but who knows."
A Night of Songs and Stories is held on the first Thursday of every month at 8pm at the Crown and Shamrock Inn.