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SATURDAY LIVE: Meet the Poet
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click here to listen to the latest edition of Saturday LiveSaturday 09:00 - 10:00.
Elvis McGonagallElvis McGonagall - tartan clad poet, twit and armchair revolutionary.
The Old Grey Whistle Guest

He’s not Keith with a giant green duck on his knee
He’s not Rolf with a didgeridoo
He’s the Harris with the voice of gently rustling tweed
He plays the songs sung by Emmylou
He knows his bluegrass from his Elbow
He’s the man with the world’s best job
He’s a whole lotta country and a little rock ‘n roll
Turn up the volume – it’s Whispering Bob

Inexplicable Acts

Ladies and gentlemen! Roll up, roll up for the sideshow
Step right in, don’t be shy, we shall enthral
We have phantasmagoria and prestidigitation
A splendid time is guaranteed for all
We have headless ladies and girls in goldfish bowls
We have human volcanoes and Houdinis in a trunk
We have sword swallowers bouncing on trampolines
We have knife throwers who are very, very drunk
Marvel at The Painproof Pin Cushion Man!
Skin of steel, iron tongue, so self-possessed
Gasp! As pensioners are tickled with prickly Scottish plants
In The Old Grey Thistle Test
And please welcome all the way from Wall Street, USA –
The Greedy Brothers! Clowns in pin-striped suits, the unwise guys
Their flowers squirt champagne, their Ferraris fall apart
Oh how you’ll laugh – they’ve eaten all the custard pies!
Swoon at Mister Swindle the City Sorceror’s House of Deceit
Cross his palm with silver, empty your purse, have no fears
When this idiot alchemist recites his magic words –
(“collateralised debt obligations”) –
Hey presto! Shazam! All your money disappears!
Yes! The Greatest Show On Earth is a three-card trick gone wrong
The Ringmasters of the Universe have wrecked The Big Top
Their apologies are jokes and that’s all folks
It’s time for this circus to stop
Now Is The Time

Damn you Barack Obama for believing
That change is coming like a full force gale
Damn you – you’ve made this jaded poet dare to dream
That hope not hate may yet prevail


Enrico Caruso collected coins
Typewriters are sought by Tom Hanks
Dolly Parton – butterflies, Imelda Marcos – shoes
But why oh why would anyone keep tanks?
Do you love the smell of diesel in the morning?
Are you too rich, not claustrophobic, slightly barmy?
Then half a mile to the gallon there’s a vehicle for you
One previous careful owner – the British Army
Myopic behemoth that first trundled cross the mud of the Somme
Chieftan, Challenger, Panzer, Leopard, Mark V Ferret
I don’t wanna go to Bovington Museum
To me artillery has no artistic merit
Fish tanks – yes, flotation tanks – yes
Thomas the Tank Engine – okay
Father Dougal Maguire’s tank tops –
Acceptable – in a retro-chic-kinda-way
But ten ton beasts lumbering through Gaza
Crushing freedom in Tiananmen Square
Are heavy metal monsters built to kill
There’s no beauty in military hardware
Let them rust in the white elephants’ graveyard
Silence their death-rattle clanks
And if a dodgy geezer in a sheepskin coat should ever tempt you -
(“Wanna buy a second-hand Cromwell Cruiser squire?”) –
Just smile and sweetly say – “No tanks”

Ballroom Blitz

I see a portly silhouetto of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, can he do the fandango?
No. John Sergeant is cha, cha, cha charming
But a wee bit too tubby to tango
Dubbed “Winnie the Pooh in sequins”
An ursine Lionel Blair
He twinkled the toes on his two left feet
The people’s Fred Barely Astaire
And now it’s ta-ta to his tutu, it’s “Strictly Glum Dancing”
We need a new hero to clodhop for joy
Someone easily led by a glamorous Russian –
Show us yer leotard Lord Mandelson of Foy

Against All Odds

Armed to the teeth, an invincible Philistine
Let Goliath, the bully, do what he may
For with five stones in a sling eternal hope springs
Every underdog will have his day
With backbone, pluck and cojones
Nerve of steel, heart of oak, iron chin
The hangdog Hancocks in homburg hats
Will take on the world and win
The minnows will slay the giants
Owned by oligarch, sheikh and tycoon
All the Persians will die at Thermopylae
The Greeks will be over the moon
Eddie the Eagle will fly like an angel
Samson will fall to Rocky Balboa
Captain Scott will get to the South Pole first
The All Blacks will lose to Samoa
Basil Brush will score a ton against the Aussies
Scotland will hammer Brazil
Wimbledon will be won by John Sergeant
Hull will beat Chelsea six nil
The underdogs will overcome
The downtrodden will rise up and sing
And the son of a Kenyan goatherd will be
The next American King

Money, Money, Money

When one is on one’s uppers, out at elbow, down at heel
When one’s silver spoon is tarnished, bent and worn
One need not stare into the void of winter’s fiscal discontent
In Stygian gloom forlorn
When one longs to wave a wad of wonga, to splash a stash of cash
But one is sinking fast in simply ghastly debt -
Call The Floating Russian Oligarch Vodka Palace Bank
The bank that unbelievably says “nyet!”
(Complimentary cocktails subject to status.
Terms and conditions apply)

Mushroom 101

Do not fear the fungi, fungus is no bogeyman
It’s the eco-friendly friend of fairy grottos
And though it thrives upon decay, you need not pass away
Just avoid Lucretia Borgia’s deadly death angel risottos
So blow the stinkhorn! Sound the black trumpet!
Let’s hunt the Slippery Jack!
Let’s forage in the forest, let’s snuffle for a truffle
Let’s find a fool’s funnel and a silky piggyback
Does Harry Potter think mushrooms are magic?
Do bears grill shiitake in the woods?
Yes! From Heston Blumenthal to bhajis via greasy spoon
Mushrooms are the gastronomic goods
The Pharoahs’ favourite, the food of the gods
Caesar ate ‘em on toast with melted mozzarella
They’re a millennium dome for a garden gnome
They’re a leprechaun’s umbrella (“‘ella, ‘ella”)
Yo! Gimme porcini, cremini, chanterelle, morel
Portobello, puffball, woolly milkcap
Bulbous bonnet, dingy twiglet, huge furry whittingstool
Sautee me in butter baby – mushroom rap
Try this red one with white spots, it’s really tasty….mmm….
Oh dear….I’m shrinking, I’m as tiny as a mouse
Hey, look! A white rabbit and a talking caterpillar man….
Hello? Hallucination Helpline? Is there a doctor in the house?

Gorblimey, Gordon Bennett, go bananas
It takes the garibaldi biscuit, glory be
It’s all golden, brilliant, glittering bling
One, two, three – scream “Team GB”
Has gallant, brave bungling gone for a burton?
Surely we’ve room for a great British clown?
Yes! Let Eddie McEagle fly high from the Bird’s Nest
Go on! Gie’ it the big Beijing bounce Gordon Brown!

For Nobuko

Here’s to a floundering fish out of water
Out of place, out of joint, out of tune
A lifetime away in a far-flung land
East of the sun and west of the moon
Here’s to those left at oblivion’s door
Surviving death’s pitiless rain
Throwing off the shroud of a mushroom cloud
Here’s to living again
Here’s to a Celtic stranger
With a voice like a heady perfume
Here’s to weaving Japanese warp with Irish weft
Here’s to the fruit of your loom
Here’s to deep-fried Ulster sashimi with chips
Here’s to the paddy fields of Derry
Here’s to a sumo-wrestlers’ Riverdance
Here’s to Belfast’s blossom of cherry
Here’s to flying six thousand miles
And never questioning why
Here’s to the boundless language of love
Here’s to Nobuko Pollack – “campei!”
Bad Times (Are Just Around The Corner)

The piggy banks are empty, the golden goose is dead
The party’s over, the champagne is flat
Gordon Gekko’s red braces have twanged in his face
There’s no more cream for the cats who were fat
The whiff of despair hangs in the air
Farewell the sweet smell of excess
And it gets worse, at the end of this verse
Your house is worth ten per cent less

Games For A Laugh?

One World, One Dream, One Breathtaking Smog
Sing out each nation, by jingo, voices strong
Rise up in harmony, unfurl the flags of every land
(except Tibet)
It’s time for synchronised-equestrian-ping-pong
Roll-up for the 5-ring-circus-hoopla
Roll-up for the lycra-clad Heracles of our age
In their high-tec, sat-nav chariots of fire plc
Full of tetrahydrogestrinone roid rage
Oh whither Alf Tupper, Tough of the Track
Wielding welder’s torch, fish ‘n chips and
hobnailed boots?
Whither Nigel Havers’ leisured leaping lord
Sporting silk cravat, cigarette and champagne
Let us reach out and feel for the Corinthian ideal
Four years’ hence at London’s jamboree
Let’s have compulsory tweed vests, plimsolls, pipes
and brylcreemed hair
Spam fritters and performance boosting tea
We don’t need Lang Lang on the old Joanna
We’ve got Chas ‘n Dave
Jellied eels, party hats, knees up Gordon Brown
Think of all the money that we’ll save
Let’s have tug-o’-war, egg and spoon and a
three-legged race
Let’s make the credit crunch Olympics first-rate
Let’s take a great hop, skip and jump backwards
To the spirit of 1948
Ave Maria Williams

How d’you describe a producer like Maria?
How d’you paint a picture of a radio star?
Pulling all the wires with a golden touch
She’s the sine qua non, she’s the je ne sais quoi
She’s mighty fine more mighty than the mightiest boosh
She’s “Saturday Live” all over
She’s got more zap than Maria von Trapp
More oomph than Maria Sharapova
Maria – sing it loud and there’s music playing
(It ain’t Maria Callas, it’s Siouxsie Sioux)
Say it soft to the Beeb but she ain’t staying
She’s bound for a Buddha and bidding adieu
So as the punk rock Vicar of Nibley
Takes her farewell bow
Suddenly a Saturday will never seem the same
And heaven knows we’re miserable now
Oh I could write her an endless sonnet
Wax lyrical right round the bend
But Maria likes her rhyme to be finished on time
Just a minute. That’s it. The end
Alas, Poor Gordon!

10p or not 10p?
That is the question for Mister Broon
He once was the Iron Chancellor
Now he’s gone all bendy like a Uri Geller spoon

Ready, Steady, Ping!

King convenience rules the microwaves
Of boil-in-the-bag Britannia
Defrosting the dehydrogenated dollop of slop
That’s your “chunky-chicken-chilli-cheese lasagne”
Ingredients: all the Dead Sea’s salt
Colouring agent: Dale Winton suntan tangerine
Endorsed by St Delia of the Blessed Boiled Egg
It’s nouvelle-from-hell cuisine
Truly resistible, taste the indifference
It’s not just food, it’s food that’s extra specially bland
E666, it’s cooking by numbers
Living off the saturated fat of the land
But we’ve all had our oven chips
We can’t afford the finest in a credit crunch
We’re gonna have to forage for our porridge
There’ll be hedge fund brokers in the hedgerows at lunch
Guzzling a gastropub witchetty grub
Roasting nettles with a burdock bake
“Ready Meals Ideas” from big Ray Mears
And they’re really free range - yes! “Let Them Eat Snake”


Christ crucified on Calvary is risen from the dead
Stigmata bathed in celestial light
And in the garden of Gethsemane
A six-foot bunny’s hidden chocolate eggs in the night


Grosvenor Square, Left Bank, Chicago, Prague
Shake off the shackles, demonstrate
London, Paris, New York, Trumpton
Life’s a riot in ’68
Singing “sous les paves, c’est la plage”
Kicking-off Molotov cocktail hour
It’s boots ‘n batons ‘n breaking glass
It’s burning all along the watchtower
It’s “Revolution” on the jukebox
It’s “Live At Folsom Prison”
It’s two fingers to the system
The people have arisen
It’s a tiptoe through the tulips with Tiny Tim
It’s the year that Heather Mills was born
It’s Lieutenant Uhuru kissing Captain Kirk
It’s a brave new world, a glad confident dawn
It’s the baby boomer Bolsheviks before they wore
a city suit
And the shiny shoes of Realpolitik
“Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang” it’s a street fighting man
Before the knighthood and a villa in Mustique
It’s a moment that defined a generation
It’s a voice of dissent they cannot crush
Yes – for the first time at tea-time on a Saturday
It’s the rebel with four paws – it’s Basil Brush
Catch Me If You Can

Once more unto the starting blocks
In a fast and furious furore
Pumped up on testosterone
Muscle-bound for glory
Never the mind the anabolics
Behold the biceps, feel the pecs
No wonder Spielberg has pulled out of the Olympics –
He’s just a skinny wee bloke with specs

Imperfect Skin

If I was Mr Megabuck I could buy a bit of nip ‘n tuck
And a little liposuction
Metamorphose with a rhinoplastic nose
And a love handle reduction
Get a silicone-cheekbone-Botox-brow
With six-pack ab’s to follow
Become a walking work of art by Michelangelo
A 21st century Apollo
But I don’t wanna spend one bob on a man-boob job
I ain’t gonna go to Vanity Fair
I’m gonna embrace every wrinkle on my face
Be ready to wear grey hair
Let’s celebrate as time accelerates
The saggy baggy tracks of our terrain
‘Cos Methuselah wasn’t just a very old man
It’s a very large bottle of champagne
So relish the blemish, indulge the bulge
Say no to the surgeon’s knife
Those WH Auden crow’s feet
Are the road map of your life
Situation Vacant

They need a new leader with charisma
Who can set the crowd ablaze
Who understands the audacity of hope
Who dares to dream of better days
Who knows that this is the moment, this is the time
“The fierce urgency of now”
Flying on the winds of change
“Yes we can” his vow
Who will unite black and white
With inspiration and vision far-sighted
Barack Hussein Obama will be
The next manager of Newcastle United


There’s no justice in the hangman’s rope
Swinging in the air
There’s no grace upon the gallows
There’s no mercy in the chair
Yet the lynch mob rule is righteous
It’s yippee eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
Wild West values dressed in their Sunday best
Vengeance burying the truth
But they won’t hold the needle
They won’t pull the switch
They won’t buckle the leather straps
They’ll just throw you in hell’s ditch
Where Death is dressed in violent orange
And shackled to your fears
A silent, cold companion
As you wait and count the years
And though your hope seems broken
Beaten black and blue
Don’t drink the waters of oblivion
The world has not forgotten you
You will walk free from desolation
Another life will come your way
And the blood-guilt stain on the Stars and Stripes
May be washed clean one day
Sub-Prime Rhyme

In the bleak midwinter
Frosty wind makes moan of credit crunch
But – if you have a kayak you can beat it
Just paddle off to Panama for lunch

The 365 Days of Christmas

Deck the halls with gaudy baubles
Pour the eggnog of good cheer
Now Roy Wood and Wizzard’s wish has come true
‘Tis the season to be jolly – all year
Choirs of cherubic children sing carols
Red-nosed reindeer fly through the sky
The snow falls in great fluffy tidings of joy
Even though it’s the middle of July
Hark! Bing Crosby croons on – and on and on
Fa-la-la-la-la, ho-ho-ho, sleighbell jingle
Lo! Is that the last turkey on earth being killed?
No! It’s the daily Cliff Richard Christmas single
And it’s perpetual repeats of the endless Queen’s speech
And Santa’s so knackered he’s shrunk
But not so Tiny Tim – he ate all the mince pies
Now he’s “Crawling In The Air”, fat and drunk
And 12 Christopher Biggins’ pantomime dames
Are dancing with elves at the foot of the bed
Swigging sherry and burning your presents
Shrieking “Ebeneezer Scrooge is dead!”
As Noddy Holder’s clarion call
Melts into Edvard Munch’s silent “Scream”
I suddenly wake and realise, yes -
(Cue violins, puppy dog and a bucket of syrupy marshmallow sentiment for a desperately contrived happy ending)
Yes – everything’s grand in our winter wonderland
It was all just a horrible dream
Her Madge’s Rap

My government will meet the aspirations of the nation
Introducing legislation to promote regeneration
Who writes this stuff? It’s so mundane
It’s my speech – let’s start again
Claudia Schiffer, Naomi, Stella
Kate Moss and Lady Isabella
Elizabeth Windsor, glamour queen
Top 50 in a funky fashion magazine
A definitive list – one cannot quarrel
Catwalk the corgis at Balmoral
Headscarf, tweeds and a sensible brogue
Don’t just stand there Philip! Come on – Vogue!

Mama’s Got A Brand New Handbag

Lost-and-found warehouse of a woman’s soul
More precious than Fort Knox
More treasure than Ali Baba’s cave
More dark secrets than Pandora’s box
Swung with Thatcherite malice aforethought
Clumped over the head by Dick Emery in drag
Clutched by Her Majesty and Tinky Winky
Dance for joy round the humble handbag
A rummage in a portable Tardis –
Car-keys-Kleenex-Kit-Kat-Kamasutra-tin of dog food?-
Some dental-floss, a miniature Demis Roussos and –
Oh look! That’s where those weapons of mass destruction
Fashion victim’s holy grail
“That’s not a bag! It’s a ‘Birkin’”
Mais je ne t’aime pas – ten grand? For “a handbaaaaag?!”
You’re a vanity case with the brain of a well-pickled
Wash your hands of designer brands
The “super-luxe-buffalo-skin in pink”
Trust in your battered old favourite
It holds everything and the kitchen sink
And for the man who has it all but nowhere to put it
Who fears the exotic and foreign
There’s no need for footballers’ manbags at dawn
Just stick yer wee bits and bobs in a sporran
Warlock Shock!

At the gay wizards’ Halloween disco
Dumbledore is scowling
Has he been outed by Peter Tatchell?
No! It was JK Rowling!

A Winter’s Tale

Once upon a time in October
Time’s winged chariot stops in mid-flight
Tock-tick, tock-tick
The clocks go back tonight
Baffling the bat, alarming the owl
Discombobulating the lark
Turning the summertime blues of discontent
Into glorious wintertide dark
Shrouding a carpet of gold and burgundy leaves
The sun’s last rays swept away for a while
As the flickering grin of a pumpkin spins
Into Frosty the Snowman’s smile
Farewell flip-flops, bikinis and picnics
Hello slippers, eggnog, casserole
Conkers ‘n berries, cardies ‘n wellies
Roasted chestnuts, log fires, Nat King Cole
And it’s Christmas as soon as Guy Fawkes is burned
Behind you! Widow Twankey with the Krankies and Jade
And there’s no respite from “Silent Night”
Jamie Oliver, turkeys and Slade
And it’s slush ‘n mud, ‘n sleet ‘n ice
Bleak blasted blizzards, Siberian doom
Hypothermia, pleurisy, frostbite ‘n flu
And the black, black Stygian gloom!
So – just burrow down deep like a victimised badger
Hide away, slow down, succumb
Drink the perfect libation for a little hibernation
A mug of hot chocolate – with rum
Curl up with a friend and a good book at bedtime
A grown-ups’ “Jackanory”
(Perhaps “Harry Potter & The Kitchen Of Nightmares” –
Gordon Ramsay’s sweet fairy story)
You’ll be happy ever after in your winceyette pyjamas
Tucked up safe and tight
Tock-tick, tock-tick, tock-tick, sweet dreams
The clocks go back tonight
Did You Miss Fi (When She Was Away?)

It’s a glorious, victorious, golden return
First among equals, she’s simply the best
Yes, Fi’s back, she’s back as a matter of fact
And she’s never missed one drugs test

Going Loco In Parentis

Education, education, education
Decisions, decisions, decisions
The Lord Sebastian Coe Comprehensive For The Gifted And Troublesome or
Home-Sweet-Home Tuition?
Should you have Gordon Brown’s Schooldays
Prudently squaring your hypotenuse
In a Wee Jimmy Krankie uniform
Satchel, short-back-and-sides, shiny shoes?
Or will you escape the chalk-face scrape
Of the blackboard’s logarithm blues
To skateboard around the curriculum
With parental permission to pick’n’mix ’n choose?
Will they muck you up your Mum and Dad?
Will family tutelage all end in tears?
Will she become Miss Jean Brodie?
Is he secretly Wackford Squeers?
Are they walking encyclopaedias
At D-I-Y Domesticity College?
Can they muster their rhomboids and harness their gerunds?
Will they sow the seeds of your knowledge?
Will you have any conception of Nietzsche’s Ubermenschen
Or the annexation of the Sudetenland?
Will you think the Mona Lisa was painted by Di Caprio
And Bunsen Burner is a heavy metal band?
Will your eyes be opened and your mind set free
By edification both fun and far-sighted?
Or will you be the dunce in a class of your own
Joining Nobby-No-Mates Reunited?
Dame Agatha Christie was taught en famille
And didn’t she do well?
But apparently so was Mel Gibson
Which shows that you never can tell
So, is it “Hello St.Custards” or “Goodbye Mr Chips”?
On which method can we depend?
Well, as Nigel Molesworth himself might have said –
“Any fule kno – but can I fone a frend?”
Wet Dog Days

The heavens have sprung a leak
God needs to call in a plumber
It’s nice weather – if you’re a duck in the desert
Yes – it’s the glorious English summer
Frothing Mad

He’s the scourge of the cost-a-packet coffee shops
And their roasted bean bonanza
The Don Quixote of the daily grind
Sharing drinks with Sancho Panza
No. He doesn’t “wanna blueberry muffin with that?”
Or a “funky blend from Guadalajara”
Hey Mister Barista, he’s no mug
He’s caffeine’s Che Guevara
Fighting the blight of the tall-skinny-latte
And those polythene-cheesie-panini
Why don’t they charge for Small, Medium, Large?
Why’s it Primo-Vente-Grande
Yes, he stands alone like King Canute
Against the relentless corporate tide
Of the “have-a-nice-day” megabucks café
The bland leading the bland worldwide
It’s all that Jennifer Anniston’s fault
Her and her “Friends” at “Central Perk”
Sipping “no-fun-drip-with-soya”
Driving him beserk
So head held high our hero heads home
Past the old greasy spoon, RIP
To lead the revolution from his armchair
Feet up with a nice cup of tea

Ever After

Rug ripped from under your feet
Cast adrift and anchor gone
All at sixes and sevens
Now two is suddenly one
Thread and bearings lost
Ship abandoned, all at sea
Hope sinking on the horizon
Now it’s “I” instead of “We”
A piece of your puzzle is missing
The half that made the whole shebang
The front seat of the tandem is empty
There’s a yin but there’s no yang
It’s like Ginger waltzing without Fred
It’s Johnny singing without June
It’s like Corbett without Barker
It’s Mills without the Boon
But one day without any warning
Out of the blue, like a thief in the night
If a stranger dares to steal your heart
And you’re filled with a sweet delight
Then take the plunge and cross the Rubicon
For when push it comes to shove
You can dance the dance with another
So c’mon. Jump in to love

Ta Ta Tony

Let me simply say hasta la vista
So long, toodle-pip, chin-chin
Y’know, I’m off down the yellow brick road to Middle East peace
and I leave you
With the ghost of my Cheshire Cat grin

Soldiering On

He fights them on the beaches
He fights them on the seas
He fights them on the carpet
(Despite his creaky knees)
He fights them in his attic (and why not?)
He fights them in his head
He fights the Battle of Thermopylae
In his garden shed
With his barmy army of tiny tin men
Painted precise Prussian blue
He is the very model of a modern major general
Who need never meet his Waterloo
Whistling Colonel Bogey
As he manoeuvres his platoons
He knows exactly the number of buttons
On a Hungarian Hussar’s pantaloons
Like Louis XIV in a toy-shop
Consumed by insatiable decadence
“I’d like that Philistines’ ox-drawn chariot please
And ten more Carthaginian elephants”
Hair thinning, waistline spreading
Is this an obsession he should indulge?
Surely the only battle for a middle-aged man
Is the battle of the bulge?
Some say he’s a Little Napoleon
A pocket Agamemnon of Mycenae
An itsy-witsy, teeny-weeny
Bellowing, diddly-squat Mussolini
But fear not do not beware the Geek
For he’s no gun-toting, gung-ho hawk
He’s harmless, he faints at the sight of blood
His warmomgering games are all talk
He’s just a peaceful chap in his bedroom
He’s not Darius the Great of Ancient Thrace
Indeed, if Tony Blair had only stayed at home in Number Ten with a Rowney Sable paintbrush quietly colouring in a dinky wee moustache and the horsehair plumes on his 22mm Bavarian fusiliers then
The world might be a safer place

So Much So Young

Some children are simply wunderkind
Genius bambini
Mozart, Picasso, William Hague
Bobby Fischer, Paganini
Beating a chess Grandmaster
Composing their own sonata
They’re not the kind of Prodigy
Who sing “Twisted Firestarter”
Bestowed with gifts beyond their age
Put under pressure quite atrocious
They’re supercallyfragalistic
But, I come to sing the praises
Of the whizziest kid on the block
Greatness oozing from his fingertips
Brilliance running amok
Just a schoolboy in shorts with his satchel
Shining morning face so rosy
Yes, let’s bow down to Wee Jimmy Krankie
What a talent. Fandabeedozee

Designer Porridge

Apricot boilersuit by Versace
Diamante handcuffed glamour
We’re winning the War on Celebrity
Paris Hilton is back in the slammer

Paradise Lost

The unorthodox priest in the wraparound shades
And the black gothic garb of his creed
Sits and flicks his worries away
Bead by bead by bead
To the syncopated beat of the backgammon board
At white-washed “Taverna Niko”
Where the traveller drinks in the afternoon sun
In a woozy ouzo glow
As the inky blue turquoise Aegean
Caresses the pink of the sand
While the sweet smell of thyme drifts by on a breeze
Blessed balm for the heat of the land
Whose orchards hang heavy with lemons and figs
And the poppies dance under the trees
Where the olive groves groan with the honey-drip drone
Of a thousand drowsy bees
And I think that I may have found paradise
Bewitched by Persephone’s kiss
A gift from Greek gods, heaven on earth
A moment of rapturous bliss
When a cry ricochets round the harbour
From the stereo on Stelios’ boat
It’s a sound that could shatter the crockery
Like the bleat of a hideous goat
“You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
You’re beautiful it’s true
I saw your face in a crowded place
And I don’t know what to do
‘Cos I’ll never be with you”
And I realise God is having a laugh
His divine holy love is a front
For no God of compassion or mercy
Would have given us Mister James Blunt

A Boy Named Sky

Sam Sky wild was an angry young man (man)
In fact he was perfectly livid
He did not rejoice in his parents’ choice
Of his flares that were tie-dyed, too vivid
Or his deeply dippy, trippy name
Recalling kibbutznik cartels
No – he glowered and loured at flower power
The beards ‘n the bongs ‘n the beads ‘n the bells
Shunning the chakras and shamen
And shaking off the hippy hippy chicks
The only counter-culture for him
Was the Woolies’ pick ‘n mix
Filled with dread of The Grateful Dead
And some really heavy stuff from Tangiers
He longed to be sent up some chimneys to work
And be taught by Wackford Squeers
Dreaming of short-back-‘n-side-sober-suit-shiny-shoes
And the slam of commuter train doors
Giving two fingers to karma and kaftans
A Rebel Without Plus-Fours
Now, though reconciled he was born to be mild
He’s anti-oppression and pro-liberation
And when things make him mad – he thanks his mum and his dad
For lumbering him with the shame of being named after Mister Murdoch’s multi-national money-spinning satellite television station

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