Happy Birthday John Cooper Clarke born today in 1949.
He is an English performance and “punk” poet.
Welcome to the world of Country Music, but not as you know it. Forget Stetsons and slide guitar because today we are embracing Scrumpy and Western.
This is a style of music from the West Country of England, which is my neck of the woods, and I was raised on it. Rousing choruses of Blackbird were often heard emanating from our house.
And when I got to the (legal) age of buying alcohol, Drink up Thy Cider became my new anthem.
Cider (or scrumpy, as it is fondly known) is not a gentle apple drink in the UK, but a weapon of mass destruction that renders most humans immobile. I haven’t touched a drop in over twenty years: I value a functioning liver.
But here’s a rural treat with Adge Cutler and his Wurzels singing a naughty little number about going there twice daily.
When I were a lad I were so glad to go out in the daytime
With me fork and a bottle and a cork to help out in the hay time
While tossin’ hay upon the mound met young Lucy Bailey
And I said my dear, are you often here, she said, yes sir, twice daily
We had such fun in the summer sun, Lucy were so thrillin’
Sweet and pure but I weren’t sure that young maid were willin’
Till one day among the hay we was working gaily
She up’s and slips and zummut rips and I went there twice daily
(Oh Ah Oh I did too)
She said dear I do feel queer think I outa tell ee
Tant new bread she sadly said that swelling up me belly
Told her go to Doctor Joe off she went so gaily
He gave a dollop of a gurt thick jollop and said take this twice daily
(Orrible stuff twere )
Now Lucy’s dad were very mad, chased I ’round the hay mound
Said my son you’ve had your fun, the time has come to pay now
My girl you’ll wed, the old man said as he waved his shotgun gaily
If you don’t, he says, I’ll put some lead and you won’t go there twice daily
(Ow painful that)
Well the very next day in the month of May held the ceremony
Paid off the vicar with a gallon of liquor, rode to church on a pony
And the village folks from miles around waved and shouted gaily
There’s no doubt you’ll get found out if you goes there twice daily
(They were right too (I did)
Now to Lucy’s joy she had a boy, what a little darlin’
Round and fat as a Cheshire cat, perky as a starlin’
Skin were smooth as a cider jar and they called him Buster Bailey
Fed him on swedes and charlock weeds and a pint of scrump twice daily
(Fat little bleeder too)
Now weem old, our story’s told, forty years together
And we often stray where we tossed the hay in that old time summer weather
Kids we’ve got full ten or more, we goes on quite gaily
Tho’ I’m old and grey when I’ve gets me way I still go there twice daily
Songwriter: Adge Cutler
© EMI Records
Tales from the Saturday Shed: The prompt this week is PAYBACK.
For those with the time or inclination: Feel free to join in!
“Martine, for the love of God.” His voice is soft, and she strains to hear him. “Please, take my hand.”
She shakes her head and stares at his other hand. The one clenching the railing, the one that clutched hers when he asked her to marry him.
“We don’t want a big wedding, do we, Marty?” Dean said as he slid an engagement ring on her finger. “We’ll go to a registry office.”
She hated that stupid, sterile ceremony.
“Marty, I’m begging you,” he pleads, the words almost blown away by the wind that tears at their clothes. He adjusts his grip and reaches for her.
Just like Daddy did before Mummy pulled her away.
“You’re not taking her, you bastard.” Spit flew from her mouth, hitting Daddy. He took out a handkerchief, but instead of wiping his face, he held it out.
“Don’t cry, Marty,” he said, but he was the one with tears in his eyes. “I’ll be back to see you soon.”
“Over my dead body,” her mother hissed, pushing him off the doorstep and slamming the door.
Marty never saw him again, but the next day she found the crumpled handkerchief lying on the path. Mummy snatched it from her and burnt it on the fire.
“Martine!” There is fear in Dean’s voice and on his face.
“I’m tired,” she tells him.
He shuffles forward and speaks to her as if she is hard of hearing. “We can talk about this later. Why don’t you step away from the edge?” He extends both hands to her.
She closes her eyes and remembers…
Mummy dragging her past the tumblers and fire-eaters. “For goodness’ sake, Martine, will you stop dawdling.”
The nurse whisking away her stillborn son before she had a chance to hold him. “I’ll just take this.”
Dean clasping her to him and sobbing, “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.”
But it did.
Marty opens her eyes and for the first time in her life, she takes a hand rather than let a hand take her.
Dean’s face falls slack with relief. “Come on, let’s go home.” He pulls her towards him.
“No, I have a better idea.” She takes a firm grip.
“This!” she says, stepping backwards. As they tumble over the cliff, Marty lets go.
1. What is boisterous?
Body odour that can strip paint.
2. What is a womaniser?
A set of false boobs.
3. What is a faux pas?
That sinking feeling when your lies come back and bite you on the bum.
4. Define plumber
A body-positive pipe fitter.
5. What is a sous chef?
A chef who never puts peas in his soups.
6. What is antisocial?
7. Why did they call the wind Maria?
Because it won’t let you catch a cloud and pin it down.
8. Where would you find a kettle drum?
Any discount shop – it’s only a cut-price samovar.
9. What is a kango drill?
A boot camp for Australian marines.
10. What makes bread rise?
Viagra and a nice pair of baps.
Celebrating the wit and wisdom of Oliver Hardy, born today in 1892.
“You know, there’s a right and wrong way to do everything.”
“We never see ourselves as others see us.”