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Picture of BobHale
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Tomorrow night I shall be performing (and by "performing" I mean singing and playing guitar) my new set of poems which go under the title "Green Unpleasant Land" and are, for want of a better description, my "concept album" about the state of England right now.

I thought some of you might like a sneak preview as I know you are unlikely to attend (it's in China,after all - but it is free).

Here then are the poems songs in the set. There are some more in development but not ready yet.
(Note: a couple have been re-purposed from older poems of mine)

Green Unpleasant Land:The Britannia Suite

When The Sun Never Set

When the sun never set on the Empire
And Britons were fearless and brave
When half of the world flew the Union Jack
And Britannia was ruling the waves

When we were a power to be reckoned
When nations with envy looked on
When red was the colour of most of the map
Who knew that those days could be gone?

The world is a sadder place for it
Britons were born to be lords
And for those who views took a different turn
We had soldiers with guns and with swords

It was an age when all men weren’t equal
The world echoed with God Save The Queen
Victoria sat on her throne, grim and stern
And old England was pleasant and green

And we all knew that God in his Heaven
Was an Englishman trusted and tried
Which is why in the wars through the ages we’d fought
Always he’d been on our side

But the sunset eventually found us
And we were no longer revered
And all we’d achieved at last came to nought
As the red on the map disappeared

But don’t count old England out yet
We’ll rise up to rule once again
And the doubters and scoffers who do not believe
Will have to acknowledge it then

That ours are the highest of standards
That in every way we’re the best
And though it may be hard at the moment to see it
We’re still way ahead of the rest.

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves.
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.


The Other Lot

I’m not to blame for this mess we’re in
It’s not my fault so as you begin
To wag your finger… well you’d better not
I voted for the other lot

The other lot would have been much better
Everyone knows that it’s true
This lot only work for themselves
The others would have worked for you
The other lot are decent and straight
Every last woman and man
This lot? Well they’re not so great
Nobody’s liking their plan

I think it’s strange how people say
I would not give them the time of day
But somehow still they’re who we’ve got
I voted for the other lot

Something here must be amiss
No one says they’d vote for this
Someone must be talking rot.
I voted for the other lot

And next time it changes round
You know that I will stand my ground
And when you ask me, I’ll say, “What?”
I voted for the other lot.

The other lot would have been much better
Everyone knows that it’s true
This lot only work for themselves
The others would have worked for you
The other lot are decent and straight
Every last woman and man
This lot? Well they’re not so great
Nobody’s liking their plan


Alice In The Underpass

Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice

Alice waking, Alice sleeping,
Alice laughing, Alice weeping,
Alice singing, Alice dancing,
Alice fleeing and advancing,

Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice

Alice trying, Alice failing,
Alice healthy, Alice ailing,
Alice wanting, Alice needing,
Alice broken, Alice bleeding,
Alice falling, Alice flying,
Alice living, Alice dying.

Alice, Alice, Alice, Alice

Alice through the looking glass.
Alice in the underpass.



Green Unpleasant Land

Sally says the oily water looks pretty in the setting sun
Sally sinks her shopping trolley to see the greasy colours run
Sally eats her fish and chips, throws the paper in the reeds.
Takes the short canal path home, doesn’t notice that it leads
Through England’s green unpleasant land
Of plastic bags and broken glass
A tower of tires has been built here
Upon the burnt and blackened grass

Mickey scribbles down his name on the bus seat in felt tip
Instagrams a photo of it, says it livens up his trip
Mickey lights his last smoke up. The empty pack drops to the floor.
Top deck of the number seven, from the window, sees much more
Of England’s Green Unpleasant land
Decaying buildings, rusting cars
Washing lines of still grey clothing
Broken windows, back street bars.

Kylie says the concrete stairwell, smells of urine, beer and sweat
Takes the key, unlocks the door to her gloomy maisonette.
She gazes from the kitchen window and microwaves a frozen meal
Weighed down by the heavy burden of all the things she does not feel
In England’s green unpleasant land
Obscene graffiti meets her view
Rubbish drifts across the playground
She doesn’t notice, it’s nothing new

Martha struggles with her shopping, through the broken garden gate
The neighbour’s dog has been again. The mess it left will have to wait
Martha tries to recollect a time when what she felt was hope
A time were all her feeble efforts were not spent in trying to cope
With England’s green unpleasant land
With dirty busses in dirty streets
With so much she brought second hand
As she tries to make ends meet


A Public School, School Song

The children and the scholars who tread these halls with pride
Share a certain quality that cannot be denied
It's not breeding or intelligence that makes these children suit
It's the fact that all their parents have lots of lovely loot.

A certificate is good to have, I think we all agree
But when you get right down to it, there's no necessity
To consider trying working, nor anything so rash
For every door is opened by the smell of Daddy's cash.

Oh, let's sing it all together, let's hear it for the school
The dear old alma-mater where all the teachers drool
Some with pure senility, and some who'd like a kiss
But mostly with the longing that comes from avarice

And if your understanding of Science, Maths or French
Is such that every lesson just makes your buttocks clench
Don't worry, for the hoi-poloi from the school on the estate
For just a coin or two will make sure your homework’s great

There are societies to join with their rituals arcane
But the rewards that you will reap are very, very plain
An education here will ensure that life's long road
Will lead to all the things that you think you should be owed.

Oh, let's sing it all together, let's hear it for the school
The dear old alma-mater where all the teachers drool
Some with pure senility, and some who'd like a kiss
But mostly with the longing that comes from avarice

You may end up in the Government, it doesn't matter which
You can take your pick of parties when your family is rich
You can make the laws that made you into a self-made man
And ensure that your children can follow the same plan

We're a bastion of privilege of whom it may be said
That we produce the leaders where others have the led
And when you leave our hallowed halls proudly we can claim
That you know even less than an the day that you first came.

Oh, let's sing it all together, let's hear it for the school
The dear old alma-mater where all the teachers drool
Some with pure senility, and some who'd like a kiss
But mostly with the longing that comes from avarice


Imaginary Times Past

I am a little Englander
And proud of it because
I remember in great detail
How wonderful life was
You may say that I'm mistaken
That it never was that way
But I am perfectly sincere
When I stand up and say

Bring back the old blue passports
And the old red buses too
Bring back the Mini Cooper
Brussels sprouts and rabbit stew

Bring back the London Palladium
On Sunday Night TV
Brink back Juke Box Jury,
Crackerjack, and scones for tea.

Bring back the football pools
And buying on the knock.
Bring back the good old days
When our doors we did not lock.

I am a little Englander
And proud of it because
I remember to this day
How wonderful life was
You may say that I'm a fool
That it never was that way
But I am sure of my veracity
When I stand up and say

It was indeed a golden age
And it only ever rained
When the gardens of green England
All had to be maintained

The sun shone all through summer
There were no crooks or crime
And the policemen were all jolly
And were there to give the time

Bring back spotted dick
And bring back potted meats
Brink back cucumber sandwiches
And bags of Peanut Treets.

Bring back foaming ale
Drunk from tankards on the green
Bring back balmy breezes
And days quiet and serene.

I am a little Englander
And proud of it because
I remember as if yesterday
How wonderful life was
You may say that it's not true
That it never was that way
But I assure you that it was
When I stand up and say

Bring back the school uniforms
With caps with little peaks
Bring back respectful children
With rosy dimpled cheeks

Bring back the outdoor toilet
Bring back THE Wagon Wheel
Bring back Pathfinder shoes
With a compass in the heel

Bring back the good old days
Things were so much better then
When I wrote my letters to the Mail
With an ink-filled fountain pen

I am a little Englander
And proud of it because
I long for bygone days and ways
How wonderful life was
You may say that I am dreaming
That it never was that way
But that's how I recall it
I wish it were like that today.


These ARE The Good Old Days

These are the Good Old Days
We only have one goal
We’re taking back control
“Control” you ask “of what”
“Of everything we’ve got.”
“Control of law and order.”
“Control of every border.”
“Control of wealth and trade.”
“Of all we’ve done and made.”
“And who”, you ask” is ‘we’?”
“’We’ is ‘you and me’”
And we will make the rules
Why do you think we’re fools?
It won’t be like today
When people far away
Can tell us yay or nay.
And the people have no say
There’ll be leaders we elected
And we will be respected
Why does that make you smile
You’re just a Europhile…

These are the good old days
that when you’re old and grey
you’ll look back on and say
“Those were the good old days.”
“Those were the good old days.”

There’ll be the constant spin
as darker days begin
so that from here on in
your head is in a spin.
your head is in a spin.

You won’t remember then
the suited businessmen
who took it all again.
They’ll be forgotten then
They’ll be forgotten then

You’ll have achieved your goals
by selling all our souls
and at the exit polls
you’ll have achieved your goals
you’ll have achieved your goals

But we are not to blame
will be your one refrain
if we had felt the same
there’d be no need for blame
because we’d have won the game

These are the good old days
that when you’re old and grey
you’ll look back on and say
“Those were the good old days.”
“Those were the good old days.”

We only have one goal
We’re taking back control
“Control” you ask “of what”
“Of everything we’ve got.”
“Control of law and order.”
“Control of every border.”
“Control of wealth and trade.”
“Of all we’ve done and made.”
“And who”, you ask” is ‘we’?”
“’We’ is ‘you and me’”
And we will make the rules
Why do you think we’re fools?
It won’t be like today
When people far away
Can tell us yay or nay.
And the people have no say
There’ll be leaders we elected
And we will be respected
Why does that make you smile
You’re just a Europhile…

This message has been edited. Last edited by: BobHale,
 
Posts: 7863 | Location: EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
s I know you are unlikely to attend (it's in China,after all - but it is free).

My local bus line failed to make connections.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
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Wish I could be there. My favorite is the first one.
 
Posts: 23298 | Location: Chicago, USAReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I DIDN'T SEE THE NEED TO START A NEW THREAD WHEN i COULD PGGYBACK bOB'S POEM COMPILATION. i WROTE THIS SEVEN YEARS AGO (BASED ON AN OLD JOKE). Pardon the caps. My wife left capslock on and I didn't want to retype.

While settin’ on mah porch one day, a-scoffing beer and butts
When here comes Jake with all his dogs, a bunch of surly mutts.
“So whar you heading off to, Jake? Ah see you brought your gun.”
“Ah plan to do some huntin’. Want to join in on the fun?”

Now Jake’s the best damn shooter that has ever come along
He’s shot the balls from off a fly and never nicked its dong.
But ah was stuck a-watcing kids, my little Clete and Shorty,
Since Ma says she’s too busy (she’s a-plowing the back forty).

Ah handed Jake a can of suds; he started to relax.
I aksed about his hunting trips -- no lies, please. jis’
the facts.

“Ah’ll tell you ‘bout mah nunting trip, the best I’ve had so far
Since it involves a special shot ah took to kill a b’ar.
Ah were huntin’ up by Fletcher’s Farm, just where his land gets steep.
Ah came upon a giant b’ar and he were fast asleep.

“But he were tucked inside a cleft just showin’ bits of head
And ah was scared ah’d only wound. Ah meant to shoot him dead.
Ah checked the sityouration out and realized that my
Best choice was ricochet mah shot and hit him in his eye.

“Behind the b’ar there were a rock about five stories high
And wider than a barn. Ah could glance off it to his eye.
So ah ckecked Kaintucky windage and took very careful aim
’Cause if ah missed that b’ar would charge. Mah rifle spewed its flame.”

Then Jake he took a swig of beer and gazed off into space
And a look of melancholy was emblazoned on his face.
So ah waited several minutes for Jake to end his story
To tell how he had killed the b’ar and wallow in the glory.

But his silence lingered awkwardly. Ah gave a little try:
“So tell me how you hit that b’ar, your shot glanced in his eye.”
“Ah’ll finish up mah story and ah pray you will not mock.
Mah shot not only missed the b’ar, it also missed the rock.”


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 5999 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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This is very good, Proof!


"Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease." ~from the Metta Sutta
 
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Yes - and, while I like all types of poems, I do like rhymes.
 
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