Bland On Bland – The BookThe theme for this week’s JVG Radio Method poem is “Bars“.

More from the UK… I am playing at the Warwick Folk Festival this weekend. One of my favourite weekends of the year when I am here. And yes there will be the odd bar involved.


To play this poem directly in your browser – just click the “play” button below:

Bars

“It’s had its day” the old boy wheezed, slumped back in his chair
A sigh of disgruntlement chaperoned a stony stare

“What has George?” mocked Wes, “remind us all again”
“Shut up Wes” barked Cath “don’t pull George’s chain

Once he gets a head of steam we’ll never hear the end
Please don’t get him going, he’ll drive us round the bend”

“Too late for that” frowned Moira, as she pulled another beer
“He’s had three bitter shandies, he’ll chew anybody’s ear”

“This place has gone downhill” moaned George “the area I mean
The sky was bluer years ago and the trees, you know, more green

The pubs were always heaving and full of lads you knew”
“Still full of lads” Moira pricked “just none of them know you”

“It’s not the same” George lamented “the good, old pubs aren’t there”
“There’s none have moved” Moira quipped “They’ve not gone anywhere”

“They’re different now” George resumed “no-one shows respect
With their music, if you call it that, what can you expect?

And work? No-one works these days; they don’t know what it’s like
We’d work our knuckles to the bone; when we weren’t on strike

Drugs and all the handouts; round here we get the dregs
Lazy bastards, all of them; don’t know why they need legs

We’d walk five miles to go to work and five miles home at night
In my day we had values; we all knew wrong from right

If you crossed the line you copped a whack; only cowards ran
I wouldn’t call it violence; you just took it like a man

Women didn’t swear and in general were more chaste
Dirty jokes were, I don’t know, in better dirty taste

You knew all of your neighbours; when in strife, you shared the load
An immigrant was someone who came from five miles down the road

Thursday night, payday; you’d meet up with the lads
Always wore your best shirt; sometimes I’d borrow dads

Visit every pub in Craven Street; have a pint and chew the fat
Then the Nursery round the corner and the Maudsley after that

Sixteen pints apiece we’d drink and be sober as a judge
Of course the beer was better then, not this foreign sludge

Sixteen pints apiece; that’s more than you young blokes could lift
Be up at 5am next day and work a double shift

Tell that to the kids, you get stared at like you’re strange
That’s the trouble with people these days; they can’t adapt to change”

“Your cab’s arrived” Cath cut in “I’ll help you with your frame”
“Help?” snapped George “I don’t need help, thank you all the same”

As the taxi drove into the night, Wes pointed out a truth
“I don’t believe its pubs George pines but the passing of his youth”

“Be that as it may” sighed Cath “but he will keep going on”
“Thank God” Moira raised her glass “the good old days have gone”

© Copyright 2018 Ian Bland


Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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