The poem I wrote this week for Jon’s JVG Radio Method on 3RRR is about “BATTLES”.

Click to hear today’s poem… [audio:JVG_Poem20071007.mp3]

The theme this week was because Jon decided to have a “Battle of The Surf Bands” with two of Melbourne’s local band, The Budgie Smugglers up against the Gamma Rays. One band in Studio 1 and the other in Studio 2. The outcome was a tie, and for the third week in row I had to dash to do a gig with my band over in StKilda at the Pint On Punt again.

Three gigs in three weeks, success will go to our heads at this rate.

Ed Bates is once again the man on backing guitar this week. Thanks Ed, as always it sounds pretty good.


From an age at the limits of memory, when the world was only a pup
When bread and milk were home delivered and ice cream came in a cup

Banks closed at three, pubs closed at six, by nine the whole town was in bed
If you didn’t vote for Menzies or the DLP you were a treasonous, scum sucking red

All football was played on Saturday arvos, with Sundays reserved for the Lord
Only two ethnic groups ever caused any friction, one was Holden, the other was Ford

It was over these cars a battle was fought, the legend refuses to fade
Two armies clashed on a street in the suburbs, the “Battle of Bogan’s Parade”

As “Pig” Mills was washing his dad’s XL Falcon, “Squirrel” Tyrell of the pro Holden clan
Rode past on his bike and shouted “Hey Piggy, watch you don’t rust the Foul can”

It was enough to upset the delicate balance, a call to arms soon got around
Fifty combatants, aged from five to eleven, faced of cross a wet footy ground

The “Ford” mob was armed with eggs and tomatoes, pine cones and a selection of rocks
And every single metal dust bin lid, in the surrounding fifteen blocks

While the “Holden” gang all wore rubber boots, with drawing pins sticking out from the toes
Golf balls swung like boleadoras, in their mother’s panty hose

All the garden gnomes that could hold a fork, were conscripted as mercenaries
Every apple and quince had been requestioned from the Leoni’s prized fruit trees

Branco Lucek, a giant of a boy, even scared half his own side to death
Wasn’t his size that had them so terrorised, but he could even kill flies with his breath

The Fitzgerald sisters, Lindy and Cindy, the Ford army’s most formidable link
They were loaded with condoms, pinched from their parents, filled with indian ink

They gave not a toss what their parents would say, they knew they would meet no resistance
Being good Catholics, it could cost them their souls, to acknowledge the condoms existence

Though his dad named him Holden, in homage of his car, “Spanner”Chaplee remained non aligned
Most of the weapons both sides were sporting, “Spanner” either built or designed

“Spanner” quite literally sat on the fence, he was keen to observe the exchange
But he found it too tempting to try out his new shanghai and shot anyone who came within range

Made with surgical rubber, from his auntie’s prosthesis, his aunt having recently died
Shooting small rock hard berries that stained the skin purple, took a month for the welt to subside

“Rabbit” McGorry, on his imaginary horse, kept well away from the blue
“Piggy” accused him of being a coward, while “Rabbit” claimed his horse threw a shoe

They threw a couple of eggs and a few choice expletives, then the weather turned really dirty
Shivering with cold, they decided to parley, besides “Zig and Zag” came on at five thirty

A quick show of hands agreed to a draw, all but one glad to call it a day
The exception was “Spanner”, with his prosthetic shanghai, he just kept firing away

He loudly protested, though his interest was vested “You can’t have no war with no winner”
Nobody listened, besides his shanghai was christened, everyone’s thoughts were on dinner

One by one, they slunk from the oval, tired, wet, hungry and bored
When it came to the crunch, defending their honour, well they didn’t give a Holden or Ford

“Rabbit” McGory was the last to depart, not some belated, heroic show of force
It took him a while to unbuckle his saddle, then he had to water his horse

While adults and leaders still fail to grasp what these kids in their way realised
That too many battles are fought over honour, honour’s often ego disguised

Wars that are waged defending ego and pride, inevitably descend into farce
If only all battles ended, like “Bogan’s Parade,” with a few purple welts on the arse

Old man Richard’s, the neighbourhood sage, with whom most of the street would commune
Predicted the Beatles would be one hit wonders, and man would never walk on the moon

Japanese cars were only a fad, they’d soon all disappear
While the car of the future, the Studebaker Lark, would be round for the next thousand years

© Copyright 2007 Ian Bland

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