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


Ed Bates provided the guitar backing, have a listen to how it went below…

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

Railway Lines

Hilda Sibbley owned the milk bar directly opposite the station
This helped form her opinions on the younger generation

Between June nineteen forty six and Easter sixty eight
From her counter she observed all who filed through the gate

“Deary me” she sighed “what is the world coming to?
My Arthur used to say this country’s going down the loo

Kids these days, no discipline; it’s enough to drive you mad
The boys are all delinquents and the girls are just as bad

My Arthur used to say the wheels are falling off the bus
The little hoodlums would never buy their cigarettes from us

They come into the shop and pretend to start a rumble
Next thing I’m down a Polly Waffle, Kit Kat, Violet Crumble

They hang around the platform all day long, God knows why
When the coppers move them on there’s this great hue and cry

They need a good kick up the bum, my Arthur used to say
Of course the parents are to blame, no discipline today

The little blighters run amok ‘cause they’re given too much rope
And now Menzies has retired I don’t hold out much hope

I’m not sure about this new bloke, what’s his name? Harry Holt?
My Arthur said we need a war to give these kids a jolt

I know we’ve got Vietnam, but if we’re going to stop the rot
Don’t just conscript a few, call up the bloody lot

Nothing like a bullet passing just above your head
A wake up call, the real world, I recall my Arthur said

That would teach the little hooligans what life is all about
Make decent human beings of every Teddy Boy and lout

As order declines we grow weaker as a nation
I heard my Arthur saying that on more than one occasion

It’s up to us as to set the standards we expect the kids to follow
Youth today seems to find hard work too hard to swallow

Strength of character; moral fibre; my Arthur preached restraint
Willpower and resilience, my Arthur was a saint

He led by example at a cost to his health
But for the train my Arthur would tell you so himself

I admit he’d had a drink, in moderation, nothing more
In fact he’d been drinking moderately since the afternoon before

He was heading to the G; my Arthur loved the cricket
He cut across the tracks to avoid buying a ticket

A dreadful day, cold and wet; the light was rather dim
He ran to catch the nine fifteen but the nine fifteen caught him

It’s ironic, all the thugs who should be tenanting our jails
And yet my dear, sweet Arthur ended going off the rails

Stick firmly to the tracks and the tracks look after you
That’s what my Arthur used to say; shows how much my Arthur knew

© Copyright 2019 Ian Bland


Also have a listen to “Everything or Nothing

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