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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Goodbye Continong

Whatever happens to Britain, it’ll take ages – perhaps for ever – to suggest
we’re not a bunch of oafs. Since oafishness prevails, here’s another tranche*.

*French for slice.

Damn Brexit, curse Brexit,
And all the votes that spawned it,
To seek a past that never was,
And bring us this Hell's armpit.

Not Europe, they whimpered,
They'll do us down, unhindered.
They envy us our history,
And all the duds we've knighted.

Those rightists, those Tories,
Those half-told fairy stories
Who gave a crown to butch BJ
To choke half Kent with lorries.

It’s fear that’s behind it,
It’s foreign and they mind it
Un-English is what scares their pants
Although M. Thatcher signed it.

No grand thoughts, no culture,
Just relish for a rupture
A love of futile loneliness
And pickings for a vulture.

Oh England, you shame me
I don’t care if you blame me,
I care for European peace
And, yes, I am the same me

To the tune of A-tisket, a-tasket.
For a sprechstimme version click HERE

Tecno-note. For several years, thanks to MikeM, I've used dead simple Picosong
to post audio files to my blog. But Picosong has closed down. No worries,
Soundcloud is even simpler


  1. Such creative spririt in the face of this mess. Admirable.

    We watched some shor video clips on the prorogation ceremony, if that's the right word, you know that woman dressed in black tights with the whatshallwecallit over her shoulder etc. and one of the visitors from a far away country (with a functioning democracy) asked whether this was an episode of Blackadder.

    Today I read an interview with Richard Dawkins (via The Irish Times website) where he compares brexit to religion and brexiteers to religious zealots. Enlightening, for lack of a better word.
    Anyway, my heart goes out ot you, somewhat. If this shit hits the fan and you find yourself in no-deal brexit land, it'll be a while before you feel the feects, I hope.

  2. *facts but feects sounds good, too.

  3. Sabine: I think your spelling of "facts" is in keeping with the gallimaufry that is Britain's system of government at the moment. No need for any correction.

    I didn't realise there was a ceremony for prorogation but then Parliament has a ceremony for nearly everything. Possibly even for BJ's ritual seppuku which can't be too far off now.

    Dawkins is right and I've made his point many times. Yes there was a comparatively small majority for leaving the EU after the 2016 referendum. What the Brexiteer MPs are saying is that the voters' decision implied "whatever the cost". Nothing can deflect this self-interested group of fanatics from enacting what they refer to as "the will of the British people", conveniently ignoring that Scotland voted to remain. Even if it results in going to war with Germany? Bring it on, these mad Neannderthals would say.

    Thank you for your sympathy. These are hard times for singing songs in German.

  4. Beth: I appreciate that, I really do. The tone is vulgar but then so is the prolonged event. There's suffering ahead but not for the prime movers. Their greatest lie has been one of omission: Brexit, they chanted, while failing to add "whatever the cost". I am not a conventional patriot, I've never been "My country right or wrong." Which is perhaps just as well.

  5. Robbie, your TisketTasket ditty works really well and the schoolboy nyah nyah nyah taunting tone perfectly satirises the kind of Englishness which Jacob Rees Mogg and Clown Prince Boris exemplify. But of course they'd be incapable of satire.

  6. Natalie: I agree, the ERGs (an erg, by the way, is also a tiny - 7.375621×10−8 ft⋅lbf - unit of work; make of this what you will) are beyond satire. They have got where they've got by studiously avoiding any reference to the consequences of Brexit other than to say jocularly "the road will be a bit bumpy". Keep your eyes and ears open for a new set of lies when the UK starts running out of aspirin.

    However, one must do what one may, and - if possible - look for original ways of framing one's protest. The rhythmic pattern of A-tisket, a-tasket is quite demanding but I'm proudest of:

    To seek a past that never was

    which dropped in quite neatly. I was also conscious of what may be satire's finest moment - in the run-up to an election long past, the BBC decided to withold screening of Have I got news for you during the final two weeks on the grounds that it might make viewers lose faith in politicians. So somebody once was scared.

  7. The'past that never was'is hardwired into the ERGs brains and, unfortunately, infects those vulnerable to such infection. When will a vaccine be developed against bullshit?

  8. I was just reminded of one of the lesser known and rather long Yeats poem "Nineteen hundred and nineteen" (which is all about the Anglo-Irish war and Yeats's fear for artistic and cultural Ireland) which has this stanza:

    "There lurches past, his great eyes without thought
    Under the shadow of stupid straw-pale locks,
    That insolent fiend . . ."

    Of course, not BJ but almost. The fiend in question is one Robert Artisson, who had an entaglement with an Irish witch who in turn had to run for her life and hide in England. All 14th century, complicated Irish mythology.
    But fitting.

  9. Natalie: "Hard-wired" suggests electronics, ERG's yearnings aren't that modern. Perhaps we can work out an insult based on the abacus.

    Sabine: Three comments! I am thrice blessed and reflect: I only have to provide the right button (not a negligible matter, alas) and you become eloquent on my behalf. Nay! Four times blessed.

    Yeats' complete poems come as a free download for Kindle but I have a faint suspicion you haven't been Kindle-ised. The layout is rough-and-ready and I find this discouraging. In any case I came late to poetry and tend to baulk at poems which run on to a second page. I know, it's childish.

    Happily you have bitten on the "rather long" bullet for me and come up with a pearl of great price (How many mixed metaphors in that one, eh?). I think you should submit it to The Guardian letters page. As you say it's quite close to our Beloved Classical Scholar. Johnson's default posture is the crouch and this causes him to lurch and/or stumble as a means of locomotion.. Because his eyebrows are blonde they appear invisible; as a result his eyes are round and porcine, expressing either surprise or self-love that precedes a joke in poor taste. I dare say we could work in an Irish witch as a synonym for back-stop