Englefield Green Blues

Between 1994 and 1996 I worked at a small village shop in the village of Englefield Green in Surrey. I was twenty years old and it felt like the best job in the world, because I got to know all the local characters. The drunks, the ne’erdowells, the good people, the bad people. A local author who was published to great acclaim came in every day after the school run. A member of the House of Lords.the local vicar and the local priest, who would buy the Holy Water and take it away to be blessed. Oh, such good times.

While I was there I wrote a comedy novel called Englefield Green Blues, about a trainee guardian angel who was not very good at his job. The novel was a turning point for me because it was the first time that I employed, throughout the narrative, funny poetry. The other day I sat down and looked at the poems again. They may not be classics, but they take me right back to 1995.

1.
Englefield Green Blues
(A song for the ukulele)

Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang
Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang

I told my wife
I says to her
What you looking
At me for?
And she says back
To me that is
This cola’s lost its fizz

Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang
Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang

I took it back
To the corner shop
He says to me
What’s this for?
I says to him
You know what it is
This cola’s lost its fizz

Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang
Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang

You take a gulp
It’s stale and flat
I says to him
Well fancy that
Just get me a refund
No need for a tizz
This cola’s lost its fizz

Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang
Change of key
Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang
First key again
Plang plang plang plang pla-la-lang plang plang

This cola’s lost its fizz
This cola’s lost its fizz
Oh yeah this cola’s lost its fizz
No its hasn’t
Yes it has
No it hasn’t
Yes it has
This cola’s lost its fizz

2. Fairground

It’s a fairground, it’s a fairground
Adults full price children free
Merry go round, merry go round,
Will you take a ride with me?

Tunnel of love, dodge the dogems,
Life is but a chamber of horrors
When it’s midnight at the funfair
You don’t care about tomorrow.

Roll up
Roll down
Fall down
Roll over
Tell me when
This feelings over.
Fairground
Fairground
Fairground people
We’re all just visitors
We’re all just sampling
life.

Funfair funfair
Why the hell should you care?
You know where you’re going
You know you can’t get there
Merry go round, miserable go round
Candy floss yes please
Eat it quick, kiss me quick,
I’m begging on my knees!

Roll up
Roll down
Fall down
Roll over
Tell me when
This feelings over.
Fairground
Fairground
Fairground people
We’re all just visitors
We’re all just sampling
life.

Win a goldfish, win a horse
You can take it home, of course.
Life’s so happy, life’s so fab
I’m going to explode with mirth.
Throw your balls at aunt Sally,
She won’t throw them back.
Ha ha ha
Ha ha ha
Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa.

Roll up
Roll down
Fall down
Roll over
Tell me when
This feelings over.
Fairground
Fairground
Fairground people
We’re all just visitors
We’re all just sampling
life.

3. Flute

I played my flute
Till the cows came home.
Tum de tum de tum de de
Tum de tum de tum de de
I played my flute like a woman possessed
Toodle toodle toodle all day.

I played my flute
I played my flute
And then I stopped
For the cows had come home.

4. I Am A Genius

There is a fine line
Between genius and prat.
Like:
This poem is either brilliant
Or
Rubbish.
Ooga ooga ooga ooga ooga
As the sun sets over
Englefield Green
And the vampires walk the aisles
I ponder
I ponder life through poetry.
Ooga.

5. Silly hat.

Do not wear
A silly hat.
People will say
‘What is that?’
You will have
To take it off
We will then
Suppress a cough
That is really
A raucous laugh
Cos its sensible
By half
To wear a hat
That suits your head
Wear that hat?
I’d rather be dead!

6. Strong wind pot tragedy.

Flower pot
On the wall
In the gale
Defying all.

Flower pot.
On the ground.
Potting compost
All around.

7. Untitled (Although Now It’s Called That It Has a Title,
Therefore No Longer Untitled)

The cosmos is so big
And I am so small
You should never get the two confused.
Lord knows, I don’t!
It would be embarrassing
To book into an hotel
Under the name ‘Existence’
Or look up at the night sky
And say
‘Doesn’t George look lovely tonight?’

IMG_5380

Author: Robert Garnham

Performance and spoken word artist.

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