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Poetry Magnum Opus

Julia. Liverpool. 1924


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I cannot live in this life

in the shadow of me ma and da,

if it’s only for the shame of it;

I’ve no wish in the world to get married

to some clappety eejit from the bank

or some chap in a solid company

stroking his silly moustache.


I’d rather run off to Arabia

or race away to India and get caught up

with one of them dusky princes.

I spend a lot of time at the films, I do,

my job is to play at the piano, to fit

the music to what the actors be doing,

and I’m awfully good at it.


I love England, actually I don’t,

this country gives me a headache.

I wish I was away somewhere, far away

on a romantic wonderful weekend with some

marvellous, marvellous man

and me ma says that will never happen.


Watch out for sweet-talking men, she says,

they be only out for the wan thing.

Jesus Christ, ma, so am I!

Drown your sorrows in drink, by all means, but the real sorrows can swim

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