Deep & Meaningless



Deep & Meaningless

We cling to the words to remember the tune,
But they can be anything;
Who cares what words we sing ?
As long as it’s catchy, then no-one’s immune !
It’s tunes that are catchy –
The words can be patchy.
It doesn’t take poets to make songs a hit;
They’re nobody’s onus,
They’re there as a bonus.
As long as they rhyme and their rhythm will fit,
Well, that’s good enough –
Make them any old guff.
We all love some songs that make no sense at all:
Naive and inane,
But we’ll sing them again.
For music is music – it has us in thrall
From concert to single,
From opus to jingle.
We’re all of us guilty, we’ve all sung along –
We’ve all shown disloyalties,
Boosting their royalties,
Meanwhile ignoring some meaningful song
That wants to be soaring,
But just sounds so boring.

The cat’s meow
Is in the melody –
So, altogether now,
One, two, three:


Day-o, day-o,
Me gotta go.

Concerto for Air Guitar

air guitar


Concerto for Air Guitar

Here comes the good bit, so as we rehearsed:
Now form-up the stance and keep that head bowed
With your instrument horizontal at first,
And once or twice peek through your hair at the crowd.
Now throw your head back as you work with that plec,
Then lean to your right as you let your left rise;
Now slide it on down that invisible neck,
Saluting your fans as you open your eyes.



ONE two THREE four

Drumkit by Phil on Flickr


ONE two THREE four

Don’t you play that song again –
Really oughta be so funky,
Shame the drummer just ain’t spunky;
Plodding, stomping, session flunky,
Pissed-up, coked-up, beat-seat monkey.
He don’t get above a stroll,
He don’t got no rock and roll,
Don’t got rhythm, don’t got soul,
Don’t got mojo – goddam troll !
Stick them drumsticks, stick them drumsticks,
Stick ‘em up his glory-hole .
Thrash and prang with each kerrang,
He thumps them stumps with crash and bang,
And so from rock to plastic pop,
Your four-on-four will dick and dick and never stop,
And still the beat goes on.

So don’t you play that song again –
Backbeat’s back is broken, smashed up,
Merchandising sell-outs cashed-up,
Doped-out, hashed-up, secret stashed-up,
Shagged-out, lashed-up, nasty rashed-up,
Only beats in tedium,
Parties like a lady bum ,
Groupies strictly medium,
Rocking strictly stadium .
Stick them cymbals, stick them cymbals,
Right up his palladium .
He pounds each skin with shovels in,
His adequate won’t quit this din,
And so from dude to burned-out pock ,
Your four-on-four will suck and suck and never rock .
And still the beat goes on.



Between the Grooves

black vinyl player
Photo by Anton Hooijdonk on


Between the Grooves

Paul is dead, man.  Miss him, miss him, miss him !
So I call out to the devil, and offer him my bed –
I tell him “Sleep with me, I’m not too young;
But bring my lover back, put his words into my head.”
Satan he hears me, he has me believe:
“Just play all your albums, and listen where they’re slurred.”
He says “It’s fun to smoke marijuana,
It changes all music and the way you hear the words.”
So here’s to my sweet Satan –
I hear, against the flow, hidden in the track
The voice of Paul.  Turn me on, dead man.
He speaks to me once more when I play the records back.


The odd-numbered lines are examples of backtracks, or backwards-masking, that people with more time and less care for scratches have found hidden in their favourite albums.



Mutiny on the Waves



Mutiny on the Waves

“Caroline had to sing before London could swing”
                                                                    – Arthur Holford-Twigg

One hour per week – that’s all they give us:
One hour for Shadows & Beatles & Stones.
Just take what we’re given and don’t make a fuss
Of the hours and hours of classics and drones.
But lo !  Here come the free-marketeers,
With long hair and old spice and fresh new ideas !
And the great ship of state is under attack,
She’s running aground and unable to tack –
Her deck-chair arranging
Is only estranging –
The times are a-changing and cannot change back.

And into this fray comes the Gentleman Comrade –
What can he tell us to settle the storm ?
Sharp as a cutlass and slick as pomade,
And surely he favours free speech and reform ?
But lo !  It turns out that the new guard are blackguards
Their postmen are flatfoots, their viscount are braggarts.
The great ship of state is a quivering wreck,
With us in the galleys and them up on deck.
But the Spring tide is swelling,
The crew is rebelling –
The white heat you’re selling can’t keep us in check.

So who is the cutthroat and who is the tar ?
We’re hated by Churchill and hated by Marx.
We’re strung from the yardarm and lashed to the spar,
The system is rigged and we’re thrown to the sharks.
But lo !  The victory’s ours in the end,
And even these turncoats will learn how to bend.
The great ship of state has now squandered her rum,
So lay off the fiddle and bang a new drum.
A hard rain is falling
The future is calling
You’re only forestalling the booty to come.


I wrote this shortly after Tony Benn’s passing, and was reminded how BBC Radio 1 only came in existance due to his inability to shut down the (legal) pirate stations.  Such mixed lagacies we leave behind.



Dusty Jackets

pile of assorted novel books
Photo by Min An on


Dusty Jackets

If we can’t judge a book by its cover,
Then doesn’t that just tell us that their marketing is junk ?
Amateur and changing with their ev’ry new edition –
How can they hope to build a brand when faced with corp’rate bunk ?
So why are all these authors acquiescing to the bland,
And hiding all their bindings ?, shied away behind such flimsy card
That creases up and tatters through the simple act of reading.
You wouldn’t catch a band conceding for such vagaries unkind,
That leave their babies ripped and scarred
Cos publishers won’t go the extra yard.
After all, who thinks that Sgt Pepper should be redesigned ?
Or Dark Side of the Moon, perhaps, or Bad, or Nevermind ?




adult band black and white concert
Photo by Pixabay on



Rock should not be petrified, but pulsing through each vein;
Amplified, electrified, and pumping up the gain.
Strumming to a major key, counterpoint in fifth,
Tickling out the melody, teasing out the riff.
Echowashes linger, rippling out and out to heaven,
Tapped out through each fingertip, and cranked up to eleven.
Talent is a rare event, from who knows where or what;
Blessèd or genetic sent – you got it, like or not.

Play for me,
Play until your fingers bleed
And stain your strings in red.
Won’t you play for me,
Play my each awoken need, on oscillating thread:
Quivering through coils magnetic, shimmering with new aesthetic,
From a shining mind eidetic, visions sparkle round your head.
So play for me,
Play because your splendours feed my ev’ry living shred.

And yet your great ability will only stretch so far,
And no adept virility on wuthering guitar
Can fill the sucking cavity of your poetic hash,
Can give your couplets gravity, or potency, or flash.
And no electric symphony can make your rhyming king,
And no angelic harmony can make your lyrics sing
Talent, I can but surmise, is fickle what she brings
When genius in beauty lies on six vibrating strings

Play for me,
Play until your fingers span
My senses and my lot.
Won’t you play for me,
Play to make me greater than the sum of parts forgot.
Do not cling to rhymes pathetic, senseless oral anaesthetic
When you’re playing such poetic, why use choking words to clot ?
So play for me,
Play because you simply can, and we poor scribes cannot.