Old Timers Lament

Did any old timers have any good days,
When all their songs weren’t sad and grave,
If love ever occurred, I give you my word,
There was usually a tragedy soon to be heard,
So which dreary souls dug this emotional hole,
Full of grey hyperbole,
That still takes its toll,

We all like to pretend,
Some good will ascend,
Until there’s a drowning,
Just around the bend,

As danny boy sang on yonder green hill,
He never expected his blood would be spilled,
The bag pipes they soared, with a heavenly din,
As life slowly ebbed out of our Scottish Jim.

And who couldn’t love sweet miss clementine,
A more likeable girl,
You would never find,
But the songwriter dumped her for the sister, and in time,
Depression and grief gripped sad Clementime,
Who’d been treated like a dog,
So she moped and pined,
“What of my pretty song,”
“Cause I ain’t ever a bride”
“Time to get drowned,”
She’d reached the end of her line;

Now shakespeare had heroes who died one at a time,
But William followed trends,
Of a much darker time,
In paintings and drawings no one ever smiled,
Our writer probably noticed that,
He couldn’t turn the tide.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream was more than it seems,
With scoundrels aplenty to truck, and to peeve,
Queen Titania and Oberon played games with the poor,
It happened while the peasants were having a snore,
I basically think they showed way too much gall,
Including that piece of work Puck,  who wasn’t a bore.

Romeo and Juliet they headed for domestic bliss,
We waited for the scene to see their first kiss,
If Juliet could have learnt to bake some decent bread,
Her stews and dumplings might have turned Romeo’s head,
Instead she believed what bad Mercutio said,
She came awfully close to happy and not dead.

The tavern in the town tried to jolly us along,
With music and laughter, it began a bright song,
The two were in love,
but is it time to pee?
She went to her grave while a wench sat on his knee.

This brings us to country music,
A place of true bile,
Where love is often lost, and cattle dogs die,
The tenessee waltz it started out fine,
If the cowboy was in luck,
He may have got piles.

Enter running bear,
 brave Indian with a past,
He’s truly in love but takes his  maid to task,
Could she barely dog paddle,
Or swim very fast?
While both of them drowned,
their last kiss was a blast.

And don’t forget you are still my sunshine today,
It makes us happy when skies are grey,
Millions sing it to their baby, to chase the blues away,
But this song really pongs, as he jilts her in the end,
Why depress your child with that,
When there’s panadol around the bend.

And who doesn’t love a cute nursery rhyme,
So cheerful, but what do we usually find,
We sing the black plague song with its ring a rosey vibe,
And then listen as Jack falls and damages his hide,
Have some empathy for Humpty as he begins his deathly slide,
Then feel sorry for mary, as her lambs go off to die,
She ends her day in gloom, can she bake the owner a pie?
Then a baby is rocked in a tree and goes splatter so it seems,
the three piglets turn into ham,
All thats missing are the screams.

It’s sad when a wiggles song is close to our very best,
So please select one that doesn’t involve wining little pests,
The worst that can happen is a children’s mess,
No fractures and no drowning,
No bad case of death.

So bring me no twaddle about the good old days,
Where old timers keep pretending,
While free from history’s gaze,
They may write bleak stories,
And with colour they like to share it,
We’ve discovered their little problem,
It was called grin and bear it.

About John
John started out as a cadet in 1970 at Bundaberg News Mail, continuing as a feature writer at Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, then began producing regular freelance articles for the Sunday Mail and New Idea. Later he took up science writing for Qld climate, water and soil scientists. Whimsical stories and humorous bush poetry is his current passion.

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