Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

A Tale of Two Cities

Academic journal article Cross / Cultures

A Tale of Two Cities

Article excerpt

I wrote those words, gave a short shriek and cursed:

Some pommy bastard had pinched my title first!

But since it sets down just what I have to say

I think I'll use the damned thing anyway

For though many a pommy bastard may be miffed

It won't bother the subject of this festschrift,

Who first faced life in sandy Southport: Southport,

It's in the north of course, a sort

Of directional confusion, a sandbank of delusion

To you and me, fed by the fervour of the Irish Sea,

A town over which sand, like boredom, flowed,

Home of the Lawnmower Museum and Natterjack Toad,

But so near Liverpool with people who thought fit

That the city turn out another mock-Scouse git

Where sea and sky unite in a grey more ugly than

The grit gufflng the soul of every Liverpudlian,

But not our Geoff s. Every tide must have its turn

And in his youth every youthful eye would yearn

To be where sea shanty and skiffle riffled on dixies

Brought in the frank and frisky, frenzied Sixties

When the hip got high and sexy, and their parents apoplexies

To the pulse of Cilia Black, Merseybeats, the Undertakers

- The Cavern would have 'em, plus Gerry's odd Pacemakers -

And every young mouth could shout the lingo

Of John and George and Paul and Ringo.

Even now many think that's what Liverpool gave us

But what it really gave us, God save us, was Davis!

With rocking sounds below and endless drizzle above

He might be the walrus but money can't buy me love;

By these shores our hero might long have lingered

But it's not every city has an Ingrid.

So he danced into Deutschland, almost by chance

- 1 think he mistook it for the south of France;

Despite his earnest search for eminent champagne

He washed into the beery city of Charlemagne

Where for centuries the people had argued like hell

Whether they were in farkin' Aachen or Aix-la-Chapelle. …

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