Poetry and Pictures from Tyneside by Alan Hartley

tyne poetry headerPhotograph ©Carol Haynes.

Hip Hip Hoo Bloody Rah

Who rallied the regiment's scattered ranks,
Blinded by sweat and smoke?
The Gatling jammed, the Colonel dead,
Lost in a square that broke.
We'll never know who raised the cry
"Play up and play the game!"
But we can guess the social class
From which the idiot came.

The true blue aristocracy
All sound the snotty same!

Who was it made the Empire great,
Britannia rule the waves,
Sailed mighty ships to foreign shores,
To fill their holds with slaves?
Who won monopolies in trade
By bribery and war,
Then shipped home to their grand estates
The loot they'd murdered for?

The true blue aristocracy,
And they came back for more!

Who was it held the status quo,
Protected Church and Crown?
At Tolpuddle and Peterloo,
Who knocked the upstart down?
Who fought to save the monarchy,
Kept the Old Order true?
And when reformers threatened,
Who ran the poor sods through?

The true blue aristocracy,
The Epper Clarss, thet's whoo!

Who will protect our foreign trade
Now that the Empire's gone?
We can't just send a battleship,
That sort of thing's not done.
Skilled diplomats are needed now
To keep the plebs in line.
What kind of breeding can produce
That sort of cunning swine?

The true blue aristocracy,
Those bastards will do fine!

Who can resist their cultured charm,
So debonair and gay,
The polished manners that enhance
The most select soirée,
The modulated voice that gives
That certain ambiance?
Just never turn your back on them,
If given half a chance,

The true blue aristocracy
Will steal your underpants!

How can they still hang on to power
By pulling family cords?
They hold no posts in government;
They've lost the House of Lords.
Yet they still wield their patronage
Where privilege holds sway,
And those who wish to join their club
Will have a price to pay.

The true blue aristocracy,
Those pillars of hypocrisy,
Will always thwart democracy
And find a way to stay.