Here’s a selection of recent poems and a few old favourites.

Videos for That Government Healthcare Policy In Full recorded with The Resurrectors and What A State! recorded with DJ Mescalito can be seen here together with live performances of a number of other pieces.

Lifestyle Choice

You Say Tomato We Say Potato

This Is Just To Say
(forgive me William Carlos Williams)

Sunakered Nation

Sorry Bout That

Disunited Kingdom Come

Learning To Live

The Little Book of Lockdown 3


Help Yourself

Covid’s Metamorphoses

What Did You Do In The Plague Daddy?

Who Do I Think I Am?

Follow The Science

What A State!

Please Leave Our Town

The Johnsons

(The Resistible Rise of) The Milkshake Martyr

Cloud Cuckoo Land

The Unco Guid, True Believers

Me, Myselfie & I

Taking Back Control


Stating The Bleeding Obvious

A Miracle - for Helen

Ghost Towers In The Sky


The Immigration Alphabet

Gimme Some Truthiness

9.3% Swing

Question Time

31 Descriptions of Donald J Trump’s Haircut

No More Mister Nice Guy

Rise Up

Are You Being Served?

A Bed At The Ritz

Three Haikus

The Queen’s Speech

Uisge Gu Leoir


The Inexorable March Of Western Cultural Hegemony

You Can Call Me Dave

This Land’s Not Your Land

A Jolly Good Bun-Fight


Turkey Shoot





Lifestyle Choice (back to top)

“….we cannot allow our streets to be taken over by rows of tents 
occupied by people, many of them from abroad, living on the streets 
as a lifestyle choice” (Suella Braverman - 4th November, 2023)

Choose gold-dusted bricks and mortar
Choose home-sweet-home pipe dreams
Choose property’s broken ladder
Choose sink estates and schemes
Choose boarded-up shop windows
Choose county line knife crime
Choose a vibrant postcode 
Choose authentic grit and grime
Choose a des-res rabbit-hutch 
Choose rocketing rent roulette
Choose black mould and rising damp
Choose soaring stress and debt
Choose wage-slave-zero-hours
Choose a life of slender means
Choose the cost of living blues
Choose food bank baked beans
Choose Lord Dave’s austerity
Choose subsistence on your knees
Choose the price of staying alive
Choose to starve or freeze
Choose an abusive partner 
Choose booze to numb the fear
Choose a violent neighbour
Choose survival’s thin veneer
Choose to lose your dead-end job
Choose to lose your fraying mind
Choose loan shark wonga cowboys
Choose insecurity unconfined
Choose silent desperation
Choose spiralling addiction 
Choose a grasping landlord
Choose forcible eviction
Choose surfing on friends’ sofas
Choose no fixed abode
Choose al fresco freedom
Choose Kerouac on the road
Choose down and out with Orwell
Choose skid row creeping closer
Choose your daily stale bread
Choose a dustbin for a grocer
Choose the gutter for a garden
Choose rain clouds for a roof
Choose wet dog days in shop doorways
Choose sleeping on the hoof
Choose concrete for your pillow
Choose cardboard for your bed
Choose newspaper blankets
Choose bone-weary limbs of lead
Choose plastic bags for a wardrobe
Choose threadbare apparel
Choose Chaplin’s cheeky bowler hat
Choose Diogenes’ barrel
Choose electric soup for breakfast
Choose cold comfort’s drowsy chill
Choose pleurisy and frostbite
Choose affliction’s bitter pill
Choose drunken post-pub boots and fists
Choose bruising degradation
Choose being shunned and side-stepped
Choose routine humiliation
Choose to be a refugee 
Choose torture, terror and war
Choose begging for compassion
Choose to be foreign señor
Choose being branded vermin
Choose constant vilification
Choose “idle”, “eyesore”, “nuisance”
Choose “squalid infestation”
Choose to build a city of tents
Choose an urban bedouin camp
Choose to maximise your status 
Choose to be a super-tramp
Choose rogue ‘n vagabond vagrancy
Choose 200 year old laws
Choose punishment for existing
Choose incarceration outdoors
Choose sharp spikes and metal bars
Choose hostile street designs
Choose unusable park benches
Choose unpayable futile fines
Choose tunnel, drain and underpass
Choose blind alley cul-de-sacs
Choose living on the margins
Choose falling through the cracks
Choose to be invisible
Choose to have no voice
Choose to be a no-one
It’s all just a lifestyle choice

by elvis mcgonagall, february 2024
for the blue lantern homelessness project






You Say Tomato We Say Potato (back to top)

We have done our very best to fulfil your online 
  grocery order 
Where an item is unavailable we have delivered
  a carefully chosen substitute
If it costs less we charge you less
If it costs more we won’t charge you the extra 
The following substitutes are the most appropriate 
  alternatives to the products you have ordered:
1/2 dozen organic eggs - replaced with a 
  free-range chicken
One bunch of spring onions - replaced with a 
  bunch of daffodils
HP 302 black ink cartridge - replaced with a bottle 
  of HP Sauce 
Toilet rolls - currently out-of-stock - replaced with
  16 sausage rolls
Potatoes are in short supply, please accept this 
  multipack of salt & vinegar Monster Munch instead
Yes, we have no bananas, we have-a no bananas 
  today but we do have this tub of Ben & Jerry’s 
  Chunky Monkey ice-cream
We regret that after a diligent search of the warehouse
  by our entire staff we can’t find any Twiglets but here’s 
  a bumper box of Mr Waggy dog chews ’n gravy bones
In lieu of toilet rolls which are still out-of-stock we have 
  sent 16 rolls of sellotape 
A punnet of Kiwi fruit cannot be had for love or money
  but we hope you enjoy this tin of Kiwi shoe polish
Vin Rouge Ordinaire is far too French to deliver but 
  may we tempt your palette with a litre of citrus-scented 
  bleach and a packet of wine gums?
Quorn Vegan Meatballs? You’re having a laugh snowflake. 
  Eco-friendly-cruelty-free goose liver pate is what you’re
  getting - like it or lump it
We’ve completely run out of Cantabrian anchovy fillets 
  which we’ve swapped for a giant carton of salted caramel 
  chocolate popcorn  - as recommended by 12 year old 
  TikTok Influencer and Brand Ambassador Princess Nutella - 
Toilet rolls continue to be out-of-stock. Never mind. 
  We’re fobbing you off with 16 roll-on deodorants
Pure British mineral water has been discontinued
  and is replaced with a six-pack of natural spring
The 10.32 train to London Paddington is cancelled
  and replaced with a can of Thomas the Tank Engine
  pasta shapes in tomato sauce
GP appointments are past their sell-by date and have 
  been replaced by a copy of “Surgery For Dummies”,
  a scalpel and a bottle of Scotch
The Royal Mail has been mislaid and replaced by a 
  brace of arthritic homing pigeons in hi-viz vests
Postman Pat and his black and white cat have been
  sacked and replaced by Tony Soprano and an XL
  Bully dog
The ambulance you requested last week is sadly still 
  delayed but your call is important to us so a hearse 
  driven by The Slag Brothers from “The Wacky Races” 
  will be along shortly
This scepter’d isle, this precious stone set in the
  silver sea, this blessed plot, this realm, this England
  has been replaced by a 20 stone smoked English 
  gammon shank with a bitter beer glaze
Public property has been sold to a Chinese private 
  equity firm and is replaced by a scrapyard full of 
  reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete crumble
The glitterin’-West-End-red-carpet-O2-Arena career
  you expected was but a wholly improbable vision 
  of baseless fabric melted into air, into thin air. 
  It has been replaced by a giant pepper mill filled 
  with crushed dreams and pickled disappointment. 
  Which, considering this drivel you’re writing, isn’t 
  entirely surprising
Your two week holiday in the sun has been replaced by
  a BBQ flavoured burning inferno in the bowels of
  Hades but at no extra cost to you! It’s the same 
  bargain-bin price - just one failing ecosystem on a 
  dying planet! Cheap as chips!
The truth is hard to come by and has been replaced by
  emotion, spurious certainty and deranged conspiracy 
  theories promulgated by the fat-fingered jabbing of
  idiotic keyboard warriors
Peace on earth is unattainable and replaced by military 
  drones dropping bombs on hospitals
Production of all hope has been suspended and replaced
  by a tiny jar of powdered unicorn horn hand-ground by
  magical pixies in the canyons of the latest despotic
  demagogue’s mind
The whimsically comical nature of this piece has been 
  replaced by an Edvard Munch style howl of despair 
But toilet rolls are now back in stock
Have a nice, clean, strong, long, super-soft day

by elvis mcgonagall, january 2024 



This Is Just To Say
(forgive me William Carlos Williams)
(back to top)

I did not eat the plums that were in the icebox
and which you were probably saving for breakfast
I was eating a pizza in Woking
an unusual thing for me to do
I remember it weirdly, distinctly
The plums were delicious, so sweet and so cold
allegedly - I wouldn’t know
because I was eating a pizza in Woking
I agree that looks like me grinning in the photo
standing next to your fridge with sticky dribble
on my chin and my hand in a fruit bowl
an empty fruit bowl, a fruit bowl free of plums
juicy plums plucked when young and ripe
apparently, or so they tell me
but I have simply no recollection of that photo
ever being taken
a photo taken in your kitchen in Belgravia
a kitchen I never went into
and anyway, I was eating a pizza in Woking
I did not have sexual relations with that
underage woman
I have no recollection of ever meeting that
underage woman
I was eating a pizza in Woking
I did not do it, it never happened
I did not inhale, I wasn’t there
I was not on the grassy knoll
I was not in the book depository
I did not kill Bambi
I did not frame Roger Rabbit
I did not jab Charles with a protractor
I did not strangle Professor Plum in the
ballroom with a candlestick
I do not know a Miss Scarlett
I was eating a pizza in Woking
with a knife and fork
I did not buy that underage woman drinks in
private-members-only Tramp nightclub
I do not know where the bar is in private
members-only Tramp nightclub
I do not drink
I do not buy drinks in nightclubs
I have a drinks butler to do that sort of thing
and I was eating a pizza in Woking
with a diet Coke - ice, no lemon
I did not get heavy-petty-sweaty on the dance floor
at private-members-only Tramp nightclub with that
underage woman
because I do not perspire, secrete, ooze, drip or
swelter profusely
and I was eating a pizza in Woking
without any need for deodorant
I did not know that my good friend Jeffrey was a
famous international sex traffic paedophile playboy
there was no indication of this during our
straightforward royal shooting weekends
or while travelling in his private plane
or relaxing on his private island
or over dinner in Palm Beach
you see this is the problem
an awful lot of this was going on in the United States
and I wasn't a party to it and I knew nothing about it
and I naturally assumed that Jeffrey had a large
number of highly attractive nieces some of whom
happened to be Russian and who gave excellent
foot massages
although I can’t make any comment because I don’t
really know and I am too honourable
I am just a chap who likes travelling to Surrey on a
whim to eat slabs of dough topped with tomato sauce
cheese and various chopped vegetables and meats
baked at a high temperature in a wood-fired oven
I do regret that Jeffrey conducted himself in a
manner unbecoming and let the side down
but I do not regret our friendship
because it gave me opportunities
actually very useful opportunities
to learn about business
the absolutely vital business of flouncing about
the globe in the lap of luxury doing deals with
dodgy regimes as Her Majesty’s special
representative for international trade and
and I do not regret strolling through Central Park
with a convicted sex offender
or staying at his New York mansion
because it was a convenient place to stay
handy for the subway to New Jersey
if one wanted to grab a quick slice of pizza in
and I did not use a penny of public money to make
that underage woman’s lawsuit against me go away
by giving twelve million quid to someone I never met
for something I never did
Mummy helped me pay her off
Because I am a prince
and I eat pizzas in Woking

by elvis mcgonagall, september 2023







Sunakered Nation (back to top)

People of Britain.
I am your PM.
Project Manager, Team Integrity, The Apprentice.
I know we’re all sitting in the loser’s cafe after the
failure of the vegan dog food task but that’s not
my fault. It was because we had a pandemic.
I can do this Lord Sugar.
I can run this great country.
I am humbled, honoured and super excited - #hereforit.
I’ve sharpened all my pencils.
I have shiny shoes, a nice smile and a sensible haircut.
I have several Persil white, crisply ironed, slim-fit shirts.
I am professional.
Yes - I shop at Prada for Kids but my trousers are not
too short - just look at my elegant ankles.
This job is not too big for me. I am the grown-up in the
room. My Peloton instructor told me that as I was
climbing up the little ladder to the saddle. Great guy.
I will never step off the bicycle of economic stability.
I will pedal us all to prosperity with motivation that
moves you.
I will go the extra mile.
Let me be clear - I’ve got what it takes to smash it.
I am focussed on delivering for you guys 24/7, day in,
day out.
I will get things done and that is the right thing to do.
See it. Say it. Sorted.
I'm so good at catchphrases they call me Slogan Roy.
Joke! LOL! I can be funny!
Of course, I know that now is not a time for laughing.
I am a serious person.
I fully appreciate how hard things are.
The cost of heating your swimming pool goes up and up.
There is a national shortage of helicopter pilots.
Luxury knitwear is more expensive every day.
I understand. I feel your pain.
I can live like common people.
I can do whatever common people do.
I can fill a car with petrol.
I can pay for the petrol with one of those contact lens
card things.
And so I guarantee that we are going to get through this.
We will hold our nerve, shut our eyes and hope for the best.
Every little thing is going to be alright. The UK will be OK.
Because I am good with numbers Lord Sugar.
I am totally on it 110%.
I have five cans of Pledge to deliver peace of mind,
gleaming surfaces and a refreshing scent.
Shake. Spray. Wipe. Another brilliant slogan!
I have the vision to do today what is needed for tomorrow -
not yesterday.
Nothing ever changes by staying the same. Quite literally.
I will not shy away from difficult decisions about hitting
small, carnivorous mammals of the weasel family.
I will bop the stoats.
Because bopping the stoats is a priority for the British people.
And I am focussed on delivering priorities.
Bop the stoats. Bop the stoats and their woke nonsense.
Is this right? Could someone please check the facts? I need
some altitude on this.
I will only promise what I can deliver and I will deliver what I
I will push the envelope, move the needle and run it up the
I will drill down, peel the onion and take it to the next level.
I will step up to the plate, look under the bonnet, mirror,
signal, manoeuvre and pull out.
I will pivot, circle back round and impact a paradigm shift.
I will leverage our synergies across all the upstream
verticals and flipchart some concepts around.
I will open the kimono and stir-fry ideas in the policy wok.
If we went to Mars right now I’d find a way to be excellent
because I am a solutions sherpa.
Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there’s footprints on
the moon.
I’m not a one-trick pony Lord Sugar, I’m a whole field of
ponies. I am a champion thoroughbred.
I’m not here to fuck spiders.
Error 404. Page not found.
Low battery.
This AI chatbot will go to sleep soon unless plugged into a
power outlet.
Thank you for the opportunity Lord Sugar.

by elvis mcgonagall, july 2023




Sorry Bout That  (back to top)

Inspired by Adrian Mitchell’s poem “Sorry Bout That”

“All of us will want to be grateful for what Boris Johnson 
did during the Covid pandemic” (Michael Gove)

Cum excrementum percusserit the fan
Then cometh the hour cometh the man

A 21st century Winston Churchill
Ruffle hair, spaff out a bit of Virgil

Work round the clock for nearly one week
Fly Coconut Airways to sunny Mustique

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Freebie holidays are sacrosanct
Sorry bout that

Ignore the sirens, fingers in ears
Pour another stiff gin - chin-chin, cheers!

Emergency meetings? Skip the ballyhoo
Storm in a teacup - it’s the “new swine flu”

Lick a doorknob, shake a leper’s hand
Business as usual in never-never land

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Scary Jackanory story
Sorry bout that

# sad face, wheel out the boffins
Alas old crumblies can’t dodge coffins

Them’s the vagaries, pensioners die
Let it all rip - let the bodies pile high

Hospitals full - it’s bed blocker syndrome
Send the sick back to a who cares home

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Unprecedented situation
Sorry bout that

Leave the back door open, lock the front porch
Search for germs with a powerful torch

Buy Mickey Mouse masks from a chum down the pub
There’s money to be made by the old boys’ club

Advertise half-price burgers ’n fries
Roll out viral Walter Mitty lies 

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
And I mean that most sincerely folks
Sorry bout that

Tesco Metro trolley dash Friday - natch
El vino collapso - down the hatch

Spluttering cake crumbs, splattering vomit
What a swell work event, more cheese Gromit?

It’s a rich man’s world, sing “Mamma Mia!”
Swing my pants from the chandelier

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Your granny died all alone? 
Sorry bout that
You watched her funeral on your phone?
Sorry bout that
Sorry for your inconvenience
Sorry bout that
If you were offended
Sorry bout that

Total rhubarb, piffle, drivel, wibble
Nothing to see here Officer Dibble

Guidance-schmuidance - all such a blur
Broke no rules - whatever they were

Did all one could, got the big calls right
Regrettably no reason to be contrite

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Rules are for the little people
Sorry bout that

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
A quarter of a million dead
Sorry bout that

Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Truly sadly deeply
V.grim reapily
Crocodile weepily
Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Unreservedly, profusely
Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Miserere de profundis
Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Mea culpa
Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
Ever so, so, so humbly
Sorry bout that
Sorry bout that
My bad
Will that do?
What more do you want?

by elvis mcgonagall, june 2023




Disunited Kingdom Come (back to top)

Welcome to Britain’s Tory Dystopia

Scrape the barrel, bang the drum
Disunited kingdom come

Mark the cards and stack the deck
Twist the truth and bend the rules
Down the gaslit rabbit hole
Wonderland for thieves and fools

White collar gangsta paradise
It’s the business, dodge your tax
Grease your cronies’ grubby palms
On your knees for Goldman Sachs

Do the gridlock, do the backlog
Do the dead-end bottleneck
Do the far-out-funky Brexit
Burn down the discotheque

Scrape the barrel, bang the drum
Disunited kingdom come

Quick march right, right, far right
Taste the iron heeled boot
Stamp out dissent and difference
Sausages are the only fruit

Saxon sons need no salad
Feed Albion raw meat
Propagate Two Minutes Hate
John Bulldog whistle tweet

Lefty gender tofu traitor
Snowflake lawyers save the whale
Being woke’s a thoughtcrime
Don’t pass go, go straight to jail

Scrape the barrel, bang the drum
Disunited kingdom come

Beware migrant invaders
Sink their rubber armada
Let those Marxist Muslims drown
Britannia owes them nada

God save the English Channel
Give us British fish to fry
Blessed be the fruitcakes
Under his jaundiced eye

Seaside sewage, it’s so bracing
Come on in, don’t be shit scared
Take back control of excrement
Made in Britain, non la merde

Scrape the barrel, bang the drum
Disunited kingdom come

Shun the swinish multitude
Winners only go first class
Rob Oliver Twist’s food bank
Level up his Khyber Pass

Be selfish for the greater good
Easy Street must be well-kept
Doublethink tank joy ride
Atlas shrugged, Jesus wept

King and country, shag the flag
Union Jackanory glory
Praise be banana monarchy
Goodbye Blighty, end of story

Scrape the barrel, bang the drum
Disunited kingdom come

by elvis mcgonagall, november 2022



Learning To Live (back to top)

A Country & Western Ballad

My heart is aching, skip skipping a beat
You’ve given me fever, knocked me off my feet
I’m breathless, I’m dizzy, I’m white as a sheet
Yes I’m learning to live with Covid

Got a smoker’s cough of 40 a day
Red wine tastes rank - septic tank Beaujolais
I can’t even smell the cat litter tray
Guess I’m learning to live with Covid

My lungs are collapsing, my limbs are like lead
There’s a pneumatic drill inside my head
Woke up this morning, found out I was dead
I’m just learning to live with Covid

I’m trying to buy a single mangetout
I’m stuck at the back of an eternal queue
Thank God my Y-fronts are red, white and blue
Yes I’m learning to live with Brexit

My horizons have shrunk like deflating balloons
I’m taking my holidays in Wetherspoons
Crimson faced like the arse of an angry baboon
Guess I’m learning to live with Brexit

I can’t see a doctor, I can’t find a nurse
I’m falling apart but hey things could be worse
Can’t get an ambulance? Call for a hearse
I’m just learning to live with Brexit

I can’t afford food, I can’t afford heat
I’m grilling some cardboard, it’s the new meat
I’m burning my sofa, ain’t got a seat
Yes I’m learning the cost of living

I’m lining my pockets, I’m emptying yours
I’m hiding my hedge fund on foreign shores
I’m being pleasured by financial whores
Guess I’m learning to live like a Tory

I’m venal, I’m vile, blinkered and bitter
I’m spewing my bile all over Twitter
I’m sailing this ship right down the shitter
I’m just learning to rule like a Tory

I’m enjoying the sunshine, it’s 40 degrees
My shoes are on fire, my hair’s melted cheese
I’m a prawn on a barbie, deep fry me please
Yes I’m flirting with climate disaster

I’m watching bombs fall on faraway crowds
Those Russian rockets sure seem awful loud
Jesus Christ look at that big mushroom cloud!
Guess I’m staring at nuclear war

Well we are where we are, that’s what they say
Here comes armageddon sing yippee-ai-ay
Gotta carpe the diem, seize judgment day
I’m just learning to live in the moment

Live in the moment before it’s too late
Live in the moment before it’s too late
Live in the moment before it’s too….

by elvis mcgonagall, august 2022




The Little Book of Lockdown 3 (back to top)

Let the windmills of your mind grind to a halt
Be in the moment, escape time’s measure
Appreciate the luxury of boredom
Find wonder in life’s small, fleeting pleasures

Make headspace, embrace the commonplace
Wake up and smell the cat litter tray
Breathe and stretch, savour your lumbago
Gaze at the drab, dreich sky of Hancock grey

Tread lightly through last night’s feline vomit
Heave ho your hoover, sing a sea shanty
Weather bleak midwinter with Nordic Noir
Drown dry January’s dregs in Chianti

Engage with your rage shouting at the news
You’re King Lear on a sofa eating cake
Discuss some Schopenhauer with the cats
Then back to bed for a well earned break

Perchance to dream of a brighter world
A sweaty mosh-pit of colour and noise
Where hope survives and Godot might arrive
To swap our sorrow for infinite joys

by elvis mcgonagall, january 2021




Alchemy (back to top)

Disaster, despair, desolation, fear
The daily shock and horror hue and cry
Yet in a corner of this weary world
There’s a man making diamonds from the sky*

There’s a footballer feeding the hungry
There’s an artist saving souls lost at sea
There are strangers pulling lives from ruin
Untold tenderness shows who we can be

Selfless compassion turns rust into gold
It un-cages our hope and lets it fly
For we are the stuff of stardust and dreams
And we can all make diamonds from the sky

by elvis mcgonagall, november 2020

* Ecotricity founder Dale Vince is planning to make diamonds from carbon, water
and energy sourced directly from the elements at a “sky mining” facility in Stroud.



Help Yourself (back to top)
(Another Public Service Announcement
by the UK Government)

Fight germs in the airport lounge
Fight germs on foreign beaches
Fight your fears, sweat blood and tears
Recycle Churchill speeches

Keep Mammon alive 9 to 5
Commute for the greater glory
Dulce et decorum est
Pro Pret a Manger mori

Eat out to spread it about
Drop Jager Bombs on the virus
U-turn, reverse your ferret
Twerk from home with Miley Cyrus

Heed the rule of six feet under
Comply with the Da Vinci Code
Hands, face, space, drink, feck, arse
Follow the yellow brick road

Save Christmas, never surrender
Don’t let the bells end, don’t give in
Get roaring drunk by 10pm
Let your hair down with discipline

Stiffen sinews, do your duty
England expects you to behave
Lock all empty stable doors
Wear smiley masks at a rave

Book a Covid test in Narnia
Isolate together without fail
Download Aladdin’s magic app
Track and trace the Holy Grail

Load up with silver bullets
Aim high, shoot grouse on the moon
Button up your overcoat
Whistle a happy tune

Don’t look back in anger
Don’t take your love to town
Hold a chicken in the air
Do the disco duck, get down

Help yourself, be viable
Find a new job, do the right thing
Cross your fingers, clutch at straws
Hibernate, wake up next spring

by elvis mcgonagall, october 2020




Covid’s Metamorphoses * (back to top)

Life is shrink-wrapped, sanitised, sedated
Time is melting like unctuous Camembert
This is Groundhog Day by JG Ballard
Throbbing Gristle singing Sonny & Cher

* Pretentious pun alert.

by elvis mcgonagall, august 2020




What Did You Do In The Plague Daddy? (back to top)

I did not bake sourdough bread

I did not learn Greek or read “Bleak House”

I did not feel the burn doing “bouncing bunnies” with Joe
“The Body Coach” Wicks

I did not sing Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 hit “Don’t Worry Be
Happy” in an a cappella zoom choir

I did not crochet my own crockery while watching Kirstie
Allsopp’s “Keep Crafting and Carry On”

I did not clear out the under-stairs cupboard or the
Augean stables

I did not bake banana bread #nomnom

I did not take up calligraphy

I did not tattoo a rainbow on my forehead

I did not Zumba in the street

I did not put on a puppet show of Marcel Proust’s “A La
Recherche du Temps Perdu”

I did not play be-bop jazz on my mediaeval crumhorn

I did not increase my emotional bandwidth

I did not knit Greek sourdough bread 

I did not livestream myself Riverdancing with a sourdough
baguette stuck up my arse in front of my beautiful bookshelf
crammed with important, contemporary literature secretly
chosen for the colour of the books’ spines which when
arranged alphabetically form an exact reproduction of a
Mondrian painting

I did not embark on a journey of self-discovery to un-map my
life and acquire the tools to optimise my spiritual development,
sharing my enhanced consciousness with the world by talking
in an upward inflection

I did not podcast

I drank gin in the garden. In my pyjamas. With the cats

by elvis mcgonagall, june 2020



Who Do I Think I Am? (back to top)

I’m the bad-ass Spad fresh outta the box
My brain is bigger than Mr Spock’s

I’m the rebel renegade mastermind
Extra Special like Asda, one of a kind

I don’t wanna brag, I don’t wanna boast
But check out my hoodie I’m sex on toast

I’m the hip-hop hepcat technocrat
I’m Jesus Christ in a beanie hat

I never tuck my shirt into my jeans
I’m ahead of my time like Milton Keynes

I’m a Bond villain in a body warmer
Yeah I’m as hot as chicken korma

Satan loves me ‘cos I’m diabolical
I’m Rasputin with challenged follicles

I’m Machiavelli, I’m Svengali
I’m “An Angry Egg” by Salvador Dali

I’m intergalactic, iconoclastic
Uber-Cumberbatch bro - yo fantastic

I’m the zookeeper for the Tory chimps
I got all the negatives, bring out the gimps

I’m your uncrowned king, I pull the strings
I’m a fly guy, you can’t clip my wings

I’m above the law, you’re beneath my scorn
Gonna park my think tank on your lawn

I’m the Mekon man with a pandemic plan
Gonna sweep the weak into the trashcan

Gotta get eugenic when push comes to shove
I’m Dr Strangelove’s black leather glove

I lurk in the murk of your worst nightmare
Gonna smash the system like Robespierre

I’m the chaos monkey, play it funky
When I eat a Kit-Kat it’s gotta be chunky

I dig intelligence that’s artificial
The judiciary’s whack, they’re prejudicial

They can’t touch me, I do as I please
I get my kicks from Thucydides

My bitch is rich she’s aristocratic
I’m anti-elite, that’s axiomatic

I can see the future, I can see through you
My spectacles are made by Mr Magoo

I’m a preacher for Nietzsche, I’m Superman
Ich fahre nach Durham Town auf der Autobahn

I get it done, I deliver the goods
I dance to Abba in the bluebell woods

Strap up Mo’Fo’s at the BBC
I’m the daddy don’t you dare diss me

They call me Classic Dom not Classic Dick
So fuck you all I’m a dangerous prick

by elvis mcgonagall, may 2020


Follow The Science (back to top)
(A Public Service Announcement
by the UK Government)

Death is knocking at the door
Shake his hand, show defiance
Ignore his grim, whispering scythe
Wash your hands, follow the science

Change the science, don’t lick doorknobs
Go out if you must, stay at home
Lock it down and ramp it up
Paint a rainbow monochrome

Watch out! There’s a mugger about!
Be unsure of a big surprise
Wrestle that mugger to the floor
He’s invisible, use your eyes

Fight the enemy tooth and nail
Send him packing, take control
Sit on his sombrero, squash him
Whack him like a plastic mole

Clap for nurses dressed in bin-bags
Doctors wearing Marigolds
Dance a conga round a care home
Jog for Jesus, don’t catch colds

Keep calm, carry on, panic
Keep your distance side by side
Come out from your Alpine tunnel
Move a mountain, turn the tide

Disinfect yourself with common sense
Your country needs you back to work
Over the top with Typhoid Mary
Do-or-die, be more Dunkirk

Sacrifice your health, save our wealth
Salute the contradictory
Fill up our world beating morgues
Dig your own grave for victory

Stay alert, stop, look, listen, think
Careful now, say oops upside your head
Comb a giraffe, sit on a cornflake
Ride a black swan, eat garlic bread

Let your leaders spread the blame
Bury your silly, little head in the sand
Mind your tone as they mask the truth
And wash, wash, wash their bloody hands

by elvis mcgonagall, may 2020



What A State! (back to top)

I started writing this piece back in The Olden Days of February 2020 after the UK left the EU, completing it as the coronavirus pandemic reached these shores. It seems to me that both Brexit and the UK government’s initial cavalier strategy of “herd immunity” in relation to the virus are underpinned by the same myth of “Boys Own” British exceptionalism - a myth peddled by amoral spivs and charlatans masquerading as politicians, like the cast of a nightmarish sitcom fuelled by folly and farce. Let's hope for something better for this country after this crisis is over.

Parade Mr Churchill’s Victory V
Play Colonel Bogey on your kazoo
Britannia’s unchained from slavery

Free at last, as free as Mr Humphries
Free from the yoke of je ne sais quoi
Free from continental patisserie
Carte blanche to be who we really are

A local island for local people
The Full English, Manuel, por fabor
The cliffs of Dover will always be white
Mind your language and shut that door

Last bastion of proper prejudice
Mustn’t grumble, form an orderly queue
Twitch Hyacinth Bucket’s net curtains
Innit marvellous you silly old moo?

Land of sun-dappled, verdant hedge fund
Of rose-clad Airbnb stately homes
Aspidistras and antimacassars
Angry seagull shit on garden gnomes

Of gravy stained pomp and circumstance
Pantries full of Rudyard Kipling’s cakes
Never mind the quality feel the width
Ooh Matron! We’re oh so Hattie Jacques

Roast beef faced boys in mustard corduroys
Quaff foaming ale served by buxom wenches
Winsome milkmaids skip o’er rolling hills
Jaunty ploughmen do lunch in the trenches

Miss Marple cycles to Wetherspoons
Through autumn mist and winter hail
A Wicker Man burns on the village green
As the air-raid sirens gently wail

Cry God save Mrs Slocombe’s pussy
Have a nice cup of tea and a bicker
Pass the royal wedding biscuit tin
You are awful but I like you vicar

Shoulders back lovely boy, don’t panic
A stiff upper lip is essential
Show the world there’s lead in your pencil
As we unleash Britain’s potential

We’ll boldly go back to the future
To the good old days and beyond
In splendid isolation from strangers
They don’t like it up ‘em Mr Bond

Last gasp-ramp it up-whatever it takes
Get it done on a wing and a prayer
With lionhearted bulldog spirit
Gin-soaked regret and quiet despair

So sing Lofty, sing, sing some Vera Lynn
As we fight pestilence from overseas
We’ll take it on the chin Gunga Din
No room here for foreign disease

For as sure as powdered eggs is eggs
There’ll be spam fritters still for tea
Morrissey dancing round his maypole
With Arthur Askey’s busy bumble bee

We’ll rise with pride like Victoria sponge
We’ll bounce back like the bounciest castle
Pith helmets on, bang a gung-ho gong
We’ll never, never be a vassal

We’ll set sail in a golden pedalo
Bound for new colonies to conquer
We’ll pay everyone in scratchcards
We’ll sunbathe on the Costa Plonka

We’ll spaff our talent all over the globe
We’ll build a bridge to El Dorado
A bridge made from Great British irony
Quilted toilet rolls, pluck and bravado

Trousers round ankles, chasing Empire’s ghost
‘Til death us do part, going, going gone
Living a dream as the Benny Hill Theme
Plays on and on and on and on and on

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2020




Please Leave Our Town (back to top)

There’s no sunlight in these uplands
There’s a Tupperware lid on the sky
Our rose-tinted glasses are tarnished
Hope’s eternal spring has run dry

There’s a sleeping bag by Starbucks’ door
There’s a robbery at the food bank
There’s a queue outside the hospital gates
There’s a hearse in the taxi rank

Now you roll up with your trademark schtick
The glib, sniggering schoolboy gags
The crikey, crumbs, golly gosh bluster
The trail of bullshit, the humble-brags

The tailor-made Worzel Gummidge look
The Charge of the Light Brigade British spunk
The spaff it up the wall rehearsed pratfall
The let them eat cake Etonian punk

Pack up your circus, cardboard clown
On your tiny bike, please leave our town

You are whoopee cushion farting out lies
Plastic flower squirting Sophocles
Naked ambition sheathed in a codpiece
Drunken uncle on the flying trapeze

Buller, Buller bully in a china shop
You are smashed crockery and broken glass
You are blundering, imperial goat-fuck
Slapdash, dog-ate-my-homework farce

You are Brexit Island car boot sale
You are flog England off by the dollar
You are cash in a pole dancer’s G-string
You are private profit, public squalor

You are up your own arse with a ladder
You are Fozzie Bear with a machete
You are Fat Andy Warhol cabaret act
Mr. Jolly Bollocks, barking yeti

Pack up your circus, cardboard clown
On your tiny bike, please leave our town

We are hemp-smelling, nose-ring crusty
We are sentimental victim Scouse
We are blubbing, tank topped bumboy
We are chicken-frit, big girl’s blouse

We are French turd EU traitor
We are flag-waving picaninny
We are tribal watermelon smile
Cannibal Papua New Guinea

We are ridiculous letterbox burqa
We are Islingtonian herbivore
We are Nazarin Zaghari Ratcliffe
We are dead Libyan body eyesore

We will not buy seats for your panto
We will not utter your cartoon name
If you are the punchline the joke’s on us
We are all just pawns in your game

Pack up your circus, cardboard clown
On your tiny bike, please leave our town

copyright elvis mcgonagall, november 2019





The Johnsons (back to top)

Linton Kwesi Johnson - dub poet
Robert Johnson - red-hot Delta blues
Dr Johnson - lexicographer
Michael Johnson - Mr Golden Shoes
Magic Johnson - wham bam ma’am slam dunk
Amy Johnson - the Queen of the air
Don Johnson - Ray-Ban Armani cop
Wilko Johnson - machine gun guitar glare
Ben Jonson - Renaissance dramatist
Ulrika Jonsson - Swedish weather front
Holly Johnson - the voice of Frankie
Boris Johnson - shameless cunt *

copyright elvis mcgonagall, august 2019

* if you’re “offended” by the use of robust Anglo-Saxon language I should point out that a) the two most “offensive” words in the piece are Boris and Johnson and b) you can try replacing “shameless cunt” with “improbus cunnus” to spare your blushes ‘cos you can say anything in Latin can’t you? The Auld Etonian celebrity shyster charlatan “character” politicians love a bit of it.  




(The Resistible Rise of) The Milkshake Martyr (back to top)

Splattered in thick, white creamy stigmata
Here he comes - it’s the Milkshake Martyr

He’s a bully beef bloke, proper Dunkirk
A bitter drinker with an ashtray smirk

He’s down your boozer charging his glass
He’s slapping your back and the barmaid’s arse

Cracking bawdy jokes from the good old days
Bemoaning Blighty’s effeminate malaise

Salt of the earth, an ordinary chap
He’s got a cheeky Peaky Blinders cap

British pork in his little chipolata
Don’t you cry for the Milkshake Martyr

The world’s his lobster, he’s paid top-dollar
His overcoat’s got a velvet collar

He’s selling second-hand pride door to door
Pride straight as an arrow from Agincourt

He’s flogging Dr Freedom’s magic pills
Manufactured in dark satanic mills

He’s offering you the moon on a stick
Union Jack socks on, he’s a maverick

Nice chunk of cheddar on his ciabatta
Don’t you cry for the Milkshake Martyr

Where there’s no hope opportunism knocks
He’s squeezing himself through your letterbox

He’s creeping upstairs in your carpet slippers
He’s in your kitchen grilling your kippers

Feet up with a fag watching the snooker
He’s knocking back your duty-free sambuca

You’re his best PayPal, he’s your Facebook friend
Ignorance and fear are the perfect blend

A pair of pickled eggs in his frittata
Don’t you cry for the Milkshake Martyr

He’s curdling the custard on your crumble
Dressing up in khaki, ready to rumble

He’s bouncing on next door’s trampoline
He’s pissing on their lawn, he’s venting his spleen

He’s locking your neighbour in her garden shed
Mrs Khan’s hijab’s filling him with dread

He’s screaming “traitor!” at your French bulldog
“Woeuf, wouef!” he hates its foreign dialogue

Red hissy fit face like a burst tomato
Don’t you cry for the Milkshake Martyr

He’s giving you a job licking his brogues
You’re meeting his mates, they’re loveable rogues

He’s clearing your streets of human bric-a-brac
He’s sticking his bollards up your cul-de-sac

He’s bricking you up, he’s fencing you in
Keeping out strangers with the wrong colour skin

Singing “Two World Wars and One World Cup!”
Chocks away Biggles, keep your pecker up

Aniseed balls in his piñata
Don’t you cry for the Milkshake Martyr

He’s dropping his trousers in front of Fritz
He’s having a laugh, he’s puttin’ on the Blitz

He’s tearing down eco-vegan-rainbow flags
He’s taking England back, from riches to rags

He’s telling you everything’s hunky-dory
Let the people eat knickerbocker glory

No swastikas, no silly moustaches
Don’t mention the F-word - f-f-f fascist

Bag of nuts and a pint of Magna Carta
You’ve been had by the Milkshake Martyr

Milkshake it, shake it baby
Milkshake it all night long
Milkshake some human kindness
Milkshake it, get it on

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2019




Cloud Cuckoo Land (back to top)

The mercury’s rising, who cares why
Cock a deaf ear, turn a blind eye
Crank up the thermostat, let’s all fry
Cloud cuckoo land is burning

The tide is high and getting higher
The forecast’s famine, flood and fire
Take a spin in your tumble dryer
Cloud cuckoo land’s perspiring

It’s scorchio eight days a week
Motherwell’s hotter than Mozambique
Ride your jet-ski up shit creek
Cloud cuckoo land is your land

Grow your own dollars, crisp and green
Fight wars to feed your limousine
Wake up and smell the gasoline
Cloud cuckoo land is burning

Defrost Antarctica, let it sink
Watch the Amazon jungle shrink
Log into Amazon.com, Inc.
Cloud cuckoo land delivers

Wash your hair in Perrier
Buy more junk then throw it away
Obsolescence is here to stay
Cloud cuckoo land is wasteland

Build airports where the buffalo roam
Chainsaw down an orang-utan’s home
Drown in an ocean of Styrofoam
Cloud cuckoo land is burning

Factory farm the fatted calf
Harpoon a whale, garrote a giraffe
Write Mother Nature’s epitaph
It’s a laugh cloud cuckoo land

Spray Paraquat on a honey bee
Climb a Siberian coconut tree
Cook all the fish in the boiling sea
Cloud cuckoo land is melting

Ignore the firmament’s expanse
Be chop, chop, busy, busy human ants
A pestilence in underpants
Cloud cuckoo land is burning

Choke the skies air mile after mile
Swim with polar bears down the Nile
Fill your trolley in the excess aisle
Cloud cuckoo land’s all consuming

Heat your patio in freezing June
Fly your avocados from the moon
Use your leaf-blower in a typhoon
Cloud cuckoo land’s convenient

Incinerate science, facts are dead
Wrap a roll of cling-film round your head
Frack planet Earth, try Mars instead
Cloud cuckoo land is burning

The future’s gone, it’s when not if
Oblivion beckons in a jiff
Follow your satnav off the cliff
Cloud cuckoo land is falling

Yet when humanity’s run its race
Still this blue marble will spin in place
As plastic bags drift on through space
And cloud cuckoo land has vanished into dust

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2019




The Unco Guid, True Believers (back to top)

Our truth is best, it’s fundamental
Our vision is the only view
Our severity is gentle
What we believe is good for you

Our rectitude is on parade
Our virtue is a sacred cow
Every day is a moral crusade
We’re so much holier than thou

Our leader has been heaven sent
To turn back time and plough the sand
Don’t question us, do not dissent
We’re on our way to the promised land

Join in the chorus, sing our song
We know we’re right ‘cos you’re all wrong

Blind faith demands deep devotion
Doubting Thomases are traitors
We are intransigence in motion
We walk up down escalators

We’re sorry we don’t apologise
We’ll never dismount our high horse
No ifs, no buts, no compromise
You can’t have ketchup and brown sauce

We will not bend, we will not budge
Our thoughts are bound by discipline
Purists like us were born to judge
We can dance on the head of a pin

Join in the chorus, sing our song
We know we’re right ‘cos you’re all wrong

We’re seriously serious
Our laughter is mechanical
Our humility’s imperious
Sackcloth on, get puritanical

Consensus reigns in our dominion
We’re shouting in an echo chamber
We can’t forgive a wrong opinion
We’re shouting in an echo chamber

Behold our wholly humble halos
Our sainthood burns with dayglo zeal
We’ve got more followers than J-Lo
Check out our righteous sect appeal

Join in the chorus, sing our song
We know we’re right ‘cos you’re all wrong

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2019




Me, Myselfie and I * (back to top)

*This is a “found poem”- every single line (except one) is extracted from
a recent Sunday supplement magazine article about “Wellness”

I wake up having had seven hours and forty one minutes sleep
I know this is the perfect amount for me
The first thing I do is scrape my tongue using a copper
tongue scraper to get rid of toxins
I turn on the near-infrared light at the end of my bed and
sit there for seven minutes meditating
I take a shot of probiotics and Quinton Isotonic, a
supplement that comes from plankton 
I then do online yoga for twenty minutes and stare at the
sun - I use the Pomodoro Technique 

I leave the flat and fist-bump the concierge
I’ve fist-bumped him every morning for four years
I go to F45 training, an intense fitness regime
The community at F45 is incredible
I like to mix with like-minded people
I’m not going to hang out with people who like to drink a
lot at the pub
I then go for a dip in the Serpentine - it’s horrible

I come home, fist-bump the concierge and have a glass
of Rebel Kitchen raw coconut water
I fill out a spreadsheet on my computer inputting my weight,
my urine pH, my hydration and how well I’ve slept
I turn on my HumanCharger, a device that shines light into
my ear to give me energy
I have a cold shower for 90 seconds
I make a delicious smoothie with 7.8g of protein in it

I start work. I’m freelance. I work by my Himalayan salt lamp
It helps absorb the magnetic and radioactive waves from wifi
Goodness knows what they could be doing to my body
I wear blue-light-blocking glasses that cut out junk light
I don’t drink coffee
I drink a litre of water a day - either San Pellegrino or Love
Hemp Water which I buy from Planet Organic
I haven’t drunk tap water for two years
I’ve been teetotal for seven months
Alcohol makes my tongue really dry, which I hate
If I go out I’ll always take a bag of nuts and fist-bump the
If I have a meeting I may go for a walk with the person I am
meeting - Steve Jobs used to do this
Between meetings I’ll try to have a shot of activated charcoal
- they sell it at Pret now. We’re so blessed in Britain

I go out for lunch at the same time every day
I fist-bump the concierge
I follow a high-fat, low-carb, mainly ketogenic diet
My body has 7.5 per cent fat
I eat lean meat but I do feel really bad for the animals
I don’t eat any processed food at all
I eat pudding like everyone else

I switch on my Himalayan rock salt lamp

I finish work, fist-bump the concierge then walk to the gym
The Tube is filthy and not good for your health
I then go to the clinic I founded in Mayfair and have an hour
of hyperbaric oxygen
On Saturdays I follow up with a magnesium and amino acids
intravenous drip treatment

I don’t eat dinner

As soon as I get back to my flat I fist-bump the concierge and
lie on a bed of nails

I feed my mind by reading for 10-40 minutes

I watch an episode of something that adds value to my life or
a “Breaking Bad” type drama
I only watch half the episode, no more. We only live once

My orange night time light activates on my phone to allow my
body to start shutting down

I switch on my Himalayan rock salt lamp
I then get into bed. I use an earthing bedsheet
I have natural bedding and pillows so I’m not inhaling
petrochemicals all night
I lie down and close my eyes
I aim to get seven hours and forty one minutes sleep
If I don’t get enough, everything falls apart

I’m not sure that the concierge likes me very much

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2019




Taking Back Control (back to top)

Blighty’s taking back control of Christmas
He’s dreaming of a Christmas that is white
A Christmas free from filthy foreign snow
A ho, ho wholly Great British silent night

A Victorian yuletide frozen in time
A bleak midwinter that never, ever thaws
Singing “Arriverderci pannetone!
And fuck off back to Lapland Santa Claus!”

Blighty’s burning his Norwegian Christmas tree
The brandy in his butter ain’t French mon frère
He’s returning his turkey to Istanbul
He’s sticking Brussels sprouts up his derriere

A-wassailing he will go in the workhouse
With consumptive cherubim and seraphim
He will feast upon yesterday’s cold parsnips
Pass the roasted seagull Tiny Tim

All he wants is to pull his own cracker 
He does not want your Christmas bratwurst Herr Schmidt
But I want Spanish chestnuts and hygge
I want a Dukla Prague away kit

So I will fill my face full of stollen
Get Brahms and Liszt on gluweihn, dance and yell
“Buon Natale y Feliz Navidad!”
“Frohliche Weinachten et Joyeux Noel!”

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018




#MeNotYou (back to top)
I am Tarzan beat of hairy chest
I am macho Marlon Brando vest

I am suited, booted silverback
I am potent aphrodisiac

I am dollar bills and pheremone
I am cigar smoke and cologne

I am “Arrogance” by Hugo Boss
Frankly my dear I don’t give a toss

I am alpha male, king of kings
You are women, my playthings

I am mover, I am shaker
I am your career maker

I am Big Enchilada
Without me you are nada

I am your fame, I am success
I know you know that no means yes

I call the shots, I run the show
I’m entitled to fellatio

I am titan, I am mogul
I am sleaze, I am ogle

I am raging bull ‘n rutting ram
I am wham bam thank you ma’am

You say victim, I say slag
I am stallion, I am stag

I am toxic salamander
I am phallus therefore I philander

I am cock and balls, I am knob
I am girth and heft and throb

I am locker room jockstrap hard
My beefsteak brings all the girls to the yard

“And they’re like - it’s bigger than his
Damn right it’s bigger than his”

Look at it! Look! Look at my dong!
Look at my dick, my rod, my schlong!

Taste my charisma, touch my power
Massage my manhood, see me shower

I am crusty paw and swagger pants
I am the silence of my sycophants

I am pussy-grabby grope up skirt
You say predator, I say flirt

I am fluffy hotel bathrobes
Let me feel your Golden Globes

Watch me wank, I am vulgarian
I am Onan the Barbarian

I am braggadocio
You are slut, my quid pro quo

I am testosterone, I am sweat
I am 300lbs of threat

I am bourbon breath in your ear
I am your shame, I am your fear

I am brute force without escape
I say begging for it, you cry rape

I am liberal, I am Woke
Don’t laugh at me, I am no joke

I am Harvey, I am Bill
I am Kevin, Donald, Louis, Phil

I am vengeance, I am paranoia
I am impunity, call my lawyer

I am misogyny incarnate
My crimes swept under thick, red carpets

I am everyday abuse
I am flaccid, limp excuse

No-one told me you are equals
I am endless sordid sequels

I have demons that must be fought
I’m so sorry, sorry I’ve been caught

I am your misinterpretation
I am my rehabilitation

I can’t help it, I am sick
I am unrepentant prick

I am the dregs of a bitter cup
Surely to God my time is up?

Surely to God my time is up?

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018




Stating The Bleeding Obvious (back to top)

The sky is blue, the grass is green
All that glitters is not gold
Snow is white, water is wet
The Pope is Catholic, ice is cold

The sea is salty, birds have wings
Tock follows tick follows tock
Grizzly bears shit in the woods
Piers Morgan is a massive cock

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018




A Miracle - for Helen (back to top)

I have witnessed a miracle

This miracle does not involve loaves, fishes, bread, wine
or raising the dead from their cold, stony grave

It does not feature walking on water, parting the red sea
or a virgin birth

This miracle is not a member of Smokey Robinson’s
backing band

It did not take place on 34th Street

It did not take place at Celtic Park, Glasgow on 17th May
2014 when St Johnstone beat Dundee Utd 2-0 to win the
Scottish Cup (although that did actually happen. I was
there. Row A, Seat 30, Jock Stein Lower Stand)

It is not the result of a wish upon a shower of shooting
stars falling from the spangled sky like diamond petals
from the flowers of the gods

The miracle is the fact that I found you

Of all the billions of souls wandering this lonely planet,
I found you

Of all the gin joints in all the world you walked into a bar
where I was drinking on a hot, humid night in Hong Kong

And now 26 years later this miracle still happens every

Just an everyday miracle

A cup of tea in bed

An evening on a sofa watching “Spiral” with two cats and
a bottle of wine, wood burning in the stove, shouting
“Engrenages!” in unison as the opening credits roll

A four hour round trip to Southampton for a poetry gig on
Valentine’s Day - with a stop at Membury Services to eat
cold falafels in the pissing rain - because you’re concerned
that’s far too far for one person to drive

Yes I found you. You found me. We found each other

And you still put up with me. And that is a miracle

The miracle of love

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018  




Ghost Towers In The Sky (back to top)

Stash your cash in London’s glittering attic
Have filthy lucre laundered ‘n tumbled-dry
Get a safe deposit box that’s pragmatic -
A penthouse in a ghost tower in the sky

Reach new heights of luxury, redefine place
Invest in a vertical Versailles
Beyond the ordinary, ultra-prime space
A silent, empty ghost tower in the sky

Soar amid the City’s glacial façade
The cloud-capp’d erections thrust up on high
Cheesegrater, Gherkin, Shiny Dildo Shard
Viagra Towers, tumescent in the sky

Make capital gain your personal domain
Procure a buy-to-leave global pied-a-terre
Own the finest lifestyle money can obtain
Breathe in your own, exclusive, private air

En-suite helipad carpeted in silk
Hanging gardens flown in from Babylon
Infinity pool of perfumed asses’ milk
Marble ballroom with a pop up Elton John

Dramatic views of regeneration
Dynamic growth driving out the obsolete
Survey the vibrant, urban aspiration
Pret a Manger literally at your feet!

Embrace gilded postcode quality control
Silver bullet-proof gated surveillance
Paranoid dogs with diamond teeth on patrol
Protect your asset from unwashed assailants           

Overlook cardboard beds on streets of gold 
Sidestep the big issue, turn a blind eye
Shut the door on the down-and-out in the cold
Stay cloistered in your ghost tower in the sky

That massive middle finger to poverty
Priapic palace for prince and potentate
Pity poor developers of property
Building El Dorado next to sink estates

Insulate opulence from the worn and drab
Paper over cracks in council tower blocks
Transform the low income, high-rise concrete slab
Into a plastic-wrapped trap, a tinderbox

One flame can fuel five hundred burning beds
A 24 storey crematorium
A charnel house of horror, 72 dead
Burning Grenfell hell in memoriam

Jutting out heavenward, a black, rotten tooth
Aching monument to England’s decay
Clad the poor in contempt, deregulate truth
Choose complacent disregard come what may

Plumb uncharted depths of wanton neglect
Manage steep decline with impropriety
Outsource responsibility and respect
Tear apart the fabric of society

Demolish the library and the jazz club
Bulldoze the hospital and school, gentrify
Knock down the cornershop, Odeon and pub
Stick up another needless ghost tower in the sky

Which some day will be ruins, shadow and dust
The Temple of Mammon’s sarcophagi
A graveyard of greed, base metal turned to rust
As a distant generation wonders why?

Why did we let racketeers frame the rules?
Why were we taken in by their artifice?
Who let them build alabaster vestibules?
What kind of dick lived in a house like this?

This land is a common treasury for all
Not a fiefdom for the few to occupy
No more gated citadel fences and walls
We want homes not ghost towers in the sky

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018




Hellbound (back to top)

We’re staring into tiny mirrors
We’re all shouting at the same time
We’re angry wasps trapped in a glass
We’re starring in our own pantomime

The clowns are running the circus
The village idiots are in town
The beast is slouching to Bethlehem
Sticky fingers clutching his crown

Nero’s tuning up his fiddle
The fat lady’s clearing her throat
Orla Guerin’s at the City Gates
The Good Samaritan’s getting his coat

We’re all hellbound for Satan’s sweatshop
Down, down, down in the bottomless pit
Let’s go on the randan - drink and dance
Tomorrow’s long gone - this is it

Forsaken souls are capsizing
The promised land is out of reach
We’re drowning in seven seas of plastic
Dead mermaids are littering the beach

The grapes are withering on the vine
The old green fuse has lost its lust
The Tower of Babel’s burning
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust

Cloven hooves are clattering
The stench of brimstone’s in the air
Lucifer’s stamping on the angels’ harps
His red hot poker’s up their derriere

We’re all hellbound for Satan’s sweatshop
Down, down, down in the bottomless pit
Let’s go on the randan - drink and dance
Tomorrow’s long gone - this is it

Jesus Christ is taking selfies                                            
God’s crying in his beer blind drunk,
Philistine fools are rattling their jewels
The next shiny thing’s already defunct

The wine is turning to vinegar
Bono’s face is on the Turin Shroud
The sun is blistering black as crow
Noah’s hammering nails into clouds

It’s raining fear, it’s raining loathing
Arabian nights are thick with drones
The petrol pumps are full of blood
The desert is a carpet of bones

We’re all hellbound for Satan’s sweatshop
Down, down, down in the bottomless pit
Let’s go on the randan - drink and dance
Tomorrow’s long gone - this is it

There’s Nazis in chinos and loafers
Dress down Friday fascists on the rise
They’re pouring paraffin on bonfires
Goose-stepping with the Lord of the Flies

The car is heading for the cliff-top
Dick Dastardly is at the wheel
Mutley’s sniggering in the back
This cartoon is on its final reel

The well’s run dry of milk and honey
The rascal multitude ain’t got a crust
Bells are ringing out a silent peal
The wheels of time have turned to rust

We’re all hellbound for Satan’s sweatshop
Down, down, down in the bottomless pit
Let’s go on the randan - drink and dance
Tomorrow’s long gone - this is it

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2018




The Immigration Alphabet (back to top)

A is for Alien. A “foreigner”. A scary “foreigner”. Bursting
Into our country like the thing erupting through John Hurt’s
rib cage in that film. Be afraid. Be very afraid. 

B is for Blame. Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame
it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times - blame
it on the “bloody migrants”. Coming over here with their
beards. Suspicious beards. Beards full of hummus.  

C is for Calais - engraved on the broken hearts of exhausted
Syrians and frightened Sudanese, the bereaved of
Afghanistan, the ruined of Iraq. Refugees fleeing torture,
terror and war. Wars we started.

D is for DNA. The DNA of “Cheddar Man”, the first modern
Briton 8000 years BC. Black skin. Blue eyes. Take back
control Cheddar Man. Take back control of your country.

E is for Economic migrants. Not you Jose in your Armani
cashmere coat, scowling on the touchline. You are “Premier
League”. You are an “expatriate”. Come on in the salary’s
lovely. “Economic migrant” means you Souleyman from
Senegal hiding in that lorry. You are not financially viable.

F is for Farage. Fearmonger-in-chief. The floating jobbie in
the toilet bowl of public life that may never be flushed away.

G is for Ghetto. A ghetto full of exiled minorities. Poor wee
Russian oligarchs and Saudi princelings forced to subsist in
the joyless penthouse luxury of Knightsbridge.

H is for Hostile. A hostile environment for illegal aliens.
“Oi! ET! Fuck off back to Mars you little green bastard
benefits cheat!”.

I is for Indian. “Let’s go for an Indian. I feel like chicken
jalfrezi tonight!” Well you can’t have it because the
Taj Mahal’s chef can’t get a work permit and has been
deported back to Bangladesh.

J is for Jews - forced by law to wear a patch of yellow cloth.
In England. In the year 1275.

K is for Keyboard. As in “Keyboard, oh Lord why can’t we?”
a line from the popular hit tune “Ebony and Ivory - live
together in perfect harmony side by side on my piano”.
Admirable sentiment. Sadly, a suppuratingly saccharine

L is for Language. “Hasta la vista mamma mia achtung zut
alors!” Funny foreign double Dutch all Greek to me. English
is the lingua franca round here. Not fucking Italian Pedro.

M is for Marks. Michael Marks of Marks & Spencer.
Polish-Belarusian immigrant and purveyor of fine British
underpants. And Karl Marx. German immigrant and inventor
of the hipster beard.

N is for No. No room. “Am I alone in feeling Britain is full?”
tweeted zany multi-millionaire novelty act and professional
beard strimmer Noel Edmonds. “You are not alone Noel”
tweeted muliti-millionaire business-dick Duncan Bannatyne
from his home in Portugal.

O is for Overseas. Faraway lands full of Johnny Foreigner.
Swarthy continental types who all want to come and live
in Britain because our empire was so great.

P is for Passport Control. Bloated, global, goldfingered
plutocrats - just waltz on through the fast-track lane.
All you impoverished, homeless, hungry, outcasts stand
over there in that long, long, long, long queue.

Q is for the Queen of England, descendant of Albert of
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha’s German princely House of
Wettin and of the Danish royal House of Schleswig-
Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg and married to Prince
Philip of Greece and Denmark. Rule Britannia!

R is for the Roots of reggae, rocksteady ska, natty dread,
drum ‘n bass, dubstep and grime stowed away in the hold
of the Empire Windrush as it set sail from Kingston
Jamaica in 1948 bound for Tilbury docks. Bringing the
rhythm to England’s two left feet.

S is for Swarm. A “swarm” of migrants. A deluge, a flood,
a tidal wave, a tsunami swamping our green and pleasant
land. A plague of sticky-winged locusts stripping the fruit
from our trees for the minimum wage.

T is for Tesco, founded by the son of Jewish migrants from
Poland. The original “Polski Sklep”. Every little zloty helps.
Na zdrowie!

U is for UKIP. The UK Indignation Party. Shaking their fists
and shouting at the British muezzin in his minaret.

V is for Vessels packed to the gunwales with the desperate
displaced. Human cargo careening cross the Med like
floating coffins.

W is for Wombles. A multiracial underground community of
undocumented asylum seekers from Bulgaria, France,
Venezuela, Siberia, Japan and the Isle of Mull who pick up
dog shit and empty crisp packets in a public park because
the indigenous population can’t be arsed. Respect due

X is for Xenophobia which is a fear of minimalist Japanese
interior design.

Y is for You. And you. And you. And you. And me. And
him. And her. And them. And us. All of us. Outsiders
incomers, strangers. Climb up your family tree, take in
the view. If we look back far enough we all come from
somewhere else from Ashby-de-la-Zouch to Xanadu.

Z is for Robert Zimmerman who gazed upon the chimes
of freedom flashin’ for the refugees on the unarmed road
of flight. So ring out majestic bells, ring out those chimes
of freedom from this land. Because everyone deserves to
reach a safe harbour. Everyone needs somewhere to

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2017




Gimme Some Truthiness (back to top)

We’re sick and tired of unvarnished verity
Two plus two is five if said with sincerity
Ignorance is strength, wealth is austerity
All we want is truthiness

University-of-Google-YouTube views
Give us this day our daily truthiness

Porky pie Boris - you’ve got to have a laugh
Populist politics - snigger ‘n snarf
Praise Lord Gove and pass the polygraph
It’s just a bit of banter - truthiness

Big red Brexit bus full of cream crackers
350 million smackers?
Sell us bent bananas, kick proof in the knackers
Take back control of truthiness

The world needs a leader whose pants are on fire
A Dorito-toad-faced Twitter Town crier
Tweet tweet tweeting atop his golden spire                                
Give us all some Trumpiness

Evidence is dull, gut feeling suffices
Barack Hussein Obama founded Isis!
Mexican Muslim massacre crisis!
Truthiness - Trump it up!

Down the rabbit hole with Alice, tumble ‘n spin
To win is to lose and to lose is to win
Corbyn is victorious, he’s in like Flynn
It’s emotional this truthiness

Through the looking glass reality’s an act
Justin Bieber’s labradoodle’s phone was hacked
Even if it didn’t happen it’s still a fact
In-your-Facebook truthiness

We only know what we believe in our mind’s eye
Don’t diss the opinions of the vox populi
I always tell the truth even when I lie
And that is God’s honest gospel truthiness

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2017
for bbc radio 4 archive on 4’s “a brief history of truth”




9.3 % Swing (back to top)

A red island in the sea of Cotswold blue
A red outcrop in these blue remembered hills
We’re not 25 grand smug shepherd’s huts
We’re red brick, spit and sawdust, woollen mills

A red rose amidst the snarling thorns of May
A red flag sewn from Stroudwater Scarlet
We’re not the headmistress’s blue-rinse smile
We’re the crimson kiss of a wanton harlot

We’re not Farrow & Ball “complacent blue-tit”
We’re not weekend waxed-jacket and tweed knickers
We’re not honey-dipped, chocolate-box bollocks
We’re not mimsy-boo-boutique more tea vicars

We’re anarchist printers, poets and painters
We’re the ghosts of Huguenot weavers
We sing protest songs up a hornbeam tree
We’re the New Lawn vegan-green believers

We’re not Johnnie Boden, we’re Jonny Fluffypunk 
We wield pen and brush not polo mallet
We steer to the left through canals of Budding beer
A splash of vermilion from art’s rich palette

We don’t twitch the curtains of seething disapproval
A Little Metropolis, we think out loud
Welcome mat unfurled, we’re citizens of the world
We’re the People’s Republic of Stroud

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2017




Question Time (back to top)

To be or not to be? That is the question
What does the fox say? That’s another one
Who put the ram in the ramalamadingdong?
Where have all the good times gone?

How many roads must a chicken cross?
Are we human or are we dancer?
Is there life on Mars? Who ate all the pies?
Et tu Brute? Is that your final answer?

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Where’s Captain Kirk? Can you hear me Major Tom?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
Where do those lonely people all come from?

Is that all there is to the circus?
How many times does an angel fall?
Do androids dream of electric sheep?
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

Where’s the money Lebowski?
What ever happened to Baby Jane?
Would Jesus wear a Rolex?
What have they done to the rain?

Who’s afraid of Virginia Wade?
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Is this your homework Larry?
Do you know the way to San Jose?

Who framed Roger Rabbit? Where’s me jumper?
Can you hear the drums Fernando?
What time is love? How soon is now?
Tell me quando, quando, quando?

What’s it all about Alfie?
What did you hear my blued eyed son?
And here’s the 64 thousand dollar question
Oh America - what have you fucking done?

There’s a cowboy builder in The White House
A racist golfer swinging to the right
An American idiot alchemist
Turning beauty into 18 holes of shite

A fat orange baby with a diamond rattle
An almighty dollar sign dead-eyed brute
Scowling-Oompa-Loompa-blowing-up-a-lilo face
Eric Cartman in a business suit

The Emperor of stark bollock naked lies
Putin’s pet monkey grinding the organ
A dime store B-movie Mafia boss
A personal friend of Piers Morgan

A gold-plated fucktrumpet blaring out hate
Mr Dickchuckle-Fumblecunt unhinged clown
A shitgibbon screaming exclamation marks!
A tangerine cockwomble fouling Twitter Town

A hollow man, tiny finger on the button
“Nuclear holocaust. Bad. Very bad”
Will this be the way that the world ends?
Not with a bang but a tweet? (#sad!)

Where are we now? Where do we go from here?
Has the whole world gone crazy?
What’s going on? You talkin’ to me?
Parla usted Inglese?

What’s so funny ‘bout peace, love and understanding?
Wouldn’t it be nice? Isn’t that what makes a man?
When will there be a harvest for the world?
Can we fix it Bob the Builder? Yes we can

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2017





31 Descriptions of Donald J Trump’s Haircut (back to top)

Acrylic ginger gerbil comb-over
Guinea pig wig from Peru
Arthur Scargill joke-shop syrup
A merkin for a kangaroo
Chain-smoking badger’s nicotine stained coiffure
A shag-pile sample from “Carpet Right” - “apricot
A Flock Of Seagulls tribute act
A fascist furball coughed up by a giant ginger
tom-cat that looks like Hitler
“Bouffant Baboon” by Vidal Sassoon
A wee furry boudoir where Mick Hucknall sleeps
at the weekend
A Liberace quiff sculpted from a jar of Cheez Whiz
Unidentifiable roadkill resting in peace
Jason & The Argonauts’ Golden Fleece
A rampaging mandril’s angry mullet
A Turner Prize winning art installation made by
Edward Scissorhands from fibreglass insulation,
snakeoil, half a weetabix and some bits found at
the bottom of a budgie’s cage
Something a squirrel has just shat on his heid
An old exhausted bri-nylon hamster dunked in a
bowl of chicken tikka masala
A prop from the set of the musical “Strawheided
Manhattan Muppet Mussolini mop-top
The bastard offspring of a randy raccoon and
Piers Morgan
24 karat gold candyfloss spun from the gossamer
thin threads of a philistine’s soul
Diabolical follicled flaccid ferret
The tangerine crème filling found in Forrest Gump’s
box of chocolates carelessly smeared all over his
Runner-up in a Gordon Strachan lookalike contest
run byThe Bonnie Prince Charlie Karaoke ‘n Cocktail
Lounge in Brooklyn
Polyester poodle parlour polecat pompadour
A style that would look good under a pointy white hood
Chewbacca’s armpit velcroed to his bonce
The Reims Cathedral of tonsorial art for the man whose
name means fart
Narcissistic, misogynist, mendacious, racist,
reckless, rancorous, ugly, selfish, smug, sclerotic,
subliterate, incoherent, ignorant, venal, vain, vindictive,
arrogant, loathsome, fearmongering, hateful, bloviating,
bombastic, bilious, beserk, puerile, petulant, paranoid
shampoo and set
Beelzebub’s bully boy blow-wave
The Devil’s Haircut

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2016





No More Mister Nice Guy (back to top)

Gonna smear myself in aspiration
The gravy train is in the station
El Dorado’s my destination
No more Mr Nice Guy

Goodbye caravan park in Dundee
Hello bloated banker bourgeoisie
I’m Business Poet plc
No more Mr Nice Guy

Outsource my sonnets, commodify
Churn out cheap dross and pile it high
Do more advertisements than Stephen Fry
No more Mr Nice Guy

Flex my corporate muscle, do the hustle
Dance through tax loopholes like Darcy Bussell
Become a brand - and I don’t mean Russell
No more Mr Nice Guy

Go global, franchise out my doggerel
Elvis Multinational McGonagall
Use any shite rhyme that’s vaguely probable
No more Mr Nice Guy

Import sweatshop haikus factory fresh
Seventeen syllables made in Bangladesh
Work ‘em to the bone, get my pound of flesh
No more Mr Nice Guy

Feel no guilt, flog my profit’s private
Wash my hands like Pontius Pilate
Sell my granny to Somali pirates
No more Mr Nice Guy

Fuck the morals - they don’t matter
Move the goalposts, bend it like Blatter
Milk the system and fry it in batter
No more Mr Nice Guy

King of bling, tangerine-tanned lump
Kick sand in your face, bamboozle, gazump
Iambic pentameter’s Donald Trump
No more Mr Nice Guy

Solid gold sporran, Gucci gear
Look at the size of my chandelier
On first name terms with Vladimir
No more Mr Nice Guy

Scribble Satan’s verse, the devil’s villanelle
Shrivelled walnut soul in an empty shell
For Christ’s sake shoot me - I’ll see you all in hell
No more Mr Nice Guy

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2015




Rise Up (back to top)

This scepter’d isle is now a nation of landlords
This realm’s a retail park for oligarch and sheikh
Waterloo sunset has been sold for a crock of gold
We’ve been pimped out to pin-striped bastards
on the make

The banker’s got the whole world in his wallet
The robber baron blusters in his boardroom chair
The squire rules at will from his mansion on the hill
The politician is a multi-millionaire

Come all you Diggers, you Ranters, you rebels
Shout from the rooftops, make your voices heard
Come all you artists, you thinkers, you dreamers
Share your vision, unbowed and undeterred

Come all you tempest tossed poor huddled masses
You sick and tired, you overworked and underpaid
Come all you burger flippers and baristas
You nurses, teachers, carers, chambermaids

Rise up like Shelley’s lions after slumber
Leave your mind-forg’d manacles behind
Rise up together and reclaim this other Eden
Rise up and have the courage to be kind

copyright, elvis mcgonagall, 2015




Are You Being Served? (back to top)

Who’s next? Anyone waiting? Can I help you?
Yes this is the bar. We have seventeen ciders.
Sparkling or still?
Would you like to try the home-pressed?
It’s made here by the landlord.
Dry, medium or sweet?
Are you sure? The dry is very dry.
Dry like licking a blanket.
The menu?
Steak pasties, cheese ‘n veg pie. Homemade.
No we don’t do chips. Or sandwiches.
Two pints of Eve’s Idea and two pasties
- £14.20 please. Cheers.
Cutlery and sauces in the next hatch.
Beers are on the blackboard in front of you.
In front of you.
Toilets are outside, turn left, on the left.
Yes - dogs are very welcome.
More so than some customers.
Dog bowl just there.
No - I’m afraid we don’t take credit cards.
Cash only.
The nearest cash machine is Swanage.
Steak pasties and cheese ‘n veg pie.
Ice and lemon? Half or a pint?
Do we have anything bitter yet hoppy?
There’s a misanthropic rabbit round the back.
Pasties and pies.
Pickled eggs. Cockles. Mussels.
No we don’t do “childrens’ meals”.
Not even for little Tarquin.
The pub has been in the same family for over
100 years.
Salt ‘n vinegar, cheese ‘n onion, ready salted,
Hula-Hoops, Mini-Cheddars, pork scratchings.
Cutlery and sauces are in the next hatch.
Sparkling or still cider? Dry, medium or sweet?
No, no Magners.
We have one red wine - it’s a Chilean Pinot Noir.
Orange, grapefruit, pineapple, cranberry, tomato
bumbleberry, apple.
The toilets are outside on the left.
The building is about 300 years old.
No - we don’t have wi-fi. Or a mobile signal.
Except from France.
We add everything up as we go along so if you
can stick with the same person that would really
help - we are not interchangeable serfs.
Yes the fossil museum is open.
No - that man is not an exhibit - that’s Nobby.
He’s a regular. The band is on about 9 o’clock.
The bus has gone I’m afraid. One a day. In August.
What’s the medium cider like?
Medium. Causes flatulence.
You say “barman” I say beverage replenishment
supply solution technician.
Taxi numbers are by the payphone in the corridor.
It’s a phone you put your money in.
What do I recommend? I recommend you take some
responsibility for your choice of drink - there’s a queue
stretching outside the door and down the hill and this
rictus grin is merely masking the desolate despair
gnawing at the very essence of my soul. Next!
The stuffed ginger badger in the tap room belonged to
Thomas Hardy. He took it everywhere.
If little Tarquin could make his mind up about which
sugary drink and snack he’d like we’d all be very
A please and a thank you would be nice Tarquin.
On the Atkins diet? Have a pickled egg and a vodka.
The toilets are straight down the hill - about two miles.
Do you really need another sambuca Derek?
Cutlery and sauces are on the roof and the
jacuzzi is in the chicken shed.
Can I help you? Yes you sir. Sorry madam.
Stop chasing the chickens you wee shite!
I’m sorry I made little Tarquin cry.
I have tourists’ tourettes.
The wi-fi code is F.U.C.K.O.F.F Back to Fulham preferably.
Pomegranate ‘n prickly pear, kumquat ‘n coconut,
lychee ‘n lark’s vomit
The pub is five years old.
It’s a JD Wetherspoons flat-pack.
Roast unicorn ‘n vinegar, smoky gnu, ostrich ‘n onion.
That’s your last sambuca Derek.
The sculpture is of Leon Trotsky.
He used to drink here in the 60’s with Diana Dors
and Basil Brush.
No we don’t have toilets. We are but simple country folk.
Yokels, bumpkins, teuchters. We’re all related.
Just piss anywhere outside. We all do.
No more sambuca Derek!
The pub is a figment of your fevered imagination
and ten pints of Old Rosie. It does not exist.
Time gentlemen please.

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2014




A Bed At The Ritz (back to top)

Empire’s half-mast flag unfurls
Requiems tweet from ex-Spice Girls
Iron handbag, twin-set and pearls
Found dead in a bed at The Ritz

Cruel Britannia’s buccaneer
Brass-balled female anti-Greer
Cause of Ben bloody Elton’s career
Found dead in a bed at The Ritz

Steel clad belief in laissez-faire
The midwife that gave birth to Blair
Now dead in a bed at The Ritz

Lovelorn acolytes sadly weep
Cue phony Tony so skin-deep
“Hey - she was the people’s Meryl Streep”
Dead in a bed at The Ritz

Cold pre-packaged grocer’s daughter
Leading England’s lambs to slaughter
Ordained divine at Mammon’s altar
Dead in a bed at The Ritz

Boudicca of entente cordiale
The Tory gentleman’s femme fatale
Mandela’s foe and Pinochet’s pal
Dead in a bed at The Ritz

Fed the rich their daily focaccia
Spawned men of Jeffrey Archer’s stature
Besmirched the honest trade of thatcher
Dead in a bed at The Ritz

Here lies a shattered miner’s lamp
Factories choked down in black damp
Belgrano ghosts still slowly stamp
Round and round a bed at The Ritz

You can pray Charon rows her to hell
“Tramp the dirt down”, sound a futile knell
But all her dreams are alive and well
And living it up at The Ritz

Money shouts - just listen to the noise
Material Girls and City Boys
Ruthless Little Lord Fauntleroys
Even now they’re putting on The Ritz

Public service sold for private wealth
Community and kindness killed by stealth
Compassion, care and national health
Dying in a sick-bed far from The Ritz

Put inequality to the sword
Give each one of us our just reward
And then one day we all might afford
To pay for a bed at The Ritz

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2013




Three Haikus (back to top)

England 1, Tiny Wee Island Of Bjork, Cod,
Volcanoes, Puffins,
332,529 People And Not
One Professional Football Club 2, Haiku

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2016

Breaking News In Dorset Haiku
“Thatcher Dead” they said
Someone’s fallen off a roof
I thought to myself

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2013

Sudoku Haiku
5 syllables then
7 syllables and then
5 - oh no - fucked it

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2005




The Queen’s Speech (back to top)

My government will meet the aspirations of the nation
Introducing legislation to promote regeneration

Who writes this stuff? It’s so mundane
It’s my speech - let’s start again

Word up you commoners, serfs and tramps
I’m that woman from off off the stamps

Yo! Rule Brittannia! Sing hosanna!
Don’t anybody dare mention Diana

I’m the pearly queen, I’m England’s rose
You’s my bitches, you’s my ho’s

Castles, palaces, livin’ it large
Diamond-studded golden barge

21st century Cleopatra
Bessie in da big house comin’ at ya

Floating up the Thames in me royal flotilla
Why’s that horse in a hat? Oh no - it’s Camilla

Curtsy, bow, kowtow, grovel
Fly a little flag from your ghastly hovel

Flap those tea-towels, swing from the bunting
Pour me a gin - let’s go hunting

We’re the Windsor posse one cannot quarrel
Shoot some peasants at Balmoral

(Terribly sorry that should be “pheasants”
not “peasants” - Freudian slip)

I got the guns, I got the bling
The Prince of Biscuits will never be king

Prince Will.i.am is the family mascot
Hats on homies big it up at Ascot

Fo shizzle my nizzle - pardon one’s French
We diss Helen Mirren and Judi Dench

I’m Her Majesty - they’re absurd
Give me an Oscar - I’m James Bond’s bird

Cut some ribbons, shake some hands
Sit through another boring military band

Wave, wave, wave, wave, wave
Wave, wave, wave, wave, wave

Oh Christ! Cliff Richard! Pass the paracetemol
Bring on the dancing corgis - so much better LOL

And don’t complain about the language -
It’s my fucking English - have another sandwich

Build me a yacht, roast me a swan
Bring me the head of bloody Elton John

Behold my crown - see it dazzle
Prince Harry says Andrew’s a bit of a vajazzle

Harry’s married an American gal called Markle*
Thank Gawd one’s hegemony’s patriarchal

Get down with the youth, ignore all syntax
Like, y’know, whatever, hashtag chillax

Headscarf, tweeds and a sensible brogue
Don’t just stand there Philip - c’mon vogue!

Cheer up Brexit Britain, let’s have another jubilee
God won’t help you - he’s busy saving me

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2012

*updated - well done me!

(A video of this poem can be seen here)




Uisge Gu Leoir (back to top)

A siren sings in the Sound of Eriskay
Toss aside your cabers and barrel to the docks
Drown your sorrows in the Hebridean drink -
There’s a shipful of Scotch on the rocks

Eau de vie, uisge beatha, water of life
Golden tears of the gods swept ashore
Soak up that “liquid sunshine”, bathe in joy
Swim in whisky, whisky, whisky galore

Burns’ John Barleycorn, king o’ malted grain
A drop of island rain and Highland peat
Taste the salty air, breathe in the angel’s share

Amber oil of repartee dancing on the tongue
Whisky kisses burning on the lips
Bottled poetry in crates, ballads growled
by Tom Waits
Give me a splash of the sublime, a dram, a nip

Oh let me wade into a river o’ Bruichladdich
Let me dive deep down in Edradour
Wash my sins away in Auchentoshan
Baptize me in a pool o’ Aberlour

Aye - pour another whisky in my whisky
Just a wee deoch-an’-doris, one more bar
And if anyone is listening up in Islay -
Mine’s a ten year old Ardbeg - slainte mhath!

copyright elvis mcgonagall
for bbc radio 4 “saturday live”, 2011




Walls (back to top)

From Jericho to Jerusalem
From the Solway Firth to the River Tyne
Walls fortify, defend, secure
Walls draw the battle line

Walls brick up understanding
Walls exercise control
Walls are silent, walls have ears
Walls exact their toll

Walls entomb, walls divide
Walls barricade the unknown
Berlin, Belfast, Gaza, Mexico
Walls set difference in stone

But the same sun that sets on the West Bank
Rises up on the eastern wall
A man’s a man in Mesopotomia
A man’s a man in Gaul

Forget all creeds, forget all colours
Pay no heed to flag or crown
Then one day we may live in peace
When the walls come a tumblin’ down

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2010




The Inexorable March Of Western
Cultural Hegemony
(back to top)

The unorthodox priest in the wraparound shades
and the black gothic garb of his creed
Sits and flicks his worries away
bead by bead by bead
To the syncopated beat of the backgammon board
at white-washed “Taverna Niko”
Where the traveller drinks in the afternoon sun
in a woozy ouzo glow

As the inky blue turquoise Aegean
caresses the pink of the sand
While the sweet smell of thyme drifts by on a breeze
blessed balm for the heat of the land
Whose orchards hang heavy with lemons and figs
and the poppies dance under the trees
Where the olive groves groan with the honey-drip drone
of a thousand drowsy bees

And I think that I may have found paradise
bewitched by Persephone’s kiss
A gift from Greek gods, heaven on earth
a moment of rapturous bliss
When a cry ricochets round the harbour
from the stereo on Stelios’ boat
It’s a sound that could shatter the crockery
like the bleat of a hideous goat

You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful
You’re beautiful it’s true
I saw your face in a crowded place
And I don’t know what to do
‘Cos I’ll never be with you”

And I realise God is a bastard
His divine holy love is a front
For no God of compassion or mercy
Would have given us James Fucking Blunt

by elvis mcgonagall, 2006




You Can Call Me Dave (back to top)

Change, Optimism, Hope
Progress, Energy, Vigour
Modest, Moderate, Modern
Brighter, Better, Bigger

Conservative, Compassionate, Liberal
Black, Muslim, Gay
Young, Green, Martian
Work, Rest, Play

Responsible, Tangible, Real
Motivation, Dedication, Aspiration
Empower, Enhance, Improve
Location, Location, Location

Freedom, Wealth, Opportunity
Courage, Resolve, Expertise
Beliefs, Values, Dreams
Eats, Shoots, Leaves

On, My, Bike
Eco, Friendly, Guy
Recycle, Renew, Relax
Take, Awf, Tie

Liberty, Equality, Paternity
Women, Babies, Men
Co-operation, Coalition, Cocaine?
Never, Ever, Again

Trusting, Caring, Sharing
Rebekah, Rupert, Andy
Emerson, Lake, Palmer
Yankee, Doodle, Dandy

Beanz, Meanz, Heinz
Ready, Steady, Go
Leg, Before, Wicket
Edgar, Allen, Poe

Mary, Mungo, Midge
Beverly, Hills, Cop
Yabba, Dabba, Doo
Snap, Crackle, Pop

Keep, It, Real
Watch, Me, Blog
Pimp, My, Ride
Snoop, Doggy, Dogg

Boo, Ya, Shaka
In, Da, Hood
Super, Smashing, Great
Finger, Lickin’, Good

West, Ham, Villa
What, Ho, Jeeves
Bloody, Pumped, Up
Roll, Up, Sleeves

Suit, You, Sir
Are, Friends, Electric?
Want, That, One
Vorsprung, Durch, Technik

Bloody, Nice, Bloke
Sun, Shiney, Day
Blobby, Blobby, Blobby
Gabba, Gabba, Hey

Drivel, Piffle, Bilge
Yackety, Yack,Yack
Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb
Quack, Quack, Quack

Silver, Spoon, Face
Chubby, Puppy, Fat
Shiny, Wavy, Hair
Notting, Hill, Twat

Same, Old, Tory
Eton, Blood, Blue
Brand, New, Package
Blair, Mark, Two

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2006




This Land’s Not Your Land
A Republican Party Protest Song
With Apologies To Woody Guthrie (back to top)

This land’s not your land, this land is our land
From Columbus,Ohio to the Florida  swampland
From the corporate jungle to the redneck ranchland
This land was made by Fox TV

It’s bible bashin’ Disneyland
It’s yippee-ai eye for an eye
It’s faith, family and flag
God, guns and apple pie

This land belongs to cowboys
In stetsons, spurs ‘n suits
We’re the Wall Street, Wal-Mart Waltons
John-Boy, Jim-Bob, Jack-Boots

In the Burger Kingdom of The Stupid
Stupid is as Stupid does
Forrest Gump is President
Yee-haw! He’s one of us!

We’re Starbuckin’ bronco Marlboro’ men
We’re big chief swingin’ dicks
It’s John Wayne’s world in Washington
We’re the Capitol Hillbilly hicks

We don’t read books, we do action
All-American wham bam ma’am!
Schwarzenegger Uber Alles!
Gimme five!  Jean Claude Van Damme!                                                                                                                                    

Rambo is not a poet
The French is arty-farty funks
We hate cheese surrender chimpanzees
We hate perverts, pansies, punks

‘Cos them flip-flop pinko girly boys
They don’t walk The American Way
The Dixie Chicks are Communists
SpongeBob SquarePants is gay

Hollywood is Satan’s whorehouse
It’s the Sodom ‘n Gomorrah Motel
Route 666 to Tinseltown
Is the road to burnin’ hell

We ride the hosanna highway
Saddle up our SUV
We got a two-ton tank ‘n a ten-gallon hat
O-I-L spells victory

We’re Team USA cheerleaders
Go! Go! Go! The Pentagon!
Shakin’ 9/11 pompoms 24/7
Armageddon? Bring it on!

‘Cos we’re the evangelical vandals
Shit-kick, kick, kickin’ down Mecca’s door
Rainin’ baptist  bombs on Babylon
Behold their Shock ‘n Awe!

We’re pumpin’ out Mohammed’s diesel
Fillin’ up Christ’s limousine
Hallelujah Halliburton!
Glory! Glory! Gasoline!

Got no time for risin’ oceans,
Ozone layers or polar bears
Kyoto - is that a Japanese car?
It’s gettin’ hot in here - who cares?

We export Nike swoosh democracy
Handmade with Asian sweat
And golden arches of MacFreedom
Built on African debt

Charlie Darwin was a monkey boy
His science fiction’s over
The Almighty made us, that’s a fact
Way to go Jehovah!

The American Dream is born again
It’s a big name brand New Deal
It’s a holy roller Coca-Cola
Prozac Happy Meal

It’s Britney Spears ‘n Bud Lite beers
It’s Super-Size ‘n Super Bowl 
It’s Dunkin’ Donuts on your mind
It’s botox for your soul

We don’t spare no cash for trailer trash
You gotta help yourself Jose
We wipe our ass with dollar-bills
Da-doo Enron-ron have a nice day

We’re the bullet-head neo-conmen
We’re the mob that franchise fear
Cat Stevens is an evil terrorist
Folk with beards ain’t welcome here

We zip ‘em up like chocolate oranges
Shackle, cage, interrogate
We protect Wild West values
Strip, abuse, humiliate

We don’t murder unborn babies
We’re pro-life NRA
We Kentucky fry death-row deadbeats
We’re electric KKK

We’re the Saxon sons of Uncle Sam
Our blood’s red, white ‘n blue
There ain’t no black in the Stars ‘n Stripes
It don’t fly for Apache or Sioux       

We have loosed the fateful lightning
Of our terrible swift sword
We’re the Pentecostal patriots 
Kick-butt and praise The Lord!

This land’s not your land, this land is our land
From the buffalo Badlands to the cotton-pickin’ Dixieland
From the Dust Bowl wasteland to the Presley Graceland
This land is Jesusland! Amen!

copyright, elvis mcgonagall, 2005




A Jolly Good Bun-Fight (back to top)

When militant muslims misbehave
When they’re hollering “Holy War!”                 
Sit them down with a nice hot brew
Because fighting them’s oh such a bore

Don’t let’s be beastly to Jihad Joe
In his dreary Afghan grotto
Pick up a kettle, put down that gun
“Drop Scones - Not Bombs” that’s our motto

So we’re taking tea with The Taliban
Though they’re terribly austere
They don’t give a fig for Dundee cake
And they think Earl Grey is queer

Don’t serve them Lapsang Souchong
Darjeeling or Typhoo
For they find it frightfully frivolous
To be asked “One lump or two?”

We’re taking tea with The Taliban
And that Bin Laden chappy
When I said “Can I tempt you with a tart?”
He didn’t look too happy

He feels that fondant fancies
Are fundamentally fey
Only infidels munch macaroons
Jammy dodgers are risque

We’re taking tea with The Taliban
But it’s all going horribly wrong
One of them’s caught his shalwar kameez
On my toasted-crumpet prong

They’ve flambeed the antimacassars
So the armchairs are now oily
And there’s crumbs all over the Persian rug
Since they burnt Aunt Dolly’s doily

We’re taking tea with The Taliban
They’re very Jalalabad boys
They’ve defenestrated the gramophone
Singing “Down with Satan’s noise!”

They’re playing frisbee with The Wedgwood
It’s Kabul in a china shop
They insist Aunt Dolly wear a burqa
She’s in a filthy strop

We’re taking tea with The Taliban
Aunt Dolly’s boiling over
Patriarchal hegemony ain’t her cuppa char
She’s hit a mullah with a strawberry pavlova

The vicar’s on the sherry
Aunt Dolly’s off her trolley
She’s serving up profiteroles
With a backhand smash and volley

We’re taking tea with The Taliban
The dog is dribbling on Osama’s djellaba
The vicar’s put a tea-towel on his head
Shouting “How’s about that for Ali Baba?”

Aunt Dolly’s gone Ramadan-a-ding-dong
Flinging flapjacks, slinging sugar-bowls 
Fish-paste finger sandwiches are flying through the air
With snacks ‘n jugs ‘n crockery ‘n rolls

The Taliban are not amused
They’re mujaheddin out the door
They say teapot diplomacy’s right up the spout
They abhor chocolate hobnob rapport

We’re no longer taking tea with The Taliban
They’re hiding in their cave in a huff
There’s a trail of flaky pastry up the Khyber Pass
And beards full of clotted cream puff

But there’s another nasty villain in the woodshed
Simply ghastly and exceedingly bad
He bakes lemon meringue pies of destruction
He’s the moustachioed cad from Baghdad  

He’s a scoundrel, a bounder, a dangerous cove,
Loading up our currant buns ain’t enough
He’s planning Armageddon for a quarter past four
By jingo! It’s time to get tough!

So we’re playing bingo with Saddam Hussein
All the four’s - Shock & Awe - 44
We’re off to a ballroom called Mecca
Eyes-down for The Third World War

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2005




Trainspotting: A Railway Story
by The Very Reverend Irvine Welsh
(back to top)

Thomas The Tanked-Up Engine
Wis playin’ wi’ his Mainline Friends
He wis puffin’ like a shite auld choo-choo
He couldnae chuff-chuff roond the bends

So Big Jimmy the fuckin’ Red Engine
Rolled up ‘n gie Tam a wee smoke
“Can I interest ye in some refreshments?” he said
“ ‘Cos things go better wi’ coke”

“Ye can keep yer toasted sangwidges ‘n snacks
And yer individual fruit pies
Ma buffet car’s sorted fer e’s ‘n whiz
Help yersel tae the goods - privatise!”

“Toot! Toot! This fare’s just the ticket!”
Whistled Tam as he shot up the track
“Let’s take a trip through the tunnel o’ love
A have it away day oan smack!”

Whoo-whoo! What a rush! Tam wiz speedin’!
“Hullo! Railway Children! Let’s rave!”
Jenny Agutter’s whipped oaf her knickers
Tae gie Tam a special wee wave

“Look at me! Ah’m The Flyin’ Fuckin’ Scotsman!”
said Tam
“Ah go jet set tae Rio - first class!
Je suis un Eurostar train trash
Adios Airdrie ya bass!”

The Fat Cuntroller wiz ootay his box
The radge wiz goin’ loco
“Yer the 2.33 tae Cowdenbeath
No Acafuckinpulco!”

“This is Virgin on the ridiculous!” said the boss
Then the buffer gie Tam the big shunt
“Yer scrap son – git oan the heave-ho express”
Tam laughed, “Fuck oaf ya fat cunt-roller”

“We interrupt this poem tae make a customer service
Fer youse wankers oan platform eight
We’re sorry fer the delay but the trains are oan drugs
That’s why they’re aw fuckin’ late”

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2004




Turkey Shoot (back to top)

They deny it’s a political decision
They insist it’s a military request
They just need a few Scottish soldiers
To die at George Bush’s behest

Doomed youth from Dundee and Dunfermline
Blairgowrie, Kirkcaldy and Perth
They’ve got you over a barrel of oil
In the Mesopotamian earth

You’re a thin tartan line, off-kilter, laid bare
With a fig leaf of Downing Street lies
So that US Marines can break hearts and lose minds
In the name of MacFreedom ‘n fries                                                                    

Thus the red hackle rises west of Baghdad                                                                      
The Black Watch have been here before
And the river Euphrates is foaming with blood
Now Babylon’s burning once more

Star spangled rockets fracture the night
Minarets shatter and fall
The city of mosques is a boneyard
Only ghosts heed the muezzin’s call

“Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar! Allahu akbar!”
The cry from a death rattletrap
Hell-bent on a joyride to God with a bomb
Blasting metal and flesh into scrap

Charred carcass heaps high in the desert
Laid to waste for American greed
As democracy sinks in the quicksands of fear
And you smell the foul stench of this deed

But you’re caught between the devil
And a sea of pitch-black gold
A sacrifice to the petrol pump price
Your honour is tarnished and sold

Still they say they’ll disband your regiment
You’re The Queen’s Own Disposable Jocks
Then they promise you’ll be home for Christmas 
And you will - gift-wrapped in a six-foot pine-box

copyright elvis mcgonagall, 2004



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