Richard B Gillion
Inspired by a dream about everything going wrong at an open mike night.
First performed at the Somerville Club in 2008
Tune: The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe
I went down to the Somerville
To sing a song or two
To have a pint or two or three
As many others do
To laugh and joke with many friends
Who'll always see you right
Ah but this is what happened when I went there
The other Thursday night.
As I set off from Newport town
The sun was shining fair
But as I crossed the Severn Bridge
The clouds came from nowhere
I tried to find a parking place
But all to no avail
I had to walk down Pig Sty Hill
Through forty sheets of rain.
I carried my guitar with me
And a load of other gear
Spare strings, a tuner, stand and words
So I need never fear
And all the kit I carried in
Each week grew more and more
'You can't bring all that lot in here
You'll block the fire door.'
A brilliant guitarist was on the stage
She sung just like a lark
I was halfway through a turkey roll
And my seventh pint of dark
Rapturous applause assailed my ears
As the artist took her bow
And Helen said, 'Put your sandwich down
Richard, you're on now.'
I had a new-fangled pedal box
With effects both rich and rare
A present that I'd bought myself
Since last that I was there
And fifty feet of cables and plugs
I was sure to be a hit
But ten minutes struggling later Helen said,
'Richard, it just won't fit.'
I'd tuned my strings so carefully
With an effort so immense
It always was my grave concern
That I give no offence
But still I got such frowns and calls,
'Your strings they need tweak.'
'What do you mean, "It's out of tune"?
I did it the other week.'
I started on my newest song
But then forgot the tune
I then forgot the words of one
I only wrote in June
'In my bag is a file of lyrics
I took down from the shelf
What do you mean, "It isn't there"?
I put it in myself.'
So I had to fall back on old favourites
They'd heard a hundred times
With tunes I'd pinched from other songs
And full of dodgy rhymes
But nobody seemed to mind
For they listened not to me
They were having such fun in the Somerville
With each other's company.
The Maid of the Sweet Brown Knowe