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
Somerville Club
Helen Ditchburn