The Tale of Dave Totterdell

Richard B Gillion

When he was young, Dave Totterdell / Had girls by the dozen, it's said,
For he wrote such wondrous love songs / As would win every girls heart and head

It didn't matter whether he played in Britain / Or crooned all upon the high seas
Or performed on the Arctic Circle / Or charged exorbitant fees

From the first note to the last, they'd be smitten / By the yearnings expressed in his song
From student to actress to housewife / Their hearts weren't their own very long.

But when he got older, he started / To change the songs what he wrote
He sang about heroes and history / Brunel, Bathurst and Edwin's lifeboat.

These went down so well with the folkies / And historians loved him to bits
So Dave carried on in this manner / But for girls he was writing no hits.

His songs all had men as the subjects / And no woman's heart could he gain
Then he wrote and he sang of Catrina / Which turned out to be a hurricane.

When Dave noticed that female company / Was in terminal decline, so it's said,
He still didn't woo girls with music / And decided to chase them instead.

He pursued them all over the country / But whether he'd run, climb or swim
He wasn't no nearer to getting one / He found they could all outrun him.

So he thought, I shall now give up smoking / And clear out my lungs and my veins
And everyone else gave up with him / But they all soon started again.

Then Dave saw one luscious young creature / And he was distracted with lust
But he couldn't catch her for toffee / And his lungs they were both fit to bust.

So he went to his doctor's next morning / And to his physician he rants
That just like an old post-war schoolboy / His breath only came in short pants.

The doctor examined his thorax / But Dave said it hurt in his chest
In the finish he sent him to th'ospital / He said, "Happen that's for the best."

"It's my heart," said Dave to the surgeon, / "I've had it a month, maybe two."
"You've had much it longer than that, lad, / Its sell-by date's well overdue."

"You've a valve that won't shut when it's open / And won't open when it is shut
And some of those arteries are like the M5 / Clogged up with road works, all but."

"I'll give you a tip," says the surgeon, /" Try to persuade all your friends
To give you their Christmas presents early / Several weeks before the year ends."

"Or give us a ring in a day, maybe two, / And we'll see if we can get you in,
And give you a new valve and bypass / Who knows, it may be your luck's in."

When he phoned they had good new to tell him / Seamus O'Shaun was in town,
From Dublin to work on by-passes / Now how could Dave turn that one down?

He hadn't done one on his own yet / But his family were all in that field
His dad spent ten years in the business / Built the Preston, Newbury and Chesterfield.

Discretion's the best part of valour / And Dave opted to wait for the best
To get back here home from his holidays / After a long well-earned rest.

The fateful day soon came upon him / On the table he lay like a lamb
"Would you like me to carve?" asked the surgeon / "If I don't David here's in a jam."

He tried all the tools in the toolkit / Till he felt he would almost collapse
They were blunt and bent 'cos t'anaesthetist / Had used them to free his hub caps.

So they sent for the cook in the finish / To fetch up a knife good and sharp
And they said that they better had hurry / Dave were no good at playing the harp.

They got right inside of his thorax / Dave were sure his heart was in his chest
They'd marked the spot with a blue marker / Right here just under his vest.

They fixed up the valve in a jiffy / With rubber, some silk and pig skin
And they tried to bypass his clogged arteries / With his veins but they were too thin.

They tried every tube they could think of / But nothing was fit for the job
Till they found some of just the right thickness / Fuel piping from Dave's Harley Hog.

At last he was ready for stitching / And the surgeon, whose name it was Bert,
Wove an intricate pattern, so the scar / Would match Dave's pink Hawaiian shirt.

Now Dave still sings about history / And mates who go fishing for fun
He no longer needs to write love songs / For at last after girls he can run.