The Brigadier


Words & Music: Jake Thackray

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Up where we live we've got everything,
We've got a cuckoo and a nightingale,
We've got a shop and chapel and a boozer
And a little jail.
We've got a brain-sick witch and a cricket pitch,
We've got a pump and a duck pond here,
A vicar and a blacksmith and a local idiot
And a brigadier, a frigging brigadier.

Let the caravans come, let the charabancs roll!
Tripping our hills, picking our daffodils
Getting stuck in our holes. We don't care.

We don't mind trippers and scouts and ramblers,
They can come and stand in the rain all day.
They give us money and beer and a right good belly laugh,
Then they go away.
But who pins medals on the chests of our children?
Who pins a rose on our biggest pig's ear?
Who pins a little red poppy on our cenotaph?
A brigadier, a frigging brigadier.

Let the bearded wonders come.
Whether we like or not
They squat in the cottages of our ancestors
Making bloody pottery! We don't care.

We get drunk, we get rowdy,
And we get nicked when the flatfeet come;
How are we judged? By whose almighty
Finger and thumb?
Not by Bacchus's, not by Jupiter's.
Not by Solomon's. We're summonsed to appear
Underneath the beak of his week-a-day worship
A brigadier, a frigging brigadier.

Let the rain-god come, spitter and spat and spout.
At least he's a god who is impartial:
He waggles it about. We don’t care.

On a Sunday when the vicar admonishes our wickedness
Whose "Amen" resounds down the aisle?
Who reads the Sermon on the Mount with a Holy
Ghost of a smile?
Who takes the wine? Who takes the biscuit?
Who brings the plate? Who bends the ear?
Singing of his hopes for a new Jerusalem,
A brigadier, a frigging brigadier.

Let God's pale archangel the Grim Reaper come;
He can hack my bones, he can step upon my gravestone,
He can kiss my bum. I don't care.

If he wants my chimneys, if he wants my acres,
If he wants my trout, if he wants my grouse,
If he wants gold and silver titbits,
He's got the wrong house.
He can rattle my latch, bang my knocker,
There's not one whit of a titbit here;
Go tap with his dainty sickle on the windowpane
Of the brigadier,
The frigging brigadier.

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