Sunday, April 29, 2018

Bloody Orkney and bloody more . . .

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Two weeks ago I posted a poem by John O’Grady which featured copious use of the word “bloody”. It’s called Tumba Bloody Rumba and it finishes on the words:
“But as for me, I'm here to say the interesting piece of news 
Was Tumba-bloody-rumba shootin' kanga bloody-roos.” 

Byter Robert T sent me an email (thanks Rob) in response and I have posted it in full below. 

Before reading, you should be aware that Orkney is an archipelago in Scotland and comprises approximately 70 islands, of which 20 are inhabited. The largest island, Mainland, is often referred to as "the Mainland". 

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Caution: 

The following item contains swearing, bloody lots of it. Proceed at your own volition.

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Robert’s email: 

Hi Otto, 

Do you know Bloody Orkney ? (British wartime ballad …) 

Bloody Orkney 
By Hamish Blair 

This bloody town's a bloody cuss 
No bloody trains, no bloody bus, 
And no one cares for bloody us 
In bloody Orkney. 

The bloody roads are bloody bad,
The bloody folks are bloody mad, 
They'd make the brightest bloody sad, 
In bloody Orkney. 

All bloody clouds, and bloody rains, 
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains, 
The Council's got no bloody brains, 
In bloody Orkney. 

Everything's so bloody dear, 
A bloody bob, for bloody beer, 
And is it good? - no bloody fear, 
In bloody Orkney. 

The bloody 'flicks' are bloody old, 
The bloody seats are bloody cold, 
You can't get in for bloody gold 
In bloody Orkney. 

The bloody dances make you smile, 
The bloody band is bloody vile, 
It only cramps your bloody style, 
In bloody Orkney. 

No bloody sport, no bloody games, 
No bloody fun, the bloody dames 
Won't even give their bloody names 
In bloody Orkney. 

Best bloody place is bloody bed, 
With bloody ice on bloody head, 
You might as well be bloody dead, 
In bloody Orkney 

There's nothing greets your bloody eye 
But bloody sea and bloody sky, 
'Roll on demob!' we bloody cry 
In bloody Orkney. 

I seem to remember that the author was a sailor posted at Scarpa Flow. That would explain it. It needs explaining beco's apparently Orcadians are generally friendly. Non-stop party-time: lots of pubs and only one bobby. The trouble is - thanks to oil money and price gouging by airlines - it costs you an arm and a leg to get there - sorry, a bloody arm and leg. 

Actually, the internet has supplied this riposte from the locals: 

Captain Hamish 'Bloody' Blair 
Isnae posted here nae mare 
But no-one seems tae bloody care 
In bloody Orkney. 

This stanza is certainly in the right spirit, but I'm not entirely convinced. It appears to be pretty standard lowland scots, which is not what they speak in the Orkneys. But i don't bloody care. 

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Some comments . . . 

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The typist (who was Orcadian) who typed Hamish Blair's verses sent back a reply with her typed manuscript:

Returned herewith your bloody rot 
And what a bloody nerve you've got 
Get a bloody southerner to type 
Your bloody, bloody awful tripe. 
Remember I'm an Orcadian buddy 
And proud of it too 
Oh bloody, bloody 

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There is another Orcadian reply to Hamish Blair, author unknown:

HELLS BELLS
(was published in the Orkney Blast) 

The bloody Sassenachs have come 
With bugle call and tuck o drum 
With smell of beer and army rum. 
The cheeky sods 

What right have they to criticise 
Who blow their trumpet to the skies 
But all our folk and homes despise 
The bloody clods. 

We love the wind, we love the rain 
We do have curbs and likewise drains 
We have no trams or railway trains 
But ships and luggers. 

Oh, could we hear the farewell knell 
Of old St. Magnus's church's bell 
To send them all to bloody hell 
The cocky buggers.

(Btw, a Sassenach is an English person). 

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And another reply:

THE KIRKWALLIAN'S LAMENT 
was an indignant (and anonymous reply) ublished in the Orkney blast 

This bloody war's a bloody cuss 
For what it's bought to bloody us 
Such bloody trouble, bloody fuss 
Oh bloody, bloody 

The navy takes the bloody bun 
With gold braid by the bloody ton 
This bloody town they try to run 
Oh bloody, bloody 

They commandeer each bloody hall 
And at their bloody beck and call 
They want us one and bloody all 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Strutting round like bloody hens 
Supercilious bloody wrens 
Can scarcely push their bloody pens 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Our so called soldiers bloody gay 
With two and bloody six a day 
Their bloody looks keep Huns away 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Brass-hats by the bloody score 
Drink their pay and shout for more 
No wonder Tommy's bloody sore 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Immaculate bloody glamour boys 
In smoky blue, like bloody toys 
Parade with studied bloody poise 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Despite all benefits bestowed 
These bloody forces write an ode 
To ridicule our loved abode 
Oh bloody, bloody 

Wish this bloody war was o'er 
We'll hound them from our bloody shore 
And live in peace for evermore 
Oh bloody, bloody

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And finally, a similar tribute to Halkirk, also in Scotland: 

This fucking town's a fucking cuss,
No fucking trams, no fucking bus, 
Nobody cares for fucking us, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

The fucking roads are fucking bad, 
The fucking folk are fucking mad, 
It makes the brightest fucking sad, 
In fucking Halkirk 

All fucking clouds,all fucking rain, 
No fucking kerbs, no fucking drains, 
The council's got no fucking brains, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

No fucking sport no fucking games, 
No fucking fun, the fucking dames, 
Won't even give their fucking names, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

Everything's so fucking dear, 
A fucking bob for fucking beer, 
And is it good ? no fucking fear, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

The fucking flicks are fucking cold, 
The fucking seats are always cold, 
You can't get in for fucking gold, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

The fucking dances make you smile, 
The fucking band is fucking vile, 
It only cramps your fucking style, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

Best fucking place is fucking bed, 
With fucking ice on your fucking head, 
You might as well be fucking dead, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

No fucking grub no fucking mail, 
Just fucking snow and fucking hail, 
In anguish deep we fucking wail, 
In fucking Halkirk. 

The fucking pubs are fucking dry, 
The fucking barmaid's fucking fly, 
With fucking grief we fucking cry, 
OH! FUCK HALKIRK,


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