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Albert plays skiffle

One day way back in the fifties
our Albert was excited an’ keen,
an’ the cause of ’is intoxication:
well, skiffle ’ad burst onto t’ scene.

In Albert this fomented a huge passion
an’ ’e determined to create a new band
wi’ ’is stick wi’ the ’orse’s ’ead ’andle
an’ a dustbin, ’e’d conquer the land.

“One chap can strum on a washboard,
an’ someone can sing a bit too,”
then Albert made a momentous decision:
the songstress could be ladyfriend Sue.

’Aving a girlfriend were brilliant,
seein’ as she were in t’ Sally Ann,
’cos she borrowed a tambourine from the Army,
as well as some spoons from her gran.

One lad brought comb an’ some greaseproof –
on this ’e could ’um some good tunes –
there were rhythm wi’ thimbles on t’ washboard,
while a third accompanied on t’ spoons.

Albert were chuffed wi’ ’is contraption
an’ practised on it evenings an’ nights,
but t’ racket got on t’ nerves of ’is mother
an’ she threatened to knock out ’is lights.

“Aw, Mother, we’re off to be famous;
you’ll ’ear us on t’ wireless, you’ll see.”
“But we still need a name,” said young Sue,
so they discussed it over crumpets an’ tea.

Said Albert: “I can see it up there in lights,
It’s a name that’s bang up to date:
It’s Albert Ramsbottom an’ t’ Lions.
We’ll go top o’ t’ charts, just you wait.”

But the ambitious plans of young Albert,
such as gettin’ ’is mates off the dole,
came to a cropper very quickly,
when Elvis invented rock ’n’ roll.

Mike Wilson 2005


Mike Wilson