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Amock Comedy Compendium

A SUB-HUMAN’S LOVE SONG
In the early 1940s John Betjeman wrote a beautiful poem called A Subaltern’s Love Song which perfectly
captured a time, a place and an emotion. But we at Amock can’t leave it at that. We’ve moved it to the
present day and shifted it to Glasgow, a very different milieu from Betjeman’s leafy Surrey.
A SUBALTERN’S LOVE SONG
A SUB-HUMAN’S LOVE SONG
Miss J. Hunter Dunn, Miss J. Hunter Dunn,
Furnish'd and burnish'd by Aldershot sun,
What strenuous singles we played after tea,
We in the tournament - you against me!
Big Agnes McCunn, Big Agnes McCunn,
Pale and anaemic frae Glasgow’s grey sun,
What enthralling darts we played efter tea,
Us in the tournament - you against me.
Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.
One twent, one eighty, you jammy wee git,
The shape o’ a jukebox. Wi lovely big bits,
Wi’ cheatin’ an’ swindlin’, lucky ye won,
Ahv ferr got the hots fur ye, Big Agnes McCunn.
Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
How mad I am, sad I am, glad that you won,
The warm-handled racket is back in its press,
But my shock-headed victor, she loves me no less.
Big Agnes McCunn, Big Agnes McCunn,
Ahv right got the boak wi’ ye, mad that ye won,
The wee tungsten darts are back in their box,
But ma red-heided winner, is mair than a fox.
Her father's euonymus shines as we walk,
And swing past the summer-house, buried in talk,
And cool the verandah that welcomes us in
To the six-o'clock news and a lime-juice and gin.
Her auld man’s wee dug we take fur a walk,
An’ haung roon the dunny, an’ hiv a wee talk,
It’s doon tae the pub then, wi’ plenty o’ cheers,
Tae fitba oan the telly an’ a couple o’ beers.
The scent of the conifers, sound of the bath,
The view from my bedroom of moss-dappled path,
As I struggle with double-end evening tie,
For we dance at the Golf Club, my victor and I.
The scent o’ the lavvy, sound o’ the drains,
The view frae ma bedsit is doin’ ma brains,
As I struggle wi’ chinos an’ gettin’ a crease,
Fur we’re aff tae the dancin, tae wiggle wur knees.
On the floor of her bedroom lie blazer and shorts,
And the cream-coloured walls are be-trophied with
sports,
And westering, questioning settles the sun,
On your low-leaded window, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
Oan the flair o’ her bedroom lie knickers an’ tights,
And the nicky stained walls are strangers tae light,
An’ headin’ fur Ireland, there goes the sun,
Through yer single-glazed windaes, Big Agnes
McCunn.
The Hillman is waiting, the light's in the hall,
The pictures of Egypt are bright on the wall,
My sweet, I am standing beside the oak stair
And there on the landing's the light on your hair.
The fast black is waiting, he’s blawin’ his horn,
Her posters o’ Elton are really quite worn,
Ma darlin’, ahm staunin’ dead still oan the flair,
An’ oan the hauf landin’ there’s some grey in yer hair.
By roads "not adopted", by woodlanded ways,
She drove to the club in the late summer haze,
Into nine-o'clock Camberley, heavy with bells
And mushroomy, pine-woody, evergreen smells.
By roads, not discovered, through tenement hell,
We drove tae the dancin’ no’ feelin’ too well,
Intae the city, that’s covered wi’ snaw,
This summer’s the worst, that I ever saw.
Miss Joan Hunter Dunn, Miss Joan Hunter Dunn,
I can hear from the car park the dance has begun,
Oh! Surrey twilight! importunate band!
Oh! strongly adorable tennis-girl's hand!
Big Agnes McCunn, Big Agnes McCunn,
Ah can hear frae the gutter the dancin’s begun,
Oh! Glasgow at midnight, a right fearsome place!
Oh! strangely attractive dart girl’s baw face!
Around us are Rovers and Austins afar,
Above us the intimate roof of the car,
And here on my right is the girl of my choice,
With the tilt of her nose and the chime of her voice.
Aroon us ur motors both stolen and not,
Ah touched her broad shooder an’ asked for a shot,
She grabbed me quite fiercely, an awesome embrace,
An’ wi’ passionate lips, sooked plukes aff ma face.
And the scent of her wrap, and the words never said,
And the ominous, ominous dancing ahead.
We sat in the car park till twenty to one
And now I'm engaged to Miss Joan Hunter Dunn.
An’ the smell o’ her oxters, the promise o’ bed,
Or a rapid knee trembler just oot in the shed,
Ah gave her the business till twenty past wan,
An’ noo ahv bin captured by Big Agnes McCunn.
Amock: Comedy Compendium/Page 82
 
 
 
 
 
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