THE BAY
Mullins/Baxter

On the road to the bay was a lake of rushes
Where we bathed at times and changed in the bamboo,
Now it is rather to stand and say:
How many roads lead us Nowhere,
The alley overgrown, no meaning now but loss:
Not that  garden where everthing comes easy

And by the bay were cliffs with carved names
A hut on the shore beside the maori ovens.
We raced boats from the banks of the creek
Or swam in those autumnal shallows
Growing cold in amber water, riding logs
Upstream, waiting for the taniwha
Growing cold in amber water, riding logs
Upstream, waiting for the taniwha.

So now I remember the bay and the little spiders
We found on driftwood, so poisonous and quick.
The carved cliffs and the great outcrying surf
With currents round the rocks and  birds rising.
A thousand times an hour is torn across
And burned for the sake of going on living.
But I remember the bay that never was
And stand like stone and cannot turn away.
TWO LOVERS
Mullins/Hyde

Close under here I watched two lovers once
Should have been a sin from what you say
Iíd come to the beach to look for prawns
But the tide was out so I strolled away
And climbed the dunes to lie here warm face down
Watching the swimmers by the jetty-posts
Wrinkling like the bright blue wrinkling bay

Close under here I watched two lovers once
They were pale thin people, not often clear of  town
Any fool could see they had to kiss
But your pet dunce didnít quite know
Men count on more than that
And so they lay, and so just lay, patterning the sand.

And when theyíd gone I went down                                                          To the hollow place where they had been
But I  never meant to tell the rest , or you, what I had seen

Elastic snapped when he jerked off her hat
I heard them arguing about the frock
But he thought she was bread
He thought that she was bread

Close under here I watched two lovers once
They were pale thin people, not often clear of  town
Any fool could see that they had to kiss
I wished her legs were brown, oh I wished her legs were brown
And mostly , then, stared  at the dawdling sea
Hoping Perry would row me some day in his boat
But not all the time, not all the time

And when theyíd gone I went down                                                          To the hollow place where they had been
But I  never meant to tell the rest , or you, what I had seen
Though that night when I came in late for tea
I hoped youíd see the sandgrains on my coat
Close under here I watched two lovers once
(adapted from The Beaches VI)
RHYME OF THE DEAD SELF
Mullins/Fairburn

Tonight I have taken all that I was
and strangled him that lily-white lad
I have choked him with these hands,
Choked him with these claws
Catching him as he lay a-dreaming in his bed
A-dreaming in his bed

He is dead pale youth and shall not rise
on the third day or any other day
sloughed like a snakeskin there he lies
and shall not trouble me again for aye
He is dead pale youth and shall not rise
on the third day or any other day
sloughed like a snakeskin there he lies
and shall not trouble me again for aye

Then chuckling I dragged out his foolish brains
that were full of pretty love-tales heigho the holly
and yes I emptied them holus bolus to the drains
those dreams of love oh what ruinous folly
What ruinous folly

He is dead pale youth and shall not rise
on the third day or any other day
sloughed like a snakeskin there he lies
and shall not trouble me again for aye

La la la la la la la
WHERE FAIRBURN WALKED
Ross Mullins 1987


Oh ferry me across the shining harbour
Take me back again
Rock me rock me gentle on the water
I will feel no pain
And take me through the corrugated hallway
Out on to the pier
Where the whitebaiters roll a smoke
And the gulls circle near

O walk me through those sleepy settlersí streets
Where Fairburn walked
Past  the villas with their filigrees
And chestnut trees and the idle talk
Of the old boilermakers in the public bar
Sipping at their beer
Past the poets at the dartboard
Waiting for their marvellous year

And by the graveyard pioneers
There stood a priest
Lay down your pen he said
Abandonment is only the sister of release

And when my journeyís ended, I will ask you to bury me
On the slopes of the gentle grassy mountain
That looks out to the sea
And bury me in a black piano
Beside a macrocarpa tree
And toss my music to the wind
And throw away the keys
And toss my music to the wind
And throw away the keys
NOT MADE WITH HANDS
Mullins/Gilbert

Find me the rose that will not die,
The tree no axe can fell,
The spring no Summerís drought shall dry,
And this last miracle:
Show me the wood, the timeless wood
Where tall and steadfast stands
(The lightnings quenched, the storms withstood)
A house not made with hands.

Here is your rose that will not die,
Your tree no axe can fell,
The spring no Summerís drought shall dry,
And here your miracle:
Behold the wood, the timeless wood,
And see how,  steadfast, stands
(All lightnings quenched, all storms withstood)
Loveís house, not made with hands.
Loveís house, not made with hands
WHITE IRISES         
Mullins/Hyde

But when it came to holding fast
All my heaped days as water  went,
High in swirling dreams I stood,
With vain hands clutched the slipping past
Of straws and faces on the flood.
Till single among stones I saw
The white, the ragged irises,
Cold on a sky of petals dead,
Their young cheeks roughened in the wind,
Boys.white-surpliced boys
Cold boys of spring, the irises
With parted lips stood chanting there,
The green flood restive to their knees,
Rain powdered on their hair
And I who sought for heartís farewell,
In dusk of spring, have brought you these -
The choir singing in a spell,
The white, the ragged irises.

Over their feet the spring tide bore
High bellows flecked with daisied foam.
I saw the wind, a swimmer, pass
From grey-girt isles of cloud, his home,
And mount the blue stockades of trees.
O then a singing on the air,
Caught and flung back and held again,
Curled in the rosy shells of rain
And pressed against earthís listening ear
Took up the triumph-strain.
Cold boys of spring, the irises
With parted lips stood chanting there,
The green flood restive to their knees,
Rain powdered on their hair.
Until a red moon dipped shoulder-high,
A lantern swinging from the pole
Of some old fisher of the sky
In starry waters of the soul.
And I who sought for heartís farewell,
In dusk of spring, have brought you these -
Irises white irises.
MY LOVE LATE WALKING
Mullins/Baxter

My love late walking in the rainís white aisles
I break words for, though many tongues
Of night deride and the moonís boneyard smile

Cuts to the quick our newborn sprig of song,
See and believe, my love, the late yield
Of bright grain, the sparks of harvest wrung
From difficult joy.

My heart is an open field.
There you may stray wide or stand at home
Nor dread the giantís bone and broken shield
Or any tendril locked on a thunder stone,
Nor fear, in the forked grain, my hawk who flies
Down to your feathered sleep alone
Striding blood coloured on a wind of sighs.
Let him at the heart of your true dream move,
My love, in the lairs of hope behind your eyes.

I sing, to the rainís harp, of light renewed,
The black tares broken, fresh the phoenix light
I lost among timeís rags and burning tombs.

My love late walking in the rainís white aisles
See and believe, my love, the late yield
Of bright grain, the sparks of harvest wrung
From difficult joy.

My heart is an open field.
There you may stray wide or stand at home
Nor dread the giantís bone and broken shield
Or any tendril locked on a thunder stone,
Nor fear, in the forked grain, my hawk who flies
Down to your feathered sleep alone
Striding blood coloured on a wind of sighs.
Let him at the heart of your true dream move,
My love, in the lairs of hope behind your eyes.
My love walks long in harvest aisles tonight.
SENEX          
Mullins/Campbell

Go away,young girl, and leave me
To my bitter senescence.
Iím tired of being a battery
Feeding your incandescence.

Go away, with your cool young eyes
That consider me with amusement -
An old fool is an old fool
And not a thing for abasement.

Enough that I spent long nights
Cursing the source of my weakness -
The spreading gold on your shoulders,
Your butter-milk sleekness.

Go, for what happened between us
Flared up and was soon over.
Iíll go to my empty apartment
And you to your lover.

Enough that I inwardly rage
While you stand there all unfeeling,
A slow smile touching your lips
As you stare from me to the ceiling.

Go, for what happened between us
Flared up and was soon over.
Iíll go to my empty apartment
And you to your lover
You to your lover
You to your lover
WHY DONíT YOU TALK TO ME?
Mullins/Campbell

Why do I post my love letters in a hollow log?
Why do I post my love letters in a hollow log?
The spiders spread their nets
And they catch the sun
And by my foot in the dry grass
Ants rebuild a broken city

Why donít you talk to me?
Talk to me
Why donít you talk to me?

Why put my lips to a knothole in a tree and whisper your name?
Why put my lips to a knothole in a tree and whisper your name?
Butterflies pair in the wind
And the yellow bee
His holsters packed with bread
Rides the blue air like a drunken cowboy

Why donít you talk to me?
Talk to me
Why donít you talk to me?

More and more I find myself talking to the sea
I am alone with my footsteps
More and more I find myself talking to the sea
I watch the tide recede
And Iím left with miles of shining sand

Why donít you talk to me?
Talk to me
Why donít you talk to me?


TIDEMARKS
Mullins/Hyde
Calm stood the old house
Long unpossessed,
Close beat its silence

Under her breast;
Out of its sills
Wreathed clear and forlorn
What echoing trumpets
Of what dead morn?
Standing with fingers
Wide-spread and chilly,
On the spangling hood
Of a wild pink lily
ĎHow many tidemarks
Since this house loved?
She spoke in a small voice unmoved
How many green tides
Wither again,
After this hour
Caught up from rain?
We looking down
From the sills to the waters,
I with cloak loosened,
Last of its daughters.í
But before they had entered
He paused and drew over,
Sandalling with dew
Her feet in the clover;
Down on her brown cheek
Straight drew he
A bough of old drudging
Mulberry tree;
And crushed the berries,
Ungathered, unblest,
Into her mouth,
Into her breast.
ĎHow many tidemarks
Since this house loved?
She spoke in a small voice unmoved
How many green tides
Wither again,
After this hour
Caught up from rain?
We looking down
From the sills to the waters,
I with cloak loosened,
The last, the very last, the last of its daughters.í

TO A FRIEND
Mullins/Fairburn

March will die into April,
autumn will age and be grey as a pensioner,
May will fade in a mist, the day come when
the tui no longer spandles
the scarlet flax-flowers with his song,
when the dawn brings sleet and the bees are quiet
and the morning thrush is dumb

Winter will come with a blast of wind
and a flourish of chilling showers,
and the sea will moan, the driftwood whiter grown
be swept in heaps like bones
and the bodies of dead sea-birds
will lie beyond the lash of the wave
the sea will rave and the surf cast rags of kelp on the shore
the creeks will rise, the streams with yellow water run
and the mud be cold and deep about your door
And the wind in the dark will roar
and the midnight fill with dread
but the drifwood fire will still be warm
at the midmost core
at the beating heart of the storm

Then like a smile from the dead
or a song from the granite rock
spring will come with its four blue eggs
that mirror the sky
in the nest in the privet hedge
with a blush of green on the willow
and buds on the sycamore
and the thrush in the macrocarpa
telling the time of life
The starling in the gutter
will splash in the shining air
the spiders make of their spittle
great cities in the grass
the fantail flit in the tea-tree
turn cartwheels over the mare
young violets charm the wind
even the dun unsmiling
bush at the head of the stream
hold up its flowers
to kiss the robe of the sun.
The time of doubt will pass,
faith and fact will be one.

Old friend, some day
when Iíve had my say, and the world its way,
then, O then will I come again
and stay for as long as I may,
stay till the time for sleep;
gaze at the rock that died before me,
the sea that lives for ever;
of air and sunlight,frost and wave and cloud,
and all the agony and joy,
all the agony and joy,
all the remembered agony and joy
fashion my shroud.
BENEFICIARY

Who is this man walking down the street
His shoulders stooped in shame
With his woolly hat and ragged clothes
He hasn't shaved in days
His head is full of phenzodol
But he knows where he must go
It's the twentieth - he gets paid today
He's been waiting all week
But he won't let it show

And you call this a benefit
A blessing in disguise
A token of their gratitude
A cover for their lies
And those kindly benefactors
Write laws and make decrees
And everybody's smiling except the beneficiary

What do you do when you can't pay the rent
And they disconnect the phone
Crashing down on someone's floor
'Cause you've got no place of your own
So come on down to Doletown
Fill out a form or two
Sign away your self-respect
And the welfare state will care for you

And you call this a benefit
This sordid little cheque
This pay-off for their silence
This rope around the neck
And those kindly benefactors
Bestow their charity
And leave everybody smiling except the beneficiary


CASEY AND THE PEARLY GATES

Casey was the local bartender
He rubbed shoulders with the very best
He served oysters with his dinners
He knew all tomorrow's winners
And could get you tickets for the test

Casey had a heart condition
And the doctors said his time was right
So he made himself a will
Put his fingers in the till
And Casey passed away one night

Hats off to Casey Jones
He's up there somewhere with his roll-your-owns
We miss his company
Down at the Naval and Family

He was sent to purgatory
But not to be deterred
He saw the angel scribe
Offered him a bribe
And his sentence came to be deferred

He soon left purgatory
But when he came to the Pearly Gates
St Peter drew his sword
Declared his papers fraud
And sent him off to expiate

Well he demanded that his case be taken
To a higher authority
The objection was dismissed
And in a haze of Irish Mist
He was fanfared into eternity

Old Casey win's again
He's up there somewhere with his Capstan Tens
We miss his company
Down at the Naval and Family


EDMOND'S SURE TO RISE

Eddie's off work, he's going down for a swim
With his radio and his chilly bin
And he's feeling like a winner
In his baggy togs

Pretty topless girl lying next to him
With a range of cosmetics for her delicate skin
And her mind on vacation
All summer long

Place on sand then
Warm till tender
Baste with oil to appetise
Turn it round
Grill till browned
And Edmond's sure to rise

Eddie'd love to meet her but he doesn't dare
She'd probably dismiss him with an icy stare
And he's sure she must be waiting
For some muscular guy

But she's looking at her watch - it's time to decide
Whether to take a swim or do the other side
And half the beach is watching
From the corner of their eye

Cool in ocean
Add a lotion
Marinate to appetise
Grill the breast
Tegel test
And Edmond's sure to rise

He's been lying in the sun for an hour or more
Red as a lobster and incredibly sore
So he takes a cold shower and wanders off alone
FEATHERSTON

So you want to be a soldier son
You're going to join the boys in green
I fought in the war myself
I was only seventeen
I didn't win no medals
They didn't send me overseas
They sent me down to Featherston
To guard the Japanese

And those voices in my head
Loud enough to wake the dead

Life was slow at Featherston
We lived from day to day
We gambled in the guardroom
We drank the nights away
And them, they simply stared at us
With hatred in their eyes
We didn't speak their language
We couldn't read their minds

And those voices in my head
Loud enough to wake the dead

They gathered in the compound
It was getting out of hand
The CO gave the order
To have the brenners manned
Those Japs kept surging forward
"Fire!" someone cried
I heard the sound of gunfire
And men falling like flies

Forty-eight men died that day
In that barbed wire hell
You won't find any cenotaph
Showing where they fell
So you want to be a soldier
Well I know you're not to blame
But if you'd been there at Featherston
You'd hang your head in shame

FLIGHT 501

Another whisky on the rocks Joe
I can't see how I stand to lose
You know I haven't slept since Friday
Friday was the day I heard the news
And though I've sure been doing some drinking
I haven't gone to pieces yet
But I'm burning out
Like this half-smoked cigarette

You ever been stranded at an airport Joe
Left sitting there like last week's freight
You want some word about a passenger
"I'm sorry Sir, you'll just have to wait"
Hey you must be sick and tired of me by now
I know we've been through this before
But I just can't see
How they can be so sure

No, don't start me talking about all that Joe
Don't look for answers where there's none
And I don't know why
I can't stop thinking about Flight 501

GOAL ATTACK

Saw you at the courts with the college team
Training with the Catholic girls from Baradene
Well I stood there pressed against the fence
My eyes pinned on the goal defence
I wanna be your goal attack

With your sexy legs and your little pleated skirt
With your mind on the ball and your body so alert
Well I stood there panting with desire
On the wrong side of that fencing wire
I wanna be your goal attack

Well I know they're very strict at boarding school
And if I said I want to meet you they would treat me like a fool
But someday you're gonna ask me up into your dorm
And we're gonna make love in you're your uniform
I wanna be your goal attack


GOING TO AUSTRALIA

I work the assembly line
At Team McLyon Ford
The taxman takes home half my pay
And the rest goes to my landlord
Well I'd kind of like to settle down
And raise a family
But I just can't seem to get a break
Down at the TAB
So I'm packing my bags
And a carton of fags
And I'm going away to Australia

My mother works at Foodtown
My Daddy's on the dole
And sister Sue is living up in Darwin
Bless her soul
Well I've been around this country
Seen all kind of things
But that aint nothing on what I'll see
The day I land in Kings
So I'm packing my bags
And a carton of fags
And I'm going away to Australia

I'm gonna cruise around on Bondi Beach
In my sawn-off corduroys
I don't know but I've been told
They've got two girls for every boy

Last week I got laid off
At Team McLyon Ford
And guess just what I'm gonna do
With my redundancy award
I sure as hell am a Kiwi
And I know that Kiwis care
But get me down to Quantas quick
Before they change the fares
So I'm packing my bags
And a carton of fags
And I'm going away to Australia


LAST FAIR DEAL

Suzy just lit up her last cigarette
It's quarter to four and her man aint home yet
She knows he's on business - this time it's for real
As she watches him drift to his last fair deal

He's been playing his cards real close to his chest
And says to be patient 'cause he knows what's best
But that guy that they found rolled in the field
He sure got burned on his last fair deal

And she tell's him she loves him
And he's breaking her heart
"Let's go to England and make a new start"
But he stares at the ceiling - no reply
And in all those years
She's never once seen him cry

She still aint accustomed to sleeping alone
As she lies on the bed and waits for the phone
To say that they've found him tied to the wheel
With an empty valise on his last fair deal

Suzy just stubbed out her last cigarette
It's four in the morning and her man aint home yet
She knows he's on business - she's beginning to feel
He may never return from his last fair deal



MARCY'S IN LOVE AGAIN

Marcy's in love again, it comes as no surprise
She's found another of her eligible guys
Says he's a sales rep
Says he's in personal supplies
Wants to take her skiing
For a week in July

Marcy's in love now but she'll come off second best
This guy will break her heart just like all the rest
I watch them drive off
With all his ski gear on the rack
His suit and his sample case
Thrown in the back

Marcy you sure can pick your men
There's no way you can win
Why don't you deal me in?
We could ski our little hearts out
MISSING

Stacey had a bashful kind of smile
Never said a lot when I came to visit her
But I haven't seen her in a while

Lent her money so she could see
Her sister get married in Australia
I guess it just wasn't meant to be

Thought I heard her calling in the night
Or was it just the howling of the wind
She'll never know how much I'm missing her tonight

Stacey left home on Tuesday
Gonna hitch to Takanini
Got picked up on the motorway
By a guy in a stolen mini

Stacey had a timid kind of smile
Used to blush when I told her she was beautiful
But I haven't seen her in a while

Thought I heard her calling in the night
Or was it just the howling of the wind
She'll never know how much I'm missing her tonight


NIGHT OF THE TEST

They came out in their busloads
They queued up at the gate
They bought their season ticket
The ladies brought a plate
Ears to their transistors
They smuggled in their beer
They settled on the terraces
They raised a mighty cheer

Night of the test
Biggest night of the year
Night of the test
Can't afford not to be there

No curtain raiser
No marching girls team
No hot pies in the vending machines
They wait for the kick-off
They yell for the ref
They start slow clapping
Gonna shout until they're deaf

Night of the test
Don't let them put us to shame
Night of the test
For the sake of the game

Commentator's countdown
Hush over the crowd
A blinding flash of light
Fire in the cloud
Debris on the goalpost
A thousand empty cans
And scattered round the stadium
The bodies of the fans

Night of the test
Biggest night of the year
Night of the test
Can't afford not to be there


PINEHEAD

Pinehead grew up on a farm
Tough Taranaki breed
He drank his daily Valbazen
And his bowl of cattle feed
Solid as a piece of 4 x 2
Dad said "Son, we'll make an All Black out of you"

The day he came to college
He made the first fifteen
He mowed the opposition down
Like a harvesting machine
With a hide so tough
He broke every teacher's cane
But they made him head boy
And never lost a game

Pinehead was a hero
A legend in his time
Signed a child's autograph
And I'm proud to call it mine

Chosen for his province
He rose quickly to the top
Caught the head selector's eye
Named him blindside prop
Played against the Boks in 65
Made the headlines with his winning try

His fame it spread until one day
When tempers started to flare
He took a man out in a ruck
And left him in a wheelchair
But he's happy now sitting on the bench
Makes a buck on tv
Selling cattle drench

Pinehead was a hero
A legend in his time
Signed a child's autograph
And I'm proud to call it mine

SCRATCHINGS

Sid's been on a losing streak lately
Gay rang up to call it a day
She met somebody else at the races
Sending back his hoseshoe in the mail

Head like playdough
Turn on the radio
Song thrashing
And now for the scratchings:

Number 2 Gay Filou
Number 3 C'est la Vie
Number 8 take out Stablemate
Number 5 Sid's Pride
Number 9  Valentine
21 Out comes Lucky Son

Put a dollar on a rank outsider
Felt so low he thought he'd mow the lawn
Neighbour poked his head through the privet
Shook his fist and started to warn

Sid, fair go
Can't hear my radio
S'posed to be catching
The Riccarton scratchings:

Number 2 Gay Filou
Number 3 C'est la Vie
Number 8 take out Stablemate
Number 5 Sid's Pride
Number 9  Valentine
21 Out comes  Mister Fun

Drove down to the pub in his Holden
Got himself as rotten as a newt
What kind of girl would leave you in the boxcart
And run off with the off-course substitute

Barman says Oh
Turn up the radio
S'posed to be catching
The Riccarton scratchings:

Number 2 Gay Filou
Number 3 C'est la Vie
Number 8 take out Stablemate
Number 5 Sid's Pride
Number 9  Valentine
21 Out comes Lucky Son

SPORTIN' LIFE BLUES (trad. arr. Mullins)

I'm getting tired of running round
Believe I'll get married and settle down
Cos this old night life
This mean old sportin' life
It's killing me

I've been a gambler and a cheater too
But now it's come my time, my time to lose
Cos this old night life
It's a bad life
And it's killing me

There ain't but one thing that I done wrong
I played this sportin' life much too long
Cos this old night life
It's a bad life
And it's killing me

STANDARD THREE

Nine year old urchin
Jam-faced and cornflaked
Wiping the sleep from his eyes
A pocket full of marbles
And the neighbour's monkey apples
Slips on his schoolbag and mumbles goodbye

Down by the bikeshed
And over the creek
A hideout in the blackberry vines
A fort with a password
A key to the land where a boy
Can shanghai the moon after bedtime

Bullrush and bullies
Rabbit-punch the primers
Girls upside down on the bars
And six of the best
For the last one into line
Journals and inkwells and insects in jars

Down by the shed
Through a hole in the fence
A hideout I dare you to find
Lost in the lupins
A mythical land where a boy
Can shanghai the moon after bedtime

Down by the bottom field
Over the creek
A hideout in the blackberry vines
A place known only
To those in the land where a boy
Can shanghai the moon after bedtime

Three o'Álock scramble
Ambush down at Dundale
Cornered by college kids one on to three
Wounded in action
Makes it to the kitchen
Cases the fridge for his afternoon tea

Down by the shed
Through a hole in the fence
A hideout I dare you to find
Lost in the lupins
A mythical land where a boy
Can shanghai the moon after bedtime
STATE HOUSE KID

Brown-eyed girl on Queen Street, stepping out for Friday night,
Angel in denim, stops, asks a stranger for a light,
And boys whistle in the crowd,
But she holds her head up proud,
And she's only 15 but she keeps it hid,
She looks 21, this state house kid.
Spends the last ten dollars she earned down at the superette,
She's got to meet a girlfriend at nine outside the de Brett
And they're going to the disco bar,
Or going cruising in a car,
And she's gleaming in the night like a black orchid,
And she's starting to forget she's a state house kid.
She's so tender and so unafraid,
But there's an ugly world out there,
And they're waiting for her,
Like cops on a dawn raid.
Night is spent and finds her out of smokes and down at heart,
It's getting on midnight as she makes her way to Britomart,
And she'll take the bus ride home,
Creep into the house alone,
And in the morning they'll be asking her what she did,
But she won't say much this state house kid.

THE MATING OF A RATING AND A WREN

There's a wedding on tomorrow
Word's out all over the place
One of the wrens
And a fine able seaman
Getting spliced right here at the base

The boy's have knocked off early
Sit round and sink a few beers
A shout for the blokes
A few wedding night jokes
Not for the officers' ears

So let's drink to the health of the RNZN
We've been waiting for the mating
Of a rating and a wren

Tonight there'll be a stag party
They've got the crates from the stores
And when it gets late
They'll chain him to the gate
And nugget the poor bugger's balls

Meanwhile the girl's are going out to dinner
Even some of the cadets
They'll have a whale of a time
Drinking vodka and lime
And throwing a few serviettes

So let's drink to the health of the RNZN
We've been waiting for the mating
Of a rating and a wren

But let's go back to that stag party
They've drunk a whole dozen each
And it's already late
He's chained to the gate
And the boys are giving him heaps

But in the morning they'll be down at the chapel
In the finest kit that they have
And when the vows have been done
And the last hymn is sung
They'll be into the mussels and pav

So let's drink to the health of the RNZN
We've been waiting for the mating
Of a rating and a wren
UNCLES

Bright eyed uncles
On their way out to bowls
With their whites and their blazers
And their packet of rolls
Their hair is glistening with vaseline
And there's a twinkle in their eyes as they reach the green
They tease the ladies with their dapper ways
Uncles

Dewey eyed uncles
At the Christmas reunion
With a niece on their knees
And a bottle of Bourbon
And they reminisce as they finish their sweet
About six o'clock closing and the Battle of Crete
And the sons-in-law all laugh at their jokes
Uncles

Uncles were the ones the kids adored
When they used to dress up as Santa Claus

Fiery eyed uncles
Purple with tension
Jostle in the queue
As they wait for the pension
They moan about the rights of the ordinary bloke
Never used to be this way with Holyoake
And the lady at the counter has to agree
Uncles

Uncles in the garden with their Nylex hoses
They got worms in their peaches and blight on their roses

Beery eyed uncles
Stagger and sway
Singing Auld Lang Syne
Out of the RSA
And their dinner's in the oven
Burnt to a cinder
But Mum'll be on the phone
Talking to Linda
And they turn on the telly and begin to snore
Uncles

Uncles grow old and they'll be dead before long
And we'll all kind of miss them when they're gone