The Gaffer an’ the Piano Recital


Music thou’re sayin’? A recital? Aw, bless me sowl
Thou navar h’ard such rampagin’
Theer was at this fella,
As if he was bent on wagin’
A kin’ of war with someone hid
Up theer under the piano lid.
He had a look of thunder, a rale scowl
As if he was out in the wet
Without his romberella.

Well now, he started nice an’ slow,
An’ kep’ it studdy, aisy an’ aisier yet,
A-tippin’ here an’ theer as if he didn’ know
What to do nex’, thou unnerstan’;
An’ then, goy hei, howlin’ up a han’
Jus lek he was a bobby at the fut
Of Broadway, or as if he didn’ know where to put
It when it wasn’ playin’.

An’ then he started swayin’
This way an’ that an’ to an’ fro –
When all of a sudden, my gogh,
He up with his han’s lek he was goin’ to fly,
An’ down he come on that poor owl bogh
Of a key board – I don’t know why –
As if it was the face of someone he hated.
He pummelled it an’ battered it,
He strummelled it an’ shattered it,
He slapped arrit an’ clouted it,
An’ shook his head as if he doubted it;
An’ when he’d knocked some sense in it
He lifted up his chin an’ waited
Jus’ a li’l minute.

An’ then all pandy-what’s-its-name broke loose,
He travelled up an’ down them mortal notes
His han’s lek long an’ boney claws
That seemed as if they’d lek to get at throats.
An’ when I felt I had to scrame
He trickled down the keys jus’ lek a strame
An’ played so sof’ an’ silky sweet
I felt I was driftin’ in a drame;
Till with a crash of chords he dropped his hand’s
An’ dropped his head,
An’ all aroun’ was lek the grave,
As if the lorrov us had been struck dead.
An’ then theer comes, jus’ lek a breakin’ wave
A rush of soun’ as people clapped,
An’ clapped an’ cried, an’ laughted an’ slapped
At the man’s thremenjus struggle with the piece –
Aw yis, me boy, tha’s music, aisy, aisy,
But not for anyone tha’s lazy.

2nd Prize Manx Music Festival 1971.
Published in Manx Life.