The Gaffer an’ the Queen


Aw, man, the lek was navar seen before.
What majesty an’ graciousness thallure!
Deed, yis; an’ if I live to be
A hundred I will navar see
A sight so aisy on the eye
As Herself in all Her fineries.

I got to me place all ‘arly not to miss
One lil minute of a sight lek this.
Accordin’ to insthructions I tuk
Me way down with me Pension Book
To the Town Hall, an’ theer I seen a falla
That handed me a tickad,
An’ with a snigger middlin’ wickad
Axed me if I had a big rombralla,
For, sez he, as sure as God made weddin’ couples
The mist an’ rain
Would come again,
For oul’ Mannanan would be flingin’ roun’
His mantle an’ the fog come rollin’ down
But me, forgettin’ all me keerful scruples,
Sez I to him, sez I, if theer’s any cloud
It’ll be down South
Wheer theer feelin’ all drollane,
Or in other places where she cannot go
To meet the ones that are grumblin’ loud.
So that he give a look of great disdain
An’ shut his mouth.

Well, anyway at all, I got a sate
An’ sat me down to wait.
It was outside that big hotel theer
Tha’s by the Gaiety, thou know the one,
All painted nice an’ nate,
An’ lookin’ fresh as if it’s just been done
That vary marnin’ when the coas’ was clear.
Deed tho’, I had a famous view
Of say an’ sky an’ thrams an’ flags
An’ hurryin’ folks an’ bobbies too,
All mighty jesh in helmets white
A-shinin’ in the sunbeams bright,
An’ cameras an’ fancy hats an’ paper bags.

But then, goy heng, the whisper came
The Queen was here; an’ lek a flame
It run through all the waitin’ crowd.
So up they jumps, ay, one an’ all,
An’ wave theer flags an’ screetch an’ bawl,
An’ cheer lek mad-it made one proud!
For here she was, the Queen of the Isle
An’ we hadn’t seen her for quite a while.
But bless me sowl, I couldn’ see
For all the ones in front of me.
An’ jus’ when in despair I thought
I’d miss the lot, a hefty sport
Lifted me up lek I was sally
An’ the Queen she saw me an’ smiled so sweet
I could ha’ done a Walter Raleigh
An’ spread me jackad for her feet.

Now I’m wonderin’ to meself the while
What surt of look would I be givin’
If I lek her, seen all these faces
A-starin’, starin’, starin’ –
Ye mus’ admit it’d be a bit wearin’.
Befoore I’d gone a hundred paces
I’d feel lek goin’ an’ earnin’ a livin’
At somethin’ less demandin’,
With all this lookin’ an’ shakin’ an’ standin’.

An’ when I caught sight of the gapin’ throng
I’d be sartin’ to want to stick out me tongue
‘Specially if someone tuk me photograph!
Theer’s one thing I could navar do
When faced by such a motley crew –
Yis, yis, boy, I could laugh an’ laugh,
But it takes a rale good Queen to smile!

Visit of H.M. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the Isle of Man 2.8.1972