Monday, August 25, 2014

Referendum Songbook #12 A Wholly Healthy Happy Scotland (The Homeopathy Song)

A Wholly Healthy Scotland (The Tartan Partan Song)
 I believe in Angus the Tartan Partan
I believe there are fairies at the bottom of my garden
I believe in the National Collective
 I believe that Taggart was a real detective

 And I believe in a wholly healthy, happy Scotland

 I believe that North Sea oil will last forever
I believe that Alex Salmond used to be quite clever
I read Scottish books, they’re my artistic heartland
I love that Lesley Riddoch and that Barbara Cartland   I believe in a wholly healthy happy Scotland

 A pure unblemished Scotland
Where no-one gets sick or ill
That’s the promise that’s been made to us
And I believe it still
There will be no sorrow there will be no pain
And we will qualify for the World Cup again
We’ll drink cocktails made of Eldorado, Buckfast and Champagne
In Scotland A wholly healthy, happy Scotland

 Doctors say they’ll leave, but we just laugh
We’ll have nurse practitioners and homeopaths
And so much oil the North Sea’s greasy
We’ll abolish death. It’ll be quite easy

 For I believe in a wholly healthy happy Scotland

 And it will last for a thousand years
There will be no more anguish, there will be no more tears
And everything will blossom Just like Norway
Just like Norway

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Rug and Dexter Chronicles #1: A Purely Cosmetic Issue

A Purely Cosmetic Issue...

Broadcast on Morton Through Midnight, BBC Radio Scotland, Sunday 24 August

Let me introduce myself. My name is, alas, Rug, though I was, soon after birth, given the title Alicia de Chastelaine of Zurich and Kilmarnock, and that is what you will find on my certificate of Bernardine purity. For I am a pure dog of great heritage. I have been called many other names in my itinerant and restless life, but my current human household laughingly compared me to carpet, and the appelation remains. I pretend to acknowledge it, but in point of fact, as a Swiss aristocrat, via an Ayrshire puppy farm and sundry other locations, I resent it enormously. I am more than a mere floor covering!

At any rate, to the issue foremost in my mind at the moment Apparently, the household humans have been considering plastic surgery. Which initially, I thought may have offered some mild entertainment, with the prospect of tucked chins, straightened noses and less elephantine ears. But no, it seems they were considering plastic surgery for, and I can hardly bring myself to admit this, myself. I know, it defies credulity Moi, the most delectable of St Bernards (pronounced BerNARD, please, as in Pass, Waltz and not in Ingham, but possibly in Chalfont). I was once considered  potential Miss Canine Kilmarnock (Giant Breeds) but was pipped by a rancid Rottweiler with halitosis and borderline personality disorder. But then, don't they all? 

I bear the  perfectly textured face of my Bernardine genetic inheritance, admittedly paying the price in practicality for my undoubted beauty. The food caught in the recesses of my jowls, for instance, which gently matures into the aroma I call L’Air Du Chien. Once, my male human tried to clean my teeth with a small brush and something that tasted slightly of the Domestos toilet cleaner I sometimes savour when lapping at the WC (an illicit, but harmless pleasure) in the middle of the night. I gave him a gentle  munch to illustrate my disquiet. After the plaster cast came off, he was a bit more curious when it came to my dental hygiene.

The plan discussed (in my hearing, no less) by the housepersons involved lifting the folds of skin above my eyes and providing me with tauter cheeks, less amenable to capturing the month’s supply of super masticated Dried Buffalo Hide and irradiated  Calf’s skull. And a tightening of the mouth would alleviate the endemic drooling which has meant the provision of waders, leggings and waterproof trousers for some over sensitive visitors, those that still come after the Great Versace Incident. It would all take a couple of days in the vet’s surgery, who was, it seems offering deals on pioneering cosmetic surgery for dogs.

Alas, Victoria the Vet, when we arrived for my initial consultation, seemed surprised by the extent of my facial droopiness, and expressed the opinion that it would require not so much plastic surgery  as (a) excavation of accumulated detritus of the cheek with a small trowel (b) heavy duty irrigation with a firehose and (c) so much skin removal that I would look, as she put it, like a Boxer in the slipstream of Mirage jet fighter. Also it would cost approximately £10,000. She recommended homeopathy but I barked my disapproval, which I think my human companions both agree with. Stupidity can only be allowed to go so far. I prefer my interventions to at least be evidence based.

So, it seems I am to be left to droop, slobber, suppurate and smell without medical intervention. Frankly I am relieved. After all, the essence of Bernardinism is to be found in said droopiness, slobbering and suppuration.

 If only they would pay to have that ghastly little tike Dexter’s mouth sewn shut we’d all be a lot better off. Ah we can but dream! Au revoir...

Friday, August 22, 2014

On Comparing Scotland to Panama - some verse by Scar Quilse

On Comparing Scotland to Panama

We’ve got a canal, in fact we’ve got a few
The Monklands and the Crinan and the  Caledonian too
The Union, the Forth and Clyde, which ends at Bowling Basin
The Falkirk Wheel’s the engineering symbol of our nation

I hear they use the dollar, though they’re no’ in the USA
And we could use the English pound in exactly the same way
All we need’s a General Noriega and a nice wee shooting war
And then we’ll understand what countries have a currency for

So Panama, oh Panama, Just stick it up yer bum
Cause we’ve got mair canals than you, you’ve only got the one
Panama, oh Panama, away and bile yer heid

We’ve been to Darien before, and ended up near deid

Copyright Scar Quilse, 2014

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Nearest Things to Dreams (The Fergusons Song)

 The quote from the Salford poet Robert Rose jumped out at me from a tweet posted by Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie. Fergusons is the last non-military shipyard on the Clyde and the last of any sort on the Lower Clyde. It now being in administration, with the potential loss of 70 jobs, is a tragedy for the communities of Port Glasgow and Greenock.

“Ships are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made,
For somewhere deep in their oaken hearts the soul of a song is laid.”

 Robert N Rose

 Heard there’s a padlock on the gates today
Went down to check, I just walked away
The Prince of Wales for a pint or two
Try to think of something else to do

 One hundred and eleven years
That’s how long there’s been a shipyard here
Not one order on the books they say
They’re saying nothing about our back pay

 The nearest things to dreams That hands have made or ever will
Now all our hopes and dreams
Have turned to unpaid bills
Through calm and storm
Those ships are sailing still
 The nearest things to dreams

 Politicians do the stuff they always do
Say it’s very sad, that much at least is true
They say there are jobs for us, that things just might be fine
In call centres, or one pound shops, or selling junk online

 And in my house there’s pictures on my walls
Too many names for me to say them all
Flying Foam, the Flying Spray, Scotia, Sulisker
The Star Capella, Tirrick and the Shalder were built here

 The Fivla and the Loch Dunvegan, Isle of Arran, Stirling Spey
The Pharos and the Falcon, the Hebrides, the Stirling Tay
I look at them, nothing can change the way I feel
The pride and mystery of my seagoing steel

Monday, August 11, 2014

Referendum Songbook #10: The Sovereign Will Of The Scottish People (The Panda Song)

This was inspired by a post on Roger White's 'No Thanks' blog, which you can find here: . It analysed the repetition of the phrase 'The Sovereign Will of the Scottish People' by Alex Salmond during the recent debate on STV with Alistair Darling.

An end to the biting midge in the Highlands
The eradication of ticks
A Caramel Wafer that makes you lose weight
And every pothole fixed
That’s the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People
Motorway all the way  from Perth to Inverness
Reopen all open air swimming pools
A football team that wins the World Cup
A panda in every school
That’s the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People

The Sovereign Will of the Scottish People
There’s a phrase that rings so pure
Say it in German, say it in Russian
Maybe I’m not so sure
About the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People

Deep fried Mars Bars in every nursery
A cure for asthma found in cigarettes
Cheap flights to the  moon from Prestwick
Winning money every time you bet
On the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People
And it shall be so
Because we say it shall be so
And the Bank of England will do as we say
For in truth, they must obey
The Sovereign Will of the Scottish People

And when aliens arrive in their spaceships at Wick
We'll welcome them like superstars
They'll take away all the nuclear submarines
And put them on the planet Mars
For that is the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People

The Sovereign Will of the Scottish People
There’s a phrase that rings so pure
Say it in German, say it in Russian
Maybe I’m not so sure
About the Sovereign Will of the Scottish People

Scar Quilse 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Referendum Songbook #9: Salmondland (The Midge Song)

Salmondland (The Midge Song)

My English friends don’t know pickled eggs must be deep fried
My English relatives - they can all move to Milngavie
My English enemies can stand at the border, weeping Union Jack tears
Wishing they could get past the minefields and settle here

It’ll be marvellous, our health service will still be there
We’ll fund it by making hydrogen from water and air
And selling it all to the Russians, they’ll be happy to pay
And then we’ll all be as rich as they are in Norway

 In Salmondland Everything will be OK
 In Salmondland Richer and happier every day
We don’t let the facts get in the way In Salmondland

I believe in a land flowing with whisky and Macaroon bars
Where the unemployed will all be reality TV stars
And everyone will be pretty and handsome and rich
And midges will be genetically changed so their bites don’t itch

But now I hear the pessimists are saying That Scotland might say no
And columnists and pop stars and care home operators
Are all looking for somewhere to go

And when the Herald and the Scotsman have been bought by the Sunday Post
And Kevin McKenna has moved to the Amalfi Coast
In my darkest moments, I’m desperate and grumpy and scared
That’s because my cousin in France has told me I can’t move there

 Copyright Scar Quilse 2014