“A poet of fantastic inversions.” Poetry London

“Multifaceted, mega-fabricated, louche architecture.” Magma

“Voraciously experimental, precociously accomplished.” Poetry International

Bowie-Burns Megamash

Written and performed by Abigail Parry and myself for Burns Night 2016 at the Beer Boutique in Putney, with mild guitar accompaniment.


Ground Control to Major Tom,
Is there a bard of rustic song?
But with a frater-feeling strong, here heave a sigh.

Ground Control to Major Tom,
Alas, how chang’d the times to come!
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne?


One fond kiss, and then we sever;
One farewell, alas, for ever!
Never gonna fall for
Modern love. Walks beside me.
Modern love. Walks on by.
Believe me, happiness is shy,
And comes not when it’s sought.

Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Oh lordy. Oh lordy.
You know I need some loving.
The shrieking of nothing is killing.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.
I gotta straighten my face.
As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I –
Which came as some surprise. I thought you died
a long long time ago.

Hot tramp, I love you so.
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.
Don’t you wonder sometimes
‘bout sound and vision.

Time, he flexes like a whore,
falls wanking to the floor –
catch the moments as they fly
and use them as you ought.

Catch the moments as they fly –
there’s a starman waiting in the sky.
Believe me, happiness is shy,
and comes not when it’s sought.


Do you remember a guy that’s been
in a masonic song?
I heard a rumour from Kilmarnock:
my love is like a red, red rose.
Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race,
I’m haggis, hope you’re haggis too.
(A mother’s lament for the death of her son.)

Beware o’ bonie Ann;
Your heart she will trepan
In wood and wild, ye warbling throng.
Her blush is very like the morning, orning, orning, orning, orning.
Ashes to ashes, funk to funky.


As I walked by myself, I said to myself,
And myself said again to me
Let the children lose it. Let the children use it.
Let all the children boogie.

Then I answered myself, and I said to myself
Whatever be my degree
You’re too old to lose it, too young to choose it
And the clocks wait so patiently.

I laughed and shook his hand
And made my way back home.
I’m the laughing gnome and you can’t catch me
Said the laughing gnome.

Ha ha ha. Hee hee hee.


You’ve got your mother in a whirl.
Her grief-worn heart’s wild-eddying swirl.
She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl –
Dark-muff’d, outstretch’d, down headlong hurl.

Hey, babe, your hair’s all right.
Ye, like a rash-buss, stood in sight.
Hey, babe, let’s go out tonight.
The star’s shoot down wi’ sklentin’ light.

You like me and I like it all,
Through the ragged roof and chinky wall.
We like dancing and we look divine.
Gie fools their silks and knaves their wine.

You love bands when they’re playing hard,
When thowes dissolve the snowy hoord.
They put you down, they say I’m wrong,
So vengeance ‘arm, ensanguin’d, strong,
You tacky thing, you put them on
Beneath the milk-white thorn.

Rabbie, Rabbie, you’ve torn your kilt.
Rabbie, Rabbie, yon ale is spilt.
Rabbie, Rabbie, nae mair shall flow.