Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ballad of a Gambling Man

It started as the odd little flutter,
With some change I kept inside my hat,
And every so often, I’d put a
Few shillings on this horse or that.
My wife was dead set against gambling,
The thoughts of it made her quite ill,
But on Saturday morn, I’d go rambling
To see my old mate, Willie Hill.

All ye, who are travelling to Cheltenham,
Pay heed to my caution’ry tale,
For once I had land
And a bank balance grand,
But I had no perception of scale.

The stakes soon began to get bigger,
I was betting the bulk of my pay.
With ev’ry damned wager, I’d figure
A big win would see me okay.
My wife, she was getting suspicious
For my pay packet seemed pretty thin,
But the stories I told, quite fictitious,
Meant she gullibly took it all in.

So you, waging fortunes at Cheltenham,
Though you think it is par for the course,
Just imagine the hurt,
I lost more than my shirt,
On the back of an old piebald horse.

No longer were days long and sunny,
Oh the bookies are true friends to none!
I was great when I’d plenty of money,
But they blanked me when I was undone.
For Joey and Willy and Paddy
May seem very pleasant and nice,
So long as you remember, dear laddie,
That their friendship will come at a price.

So you, riding gung-ho at Cheltenham,
Hoping hard for that one perfect strike,
Remember Sod’s Law –
Sure, you never once saw
A bookie out riding a bike.

At the Curragh, I met a sharp dealer,
And I laid out the deeds of my house.
Then, after another Tequila,
I said that I’d throw in my spouse.
I looked at the going minutely,
And studied the formbook with cunning,
Then plumped for a horse resolutely –
As far as I know, it’s still running.

Oh you, spending thousands at Cheltenham,
Just hear out this impassioned plea.
Please don’t overspend
Or else you might end
A wandering minstrel like me.

My wife took the news quite serenely
As I packed up my suitcase and left.
Her new man moved in very keenly,
And I stood outside, quite bereft.
I’m sleeping among the hydrangeas,
Hoping someone will throw me a crumb,
And I’m begging for pennies from strangers,
Still hoping the big one will come.

So you, on the slow boat to Cheltenham,
In your quest for some zest in your life,
Please don’t be a booby,
Forget about Ruby,
And spend it instead on your wife.

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