Saturday, 5 April 2008


I love this video of Mancunian John Cooper Clarke reciting his poem 'Chickentown', from the 1984 video '10 Years in an Open-Necked Shirt.' The hypnotic beat echoes Geoffrey Jones' 1963 film 'Snow'.

I think 'bloody' was substituted for the F word throughout, but I imagine the piece was inspired by Captain Hamish Blair's splendid wartime poem about being stationed in Scapa Flow:

The Bloody Orkneys

This bloody town's a bloody cuss
No bloody trains, no bloody bus,
And no one cares for bloody us
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody roads are bloody bad,
The bloody folks are bloody mad,
They'd make the brightest bloody sad,
In bloody Orkney.

All bloody clouds, and bloody rains,
No bloody kerbs, no bloody drains,
The Council's got no bloody brains,
In bloody Orkney.

Everything's so bloody dear,
A bloody bob, for bloody beer,
And is it good? - no bloody fear,
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody 'flicks' are bloody old,
The bloody seats are bloody cold,
You can't get in for bloody gold
In bloody Orkney.

The bloody dances make you smile,
The bloody band is bloody vile,
It only cramps your bloody style,
In bloody Orkney.

No bloody sport, no bloody games,
No bloody fun, the bloody dames
Won't even give their bloody names
In bloody Orkney.

Best bloody place is bloody bed,
With bloody ice on bloody head,
You might as well be bloody dead,
In bloody Orkney

Capt. Hamish Blair


  1. Saw JCC perform this in the film Control - he plays himself, even though it's set 25 years ago... he hasn't aged all that much, as it turns out.