The Gerald Bostock Diaries
Latest news from the lyric writer of the original “Thick as a Brick.”
The Bostock Diaries – Part 16
Just a wee deoch an’ doris, just a wee drap, that’s a’……
So sang Harry Lauder back in the early part of the 20th century. Lauding the sublime companionship through drink of the fellow man or woman. But, most likely, man.
Extolling the virtues of the fruits of the humble sprouting barley grain and and peaty burn that tumbles recklessly through the heathers and the in-bye down to the salty loch where mackerel boats once moored deck to deck.
Now, roused by song and Scottish culture, I ramble, happy as a thistle down the aisles of Clutterbury Waitrose in search of the whisky shelves. Spying the seductive single malt labelling of the Talisker, I slip two bottles into the trolley in the hope that The Old Bag will not notice them carelessly, yet cunningly concealed beneath the bags of frozen spinach, peas, rice portions of the Waitrose Essential budget varieties.
Otherwise she will be claiming one as her own as soon as we unload back at Bostock Towers. Stick to the bloody G&T, woman, why don’t you?
I have been writing various bits and bobs during the last three months as Summer finally fizzled and the gloom of Autumnal dark descended on the vale of St Cleve. My biography claims a decent portion of my writing hours. The rest is spent on various chores for Labour HQ where the trials and tribs of one Miliband the younger require the odd speech tweak and re-write. Policy documents to refine. Fluffy half-attacks on the office of Our Dave. And all of this from the goodness of my idealogical heart.
I was hoping for a modest expense account at the Cinnamon Club or at last a Lordship at some point but that Woodsy of Anfield, Shad-Cab-Min-Without, seems to have blocked the bestowing of that noble office as some petty and spiteful riposte following a jokey moment of loose pen and pencil in a recent blog of mine. Intellectual tosser. And Lord Bostock Of Cleve has a ring of upwardly-mobile working class splendour, does it not? Just a little? Just a miserly smidgeon, at least?
My final reworkings of the lyrics for the new IA album are due, he tells me, on his return from the USA as rehearsals begin at the end of November. I have little idea of the tunes although he did send some music demos to help focus my efforts a few months back. But hearing from various band members how often he is likely to change his tune – quite literally – and the keys and tempos to boot, it hardly seems worth it to take too much to heart.
Anyway, the poetic juices flow so much better when unhampered by base melody and the dissonant jangle of all-too-clever harmony. Words and sentence create their own momentum and sing their way skyward to higher meaning. Paragraphs divide and conquer. Colons and apostrophes, commas, bold font and italics inform through breath, pause and accent.
And, bless: the errant but eminently useful dash ( – ) can work its magic too. Dash and damn – but it’s a fine addition to the arsenal. Hyphenate the hy-men. Paraphrase the paradiddle. Conjucate the verbiose. Fancy a game of footer? Skittles at the Duck? Arm-wrestle a ten-year-old? Slag off Our Dave or Cleggie-boy? Nigel the F-word. Honestly – does he think we are ready for a Prime Minister named Nigel?
Come to think of it, isn’t that awfully earnest O’Bama, the Chicago Shamrock, turning out to be a real disappointment. I think I shall just call him Bo’B in my biographical meanderings.
Angry as Hell, and something of a clever bugger.
See below for the full version of Wee Deoch an’ Doris.
Wee Deoch an Doris
There’s a good old Scottish custom that has stood the test o’time, It’s a custom that’s been carried out in every land and clime. When brother Scots are gathered, it’s aye the usual thing, Just before we say good night, we fill our cups and sing…
Chorus Just a wee deoch an doris, just a wee drop, that’s all. Just a wee deoch an doris afore ye gang awa. There’s a wee wifie waitin’ in a wee but an ben. If you can say, “It’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht”, Then yer a’richt, ye ken.
Now I like a man that is a man; a man that’s straight and fair. The kind of man that will and can, in all things do his share. Och, I like a man a jolly man, the kind of man, you know, The chap that slaps your back and says, “Jock, just before ye go…”
Meaning of unusual words: deoch an doris = Gaelic for a drink at the door, a last farewell drink. Aye = always. But and ben = a two-roomed cottage. Ken = know.