Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Public Service Message Re: Demon Drink

With all the wine promoting I've done, I feel the responsible thing to do is offer this warning, written by William McGonagall. There is no way I could match his simple elegance and deep insight.

First a bit of a bio on Bill:
William Topaz McGonagall, poet and tragedian of Dundee, has been widely hailed as the writer of the worst poetry in the English language..

A self-educated hand loom weaver from Dundee, he discovered his discordant muse in 1877 and embarked upon a 25 year career as a working poet, delighting and appalling audiences across Scotland and beyond.

(apparently references to Home Rule in the following masterpiece are referring to Ireland-)

The Demon Drink
Oh, thou demon Drink, thou fell destroyer;
Thou curse of society, and its greatest annoyer.
What hast thou done to society, let me think?
I answer thou hast caused the most of ills, thou demon Drink.

Thou causeth the mother to neglect her child,
Also the father to act as he were wild,
So that he neglects his loving wife and family dear,
By spending his earnings foolishly on whisky, rum and beer.

And after spending his earnings foolishly he beats his wife-
The man that promised to protect her during life-
And so the man would if there was no drink in society,
For seldom a man beats his wife in a state of sobriety.

And if he does, perhaps he finds his wife fou',
Then that causes, no doubt, a great hullaballo;
When he finds his wife drunk he begins to frown,
And in a fury of passion he knocks her down.

And in that knock down she fractures her head,
And perhaps the poor wife she is killed dead,
Whereas, if there was no strong drink to be got,
To be killed wouldn't have been the poor wife's lot.

Then the unfortunate husband is arrested and cast into jail,
And sadly his fate he does bewail;
And he curses the hour that ever was born,
And paces his cell up and down very forlorn.

And when the day of his trial draws near,
No doubt for the murdering of his wife he drops a tear,
And he exclaims, "Oh, thou demon Drink, through thee I must die,"
And on the scaffold he warns the people from drink to fly,

Because whenever a father or a mother takes to drink,
Step by step on in crime they do sink,
Until their children loses all affection for them,
And in justice we cannot their children condemn.

The man that gets drunk is little else than a fool,
And is in the habit, no doubt, of advocating for Home Rule;
But the best Home Rule for him, as far as I can understand,
Is the abolition of strong drink from the land.

And the men that get drunk in general wants Home Rule;
But such men, I rather think, should keep their heads cool,
And try and learn more sense, I most earnestlty do pray,
And help to get strong drink abolished without delay.

If drink was abolished how many peaceful homes would there be,
Just, for instance in the beautiful town of Dundee;
then this world would be heaven, whereas it's a hell,
An the people would have more peace in it to dwell

Alas! strong drink makes men and women fanatics,
And helps to fill our prisons and lunatics;
And if there was no strong drink such cases wouldn't be,
Which would be a very glad sight for all christians to see.

O admit, a man may be a very good man,
But in my opinion he cannot be a true Christian
As long as he partakes of strong drink,
The more that he may differently think.

But no matter what he thinks, I say nay,
For by taking it he helps to lead his brither astray,
Whereas, if he didn't drink, he would help to reform society,
And we would soon do away with all inebriety.

Then, for the sake of society and the Church of God,
Let each one try to abolish it at home and abroad;
Then poverty and crime would decrease and be at a stand,
And Christ's Kingdom would soon be established throughout the land.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, pause and think,
And try to abolish the foul fiend, Drink.
Let such doctrine be taught in church and school,
That the abolition of strong drink is the only Home Rule.

***my impression is that he was kissing up to the Crown whenever he could. But how can you fault his wisdom and logic regarding Demon Drink?****
You can go to the Wm Mc site and sign a petition for the Brits to put him on a stamp. I know most of us have no business petitioning the Royal Post, but it kind of makes me feel like I'm getting a taste of what it is like to make demands on foreign lands. That's all the rage these days...

Sometimes Brits are hilarious.
Here's the petition to get Wm McGonagall his own stamp

To: Royal Mail
Julietta Elgar
Head of Special Stamps
Royal Mail
148 Old Street

We the undersigned urge the Royal Mail to release a commemorative stamp to honour the memory of Scottish poet William Topaz McGonagall (1825-1902). Mr. McGonagall was an exemplar of optimism, having travelled on foot over fifty miles to petition Queen Victoria for the position of Poet Laureate, despite being unburdened with even the most basic understanding of fundamental poetic principles such as scansion. Nonetheless his poems, principal among them his masterwork “The Tay Bridge Disaster”, remain with us today, overshadowing the works of many more technically gifted poets of his time. His life stands as a testament to the irrepressible nature of the human spirit, and we ask you to make this gesture in celebration of the life of one of the greatest eccentrics Britain has ever known.


The Undersigned

They have things on that site where they ask your country. They have all of North America under the British Empire heading. Then they have a category for "Other Colonies". Funny people there.

1 comment:

  1. Fin put it to me very clearly one day.

    He said there was "no downside to NOT drinking". Double negative but very clear. Hard to argue the point so...I heeded the warning.


Can't make comments any easier, I don't think. People are having trouble--google tries to kidnap them. I'll loosen up one more thing and let's see. Please give it a try

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