Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Spare a thought

It's marvellous that there were no fatalities, or even significant injuries, amoing the passengers and crew of the Airbus that landed in the Hudson River. (Hilary and I loved the exchange on BBC news, when an anchorman asked a reporter in the States if the plane had stayed afloat because it had some kind of flotation devices installed. "No, absolutely not" he said, "the whole point with airplanes is that you try to keep them out of the water". )

Anyway, this seems an opportune time to wonder what became of the flock of birds at La Guardia? How many seagulls are mourning a loved one? Whose Dad won't be coming home from the fishing? a train of thought, of course, inspired by Les Barker's classic Have You Got any News Of The Iceberg?

On a cold rainy night on a Liverpool quayside
In the years before the Great War
The world was in shock at the loss of Titanic
So proud had they been days before.
Relatives gathered for news of their loved ones,
To read through the list of the dead,
When into the throng came a sad-eyed old Polar Bear,
And to the clerk at the counter he said…

Have you got any news of the iceberg?
My family were on it you see,
Have you got any news of the iceberg?
They mean the whole world to me.

My wife and children were coming from Greenland
To be by my side in the zoo.
Belinda's my wife and the eldest's called Bernard,
And Billy, well, he's only two.
I know on the ship there were hundreds of people,
And I know the iceberg's not yours,
The Polar Bear's eyes held the start of his teardrops
He covered his face with his paws.

Have you got any news of the iceberg?
My family were on it you see:
Have you got any news of the iceberg?
They mean the whole world to me.

It's been over a year since I last saw my children,
I left home to build my career:
I've worked very hard, I'm a star in the circus,
It's all been for nothing I fear.
There's my face on the poster,
We're in town this week,
And my children were meeting me here.
Everyone watched as he struggled to speak
And his paw brushed away one more tear.

Have you got any news of the iceberg?
My family were on it you see:
Have you got any news of the iceberg?
They mean the whole world to me.

By now all the people had gathered beside him,
His grief was one they could share,
The people around him in silence and sadness,
Listened to the sad Polar Bear.
I wanted my children to see me performing,
And Belinda, she would have been proud.
At last, lost for words and his tears flowing freely,
The question was asked by the crowd.:

Have you got any news of the iceberg?
My family were on it you see:
Have you got any news of the iceberg?
They mean the whole world to me.

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