Tuesday, 24 August 2021

The English throne

We were ruled by Italians, then governed by Danes.

Next, a French Duke turned up and took over the reigns.

When the Tudor line died out, along came a Scot.

Then a Dutch Prince arrived here, believe it or not.

There followed the Germans, our future to forge:

Hanoverian kings, who were mostly named George.

After 1914, when the world went to war,

Our crown was rebranded - as British once more.





Sunday, 4 April 2021

Don't spoil things now - alternative lyrics to Queen's classic "Don't stop me now"

After months of lockdown, the UK is gradually emerging and taking the first cautious steps towards a more normal existence. But this could all be ruined if people do not continue to abide by restrictions and act sensibly. 

These alternative lyrics to Queen's classic song struck me when we were driving to Sheffield Arena for our first vaccination jabs. 

They do fit the music, though a bit of practice may first be needed with a karaoke track!

Original lyrics are in italics. New lyrics are in BOLD CAPITALS.


Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time

FOR WEEKS, ALL OF US HAVE BEEN UNDER LOCKDOWN

I feel alive

iT'S BEEN SO GRI' I' I' IM

And the world, I turn it inside out, Yeah

AND THE WORLD, IT'S ALL TURNED INSIDE IN, YEAH

In ecsatsy

IN MISERY


So don't stop me now

SO DON'T SPOIL THINGS NOW

Don't stop me

DON'T SCREW UP

'Cause I'm having a good time, having a good time.

THOUGH YOU'RE WANTING A GOOD TIME


I'm a shooting star, leaping through the sky

WE'VE ALL STAYED AT HOME, DAYS GO SLOWLY BY

Like a tiger

ISOLATION!

Defying the laws of gravity

LONGING ONLY TO BE FREE

I'm a racing car

WE'VE BEEN PRISONERS

Passing by

STUCK IN JAIL

Like Lady Godiva

A CONSTANT FRUSTRATION

I'm gonna go, go, go

BUT TAKE IT SLOW, SLOW, SLOW

There's no stopping me

THAT'S HOW THINGS MUST BE.


I'm burning through the sky, yeah!

WE'VE MISSED OUR REAL LIFE MATES, YEAH

Two hundred degrees

WE'VE STUCK TO THE RULES

That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit

THAT'S WHY WE MUST MAKE SURE WE GET IT RIGHT

I'm travelling at the speed of light

IN THE TUNNEL THERE'S A CHINK OF LIGHT

I wanna make a supersonic man out of you.

WE WANNA MAKE REAL SURE, THIS TIME, WE SEE IT THROUGH.


Don't stop me now

DON'T SCREW UP NOW

I'm having such a good time

IN YOUR RUSH TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

I'm having a ball.

AND LIFE'S STILL A PAIN

Don't stop me now

DON'T MESS UP NOW

If you wanna have a good time

THOUGH WE ALL MIGHT WANT A GOOD TIME

Just give me a call

AND MEET FRIENDS AGAIN

Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time)

DON'T SCREW UP NOW ('CAUSE YOU'RE WANTING A GOOD TIME)

Don't stop me now (Yes I'm having a good time)

DON'T SPOIL THINGS NOW - PLEASE BE PATIENT FOR THE GOOD TIMES

I don't want to stop at all.

OR LOCKDOWN WILL HAVE BEEN IN VAIN


Yes I'm a rocket ship

WE'RE IN A FREEDOM SHIP

On my way to Mars

'NORMAL' IS IN SIGHT

On a collision course

THE GOING'S SLOW, OF COURSE

I am a satellite

BUT, OH, THE FUTURE'S BRIGHT

I'm out of control

WE'RE NEARING OUR GOAL

I am a sex machine

THERE'S A PLAN IN PLACE

Ready to reload

MAPPING OUT THE ROAD

Like an atom bomb about to 

IF WE DON'T FOLLOW IT, THE PLAN WILL

Oh oh oh oh oh explode

OH OH OH OH OH IMPLODE


I'm burning through the sky yeah!

LET'S KEEP COMPLIANCE HIGH, YEAH

Two hundred degrees

WE'VE STRUGGLED THIS FAR

That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit

THAT'S WHY WE MUST MAKE SURE WE GET IT RIGHT

I'm travelling at the speed of light

THROUGH THE TUNNEL THERE'S A CHINK OF LIGHT

I wanna make a supersonic woman (out) of you.

WE NEED TO MAKE DARN SURE WE SEE ALL THIS THROUGH


Don't stop me. Don't stop me. Don't stop me.

DON'T SPOIL THINGS. DON'T SPOiL THINGS. DON'T SPOIL THINGS

Hey hey hey

NAY NAY NAY

Don't stop me. Don't stop me

DON'T SCREW UP. DON'T SCREW UP.

Ooh ooh ooh (I like it)

NO NO NO NO

Don't stop me. Don't stop me.

DON'T SPOIL IT. DON'T FOIL IT.

Good time, good time.

PATIENCE PATIENCE

Don't stop me. Don't stop me.

DON'T SCREW UP. DON'T SCREW UP.

(Guitar interval)


Oh I'm burning through the sky, Yeah!

WE'VE DISTANCED AND WE'VE TRIED YEAH

Two hundred degrees

WE'VE ALL WORN OUR MASKS

That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit

THAT'S WHY WE MUST MAKE SURE WE GET IT RIGHT

I'm trav'ling at the speed of light

IN THE TUNNEL THERE'S A CHINK OF LIGHT

I wanna make a supersonic man of you.

(WE) NEED TO GUARANTEE WE'LL SEE ALL THIS THROUGH.


Don't stop me now

DON'T SPOIL THINGS NOW

I'm having such a good time

DON'T RUSH TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

I'm having a ball

OR CASES WILL HIKE

Don't stop me now

DON'T SPOIL THINGS NOW

If you wanna have a good time

KEEP WAITING FOR YOUR GOOD TIME

Just give me a call

DON'T DO AS YOU LIKE

Don't stop me now

DO AS YOU'RE TOLD!

('cause I'm having a good time)

THOUGH WE ALL WANT A GOOD TIME

Don't stop me now

KEEP LIFE ON HOLD

(Yes I'm havin' a good time)

'TIL IT'S SAFE TO HAVE GOOD TIMES

I don't wanna stop at all.

WE DON'T WANT ANOTHER SPIKE!


La la la la..........................................


Copyright Maggie Ballinger 2021


Sunday, 3 January 2021

Editing a novel

I've learned about the writer's craft.
Long finished was the early draft.
It's been some months since last I read it.
The time has come to do the edit.

"Be ruthless" is the key advice.
"Prune that script and don't think twice."
I thus embark upon this chore.
The mantra must be "less is more".

The mental scissors, sharp and sturdy,
Snip away the over-wordy.
They trim out all that smack of "tell".
The adverbs disappear as well.

The key thing is but one refrain:
"Cut, and cut, then cut again."
Those parts that don't move on the plot
Are banished, as they're needed not.

The clues...the hints...have been curtailed,
Those scattered crumbs just faintly trailed.
Irrelevancies, too, have gone.

The finished work reads "twice upon".

A review of an unnamed novel *****

The first stroke of genius is surely the plain cover, which gives away nothing of what's to come. And what's to come is minimalist writing at its finest. Take the unconventionally uncapitlaised word "twice". This instantly intrigues. In common with the more familiar "once", we are inexorably lured into asking "when?". In the past? In the future? Or that ever present bridge in the time spectrum of "now"? But, more pertinently, why twice? Why not thrice or often? The preposition "upon" also intrigues. Upon what? Surely nothing as mundane as a sofa!

The succinct plot leaves everything to the imagination. Who, exactly, are the characters? Can our first impressions of them be trusted, or will they transmute? Indeed, is anything quite as it seems? The potential for twists and turns is infinite, and the denouement is everything the discerning reader could possibly ask for.

This unusual novel is sure to have you turning every one of its 376 blank pages in your desperate need to find the answers to the many fascinating conundrums it presents.