Two Songs
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In love with the nurse

Her hand was cool as she felt my brow
(I’m a bit confused. Don’t talk to me now)
She said I was hot and needed a rest,
Showed me the bed, helped me undress.

Can’t touch my lunch
‘Cos I’ve got a hunch
It’s getting worse,
I’m in love with the nurse.

She took my blood. I’ve plenty to spare.
She stole my heart. It’s in a lab somewhere.

She fingered my pulse while she looked at her watch,
The whole damn thing moved up a notch –

Or it all went south
Where it’s nil by mouth.
It’s a physical curse
To be in love with the nurse.

She said I was brave when she looked at my wound,
Told me the scar wouldn’t heal up soon.
When I said I was love-struck she looked at my tongue.
Her breath was sweet, she was impossibly young.

Oh, I’m feeling depleted
While I’m being treated
On the public purse
And in love with the nurse.

(slower)

They’re sending me home
Where I’ll suffer alone.
They should send for a hearse.
‘Rest in Peace, he was in love with the nurse.’

Wigmore Hall

(pensively)

Got into town about half past two,
Checked into the Ritz – room with a view.
Took a shower, drank a scotch, made a call –
C’mon baby, we’re going to the Hall.

Pop is all one chord, blues just three
And be-bop’s lost its edge on me.
I want beauty, pace, complexity and all –
That’s why we’re heading to Wigmore Hall.

Darling, I’m tired of the musical scene,
With boy bands, drum solos, that old electric routine.
I want a piano, a trained voice, a quodlibet,
The sweet modulations of a Mozart quartet.

Pop is all fashion, blues is just sad,
Free form jazz is driving me mad.
Honey, cut me loose from the computerised beat,
Let’s take a walk down Wigmore Street.

That barrel-shaped hall’s been around a while
I guess you think it’s gone out of style.
But London can play you no greater riff
Than a Schuman sonata with Andras Schiff.

Pop is for children and crooning is gross.
So are torch songs and hip hop – and gospel is toast.
The new scene’s the old scene, tonight’s my call –
I’m taking you down to Wigmore Hall.

Goodbye to the drugs, the wailing guitars,
The bare-chested dudes with their fashionable scars –
We’ll tell them to screw it,
We’re chilling with Bach and Angela Hewitt.

Pop is all one chord, blues just three
And be-bop’s lost its edge on me.
We want beauty, pace, complexity and all.
My baby and me are going to Wigmore Hall.

Set by Michael Berkley, first performed at the Trasimeno Festival on 4 July 2013.


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