Verse 1

Runcorn Town's in Halton, 
By famous Widnes city; 
The river Mersey, deep and wide, 
Washes its wall on the southern side; 
A grottier spot you never spied; 
But, when begins my ditty, 
Almost three hundred days ago, 
To see the woolybacks suffer so 
From damson wine, a pity. 

Verse 2

They fought the dogs and killed the cats, 
And bit the babies in the cradles, 
And drank the damson out of the vats, 
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles, 
Split open the kegs of german snaps, 
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats, 
And even spoiled the women's chats, 
By drowning their speaking 
With shrieking and squeaking 
In fifty different sharps and flats.

Verse 3

At last the people in a body 
To the Town Hall came flocking: 
``Tis clear,'' cried they, ``our Mayor's a noddy; 
And as for our Corporation -- shocking 
To think we buy gowns lined with ermine 
For dolts that can't or won't determine 
What's best to rid us of our vermin! 
You hope, because you're old and obese, 
To find in the furry civic robe ease? 
Rouse up, sirs! Give your brains a racking 
To find the remedy we're lacking, 
Or, sure as fate, we'll send you packing!'' 
At this the Mayor and Corporation 
Quaked with a mighty consternation. 

Verse 4

An hour they sat in council, 
At length the Mayor broke silence: 
``For a guilder I'd my ermine gown sell; 
I wish I were a mile hence! 
It's easy to bid one rack one's brain -- 
I'm sure my poor head aches again, 
I've scratched it so, and all in vain 
Oh for a g-man to stop up the gap!'' 
Just as he said this, what should hap 
At the chamber door but a gentle tap? 
``Bless us,'' cried the Mayor, ``what's that?'' 
(With the Corporation as he sat, 
Looking little though wondrous fat; 
Nor brighter was his eye, nor moister 
Than a too-long-opened oyster, 
Save when at noon his paunch grew mutinous 
For a plate of turtle green and glutinous) 
"Only a scraping of shoes on the mat? 
Anything like the sound of a drunk 
Makes my heart go pit-a-thunk!'' 

Verse 5

``Come in!'' -- the Mayor cried, looking bigger 
And in did come the strangest figure! 
His queer long coat from heel to head 
Was half of yellow and half of red, 
And he himself was tall and thin, 
With sharp blue eyes, each like a pin, 
And light loose hair, yet swarthy skin 
No tuft on cheek nor beard on chin, 
But lips where smile went out and in; 
There was no guessing his kith and kin: 
And nobody could enough admire 
The tall man and his quaint attire. 
Quoth one: ``It's as my great-grandsire, 
Starting up at the Trump of Doom's tone, 
Had walked this way from his painted tombstone!''

Verse 6

He advanced to the council-table: 
And, ``Please your honours,'' said he, ``I'm able, 
By means of a secret charm, to draw 
All drunkards living beneath the sun, 
That creep,crawl,stagger or run, 
After me so as you never saw! 
And I chiefly use my charm 
On creatures that do people harm, 
The stoner,druggy,and damson imbiber; 
And people call me the Pied Piper.'' 
(And here they noticed round his neck 
A scarf of red and yellow stripe, 
To match with his coat of the self-same cheque; 
And at the scarf's end hung a pipe; 
And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying 
As if impatient to be playing 
Upon this pipe, as low it dangled 
Over his vesture so old-fangled.) 
``Yet,'' said he, ``poor piper as I am, 
In Chester I freed the poor lord mayor 
from swarms of pissheads he had there, 
I eased in Sheffield where the damson was king,
Of a monstrous brood of students swigging: 
And as for what your brain bewilders, 
If I can rid your town of sots 
Will you give me a thousand dots?'' 
``One? fifty thousand!'' -- was the exclamation 
Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

Verse 7

Into the street the Piper stept, 
Smiling first a little smile, 
As if he knew what magic slept 
In his quiet pipe the while; 
Then, like a musical adept, 
To blow the pipe his lips he wrinkled, 
And green and blue his sharp eyes twinkled, 
Like a candle-flame where salt is sprinkled; 
And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, 
You heard as if an army muttered; 
And the muttering grew to a grumbling; 
And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; 
And out of the houses the sots came tumbling. 
Great sots, small sots, lean sots, brawny sots, 
Brown sots, black sots, grey sots, scrawny sots, 
Grave old plodders, gay young friskers, 
Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, 
Cocking glasses with damson soaked whiskers, 
Families by tens and dozens, 
Brothers, sisters, husbands, wives -- 
Followed the Piper for their lives. 
From street to street he piped advancing, 
And step for step they followed dancing, 
Until they came to the mersey shore,
Where all were stopped at what they saw,
Fatmans Demon breathing fire and smoke,
Picked up the piper, then with one stroke,
Leaving nowt but pieces, tore him apart,
Fatman feasting on bits of his heart,
Washed down with the demon damson wine,
Of the unfortunate piper there was no sign,
The moral of this story about the demon critter,
If he doesn't get his Damson wine, he'll just get bitter.

Home Page
Welcome Page ©