Last Will and Testament

Charles Cowling

Posted by Vale

The late, very great and much lamented Jake Thackray with his Last Will and Testament. By the way, isn’t You Tube a marvel? This version is awfully close to the black and white On the Braden Beat Saturday night image that flickers in my memory. Astonishing to find it preserved here:

I, the under-mentioned, by this document
Do declare my true intentions, my last will, my testament.
When I turn up my toes, when I rattle my clack, when I agonise,
I want no great wet weepings, no tearing of hair, no wringing of hands,
No sighs, no lack-a-days, no woe-is-me’s and none of your sad adieus.
Go, go, go and get the priest and then go get the booze, boys.

Death, where is thy victory? Grave, where is thy sting?
When I snuff it bury me quickly, then let carousels begin –
But not a do with a few ham sandwiches, a sausage roll or two and “A small port wine, please”.
Roll the carpet right back, get cracking with your old Gay Gordons
And your knees up, shake it up, live it up, sup it up, hell of a kind of a time.
And if the coppers come around, well, tell them the party’s mine, boys.

Let best beef be eaten, fill every empty glass,
Let no breast be beaten, let no tooth be gnashed.
Don’t bother with a fancy tombstone or a big-deal angel or a little copper flower pot:
Grow a dog-rose in my eyes or a pussy-willow
But no forget-me-nots, no epitaphs, no keepsakes; you can let my memory slip.
You can say a prayer or two for me soul then, but – make it quick, boys.

Lady, if your bosom is heaving don’t waste your bosom on me.
Let it heave for a man who’s breathing, a man who can feel, a man who can see.
And to my cronies: you can read my books, you can drive around in my motor car.
And you can fish your trout with my fly and tackle, you can play on my guitar,
And sing my songs, wear my shirts. You can even settle my debts.
You can kiss my little missus if she’s willing then, but – no regrets, boys.

Your rosebuds are numbered;
Gather them now for rosebuds’ sake.
And if your hands aren’t too encumbered
Gather a bud or two for Jake.

If you want to find out more about Jake, there’s lots here.

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