Land's End to John o' Groats (Chants from Walkabouts - 3)
Poem/song 10 of 230: LAND’S END TO JOHN O’ GROATS
(TUNE - IN THE KEY OF C MAJOR:
D2 G3 A2 A3 B2 B3 A2 A3
D2 A3 B2 B3 A2 A3 G2 G3
D2 B3 B2 B3 A2 A3 G2 G3
D2 A3 B2 A3 B2 A3 G2 G3)
At the bold age of twenty-one,
Via Hong Kong, China, Macau,
I flew from Sydney to London -
Land’s End to John o’ Groats my vow.
I took a train out of London,
Found a highway and thumbed a ride;
I headed down toward Brighton,
Then hitchhiked roads the coast beside.
On the face of my shoulder bag,
A sketched map of Aus. was my tag;
For said a Scot who’d hitched Europe:
“Some emblem may well boost your hope.”
And drivers throughout the island,
Over a two month riding span,
Were the kindest folks I have met -
I swear not once did I get wet!
I stopped overnight in Portsmouth,
And one or two nights in Torquay;
Then headed along to Plymouth -
Still travelling beside the sea.
After viewing rugged Land’s End,
I began the long journey north -
North-east, rather, before a bend,
Somewhere in a bit from Bournemouth.
On the way, I saw relatives,
Whom after leaving I did miss -
Their home's cosy atmosphere,
And their local pub's good cheer.
And the hitched-lifts came from many:
An off-work Bobbie, a truckie,
As well as on-duty soldiers -
Thanks, and I’ve not said where each was!
I headed west through South Wales,
And viewed Cardiff Arms from afar -
I was hitching with local males,
And they showed me from in the car.
I stayed a while at Swansea -
Saw the local footballers play;
Then hitched north through Llandovery -
Beautiful farmland, I must say.
I slept mostly in B. & B.s,
Where the full breakfasts sure did please;
But also stopped in Youth Hostels,
Where it’s the comradeship that tells.
My favourite sites were Bath, Torquay,
Old St. Andrews (noted shortly),
The road Glasgow-to-Inverness,
The Lakes, plus London’s spots - no less.
From Colwyn Bay, I headed east
To Manchester, my place of birth;
Then on the Lakes my eyes did feast,
Before I passed by Solway Firth.
Onto Edinburgh, Glasgow,
St. Andrews, before Inverness;
Then waves from locals were the go -
Warm folks round John o’ Groats, I’d guess.
(C) David Franks 2003
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