To be a library (trad.)
"You might have read," T.Aldous said
In some untimbered barn,
"It is your fate to relocate
And all that sort of yarn.
With moonlight flits such stock that fits
Will move quite seamlessly.
Then off we'll go and hey presto!
We'll have a library."
He told us. "We'll have a library."
Such stock unfoxed we found we boxed
And labelled each in turn.
Propped up on planks in serried ranks
For whom it may concern.
They stayed that way for many a day.
They festered fruitlessly.
When people say: "Lord, what are they?"
"They're for the library,"
We tell them. "They're for the library."
The ages pass: hay turns to grass
And pigs fly south to nest.
After this wait they set a date:
"Next Tuesday would be best."
So's not to waste any undue haste
They dither endlessly:
"Now, what goes where?" "Not that, not there."
Around the library,
They dicker round the library.
Despite it all it's a close call
With shelved books of a kind.
A slight snafu means we've no clue
As to which stayed behind.
(We later learned when backs were turned
Shuffled the pack and took some back
To the old library
Or Helminthdale, at least some library.)
Hip hip hooray it's opening day
And you know what that means.
A bunch of toffs who soon sod off
And not a hill of beans.
They'll politesse the local press
But as for thee and me
They'll give short shrift. But once adrift
We'll be a library,
Despite it all, we'll be a library.
(A recording of this song is available on the MLA Victor label)