Awaiting coincidence

Nov 98
Oils on board
51cm (20") x 41cm (16")

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To hear an excerpt of
'Slow Train' by Flanders and Swann

Slow Train
Lyrics by Michael Flanders

(After a long preamble about a proposed song on the subject of aeroplanes Flanders continues
'No, I think I agree with the old lady who said, "if God had intended us to fly, He would never have given us the railways!" So instead we have written a song about the railways.
Unusual song this perhaps for us, because it's really quite a serious song, and it was suggested by all those marvelous old local railway stations with their wonderful evocative names, all due to be, you know, axed and done away with one by one, and these are stations that we shall no longer be seeing when we aren't able to travel anymore on the slow train.')

Miller's Dale for Tideswell ...
Kirby Muxloe ...
Mow Cop and Scholar Green ...

No more will I go to Blandford Forum and Mortehoe
On the slow train from Midsomer Norton and Mumby Road.
No churns, no porter, no cat on a seat
At Chorlton-cum-Hardy or Chester-le-Street.
We won't be meeting again
On the Slow Train.

I'll travel no more from Littleton Badsey to Openshaw.
At Long Stanton I'll stand well clear of the doors no more.
No whitewashed pebbles, no Up and no Down
From Formby Four Crosses to Dunstable Town.
I won't be going again
On the Slow Train.

On the Main Line and the Goods Siding
The grass grows high
At Dog Dyke, Tumby Woodside
And Trouble House Halt.
The Sleepers sleep at Audlem and Ambergate.

No passenger waits on Chittering platform or Cheslyn Hay.
No one departs, no one arrives
From Selby to Goole, from St Erth to St Ives.
They've all passed out of our lives
On the Slow Train, on the Slow Train.

Cockermouth for Buttermere ... on the Slow Train,
Armley Moor, Arram ...
Pye Hill and Somercotes ... on the Slow Train,
Windmill End.

And by way of an unsolicited bonus here are the lyrics of another Flanders and Swann song

The Armadillo

I was taking compass bearings for the Ordinance Survey
By an army training camp on Salisbury plain,
I had packed up my theodolite, was calling it a day,
When I heard a voice that sang a sad refrain:

'Oh, my darling Armadillo,
Let me tell you of my love,
Listen to my Armadillo roundelay;
Be my fellow on my pillow,
Underneath this weeping willow,
Be my darling Armadillo all the day.'

I was somewhat disconcerted by this curious affair,
For a single Armadillo, you will own,
On Salisbury plain, in summer, is comparatively rare,
And a pair of them is practically unknown.

Drawn by that mellow solo,
There I followed on my bike,
To discover what these Armadillo
Lovers would be like:

'Oh, my darling Armadillo,
How delightful it would be,
If for us those silver wedding bells would chime,
Let the orange blossoms billow,
You need only say 'I will'-oh,
Be my darling Armadillo all the time.'

Then I saw them in a hollow, by a yellow muddy bank -
An Armadillo singing ... to an armour-plated tank.
Should I tell him, gaunt and rusting, with the willow tree above,
This - abandoned on manoeuvres - is the object of your love?

I left him to his singing,
Cycled home without a pause,
Never tell a man the truth
About the one that he adores.

On the breeze that follows sunset,
I could hear that sad refrain,
Singing willow, willow, willow down the way;
And I seemed to hear it still, Oh,
Vive L'amore, vive l'Armadillo,
'Be my darling Armadillo all the day.
Be my darling Armadillo all the day.'