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NAPOLEON'S RETREAT FROM WIGAN


By Kind permission of MIKE HARDING

Twas on the plains of Irlam
The year 1815
Napoleon were sat in his longjohns
Suppin' Brasso with Josephine.

He'd chewed his nails to the very quick
So he chewed 'em down to t'slow
He was chewin' very hard when up the back yard
Come a corporal his face all aglow.

"Eh bean mon capitain," he cried,
"Sackrit bloo, murd alors, parlez voox."
And Boney spat out a big lump o' nail and said,
"Bugger me what's to do?"

It's t'lads," cried corporal pickin' his nose
"We played Wigan at billiards last night
And Wigan lads cheated and give us wobbly cues,
Ans sewed all t'pockets up tight

"Ecky le pecky," cried Boney,
"I'll show 'em which teams the best!"
And he had a quick chew of his fingernails
And stuck his hand up his vest

"Dish out some spud guns and catapults," he cried
"And give lads peashooters all round,
We'll burn down the pie and peas shops,
And raze chippies down t'ground.

"Us'll run through Wigan like a dose of salts
We'll make 'em tremble and quake
We'll loot and we'll pillage and we'll pinch things as well
And we'll smash all the Eccles cake."

Well he borrowed the Irlam muck cart
And some spuds to roast on t'way
And with all of his lads in t'wagon
'E pointed the horse Wigan way

But the weather turned rotten to spite him,
It snowed, rained and hailed an all t'rest
And Boney started sulkin', and chewin' his nails
And stickin' his hand up his vest

Soon the horse wouldn't go no further
It were weary and smelly and old
And it asked for a blanket and time and time and a half
And boots for workin' in t'cold

Well, they traipsed through the snow for a fortneet.
Dischuffed to the knickers they were,
They'd icicles hangin' from their nom de plumes,
And tricycles hung from their hair.

So they traipsed through t'slush round t'slag heaps
And up by t'canal and by t'pier
Till they come to a big doormat in t'snow sayin' "BOG OFF"
And Boney said "Ey up lads were theer!"

But the gates of Wigan were bolted tight,
And Boney said, "Ooo, what a pest"
And he had another chew of his fingernails,
And stuck his hand up his vest.

There he stood at the gates of Wigan,
Frozen tears ran in lumps down his chin
And he kicked on t'front door with his wellies in temper,
And shouted "Come on then, lerrus in!!!"

But there on the front door of Wigan
A notice he read wi' a groan
"WE HEARD AS HOW YOU WERE COMIN'
SO WE FLITTED, THERE'S NO ONE AT HOME.

Boney he were right blazin'
But Wigan were blazin' also
Cos Lord Mayor had left chip pan on t'gas ring
And Wigan were all aglow

Well the flames grew higher and higher
And Boney he got right depressed
So he had another chew of his fingernails
And stuck his hand up his vest

Well Wigan soon burnt down to ashes
An it got cowld, so they 'ad to retreat
They'd et their boots and socks on t'way
So they had to walk home in bare feet

Retreatin' were t'worst part o' t'business
Cos t'lads were startin' to see red
And they hissed and they booed at Boney up front
And chucked snowballs at t'back of 'is head

Boney were fed up wi' all this
So that night he worked out a plan
He pawned all t'lads muskets as they lay there in kip
And come home on t'number 11 tram

It were dark when Boney got back to their street
And stars were twinklin' above
And Boney's passions rose and burst all his buttons,
As he thowt of Josephine, his love!!

He opened the door, stamped the snow off his boots
Stuck his rifle in t'plant pot in th'hall
"I'm 'ome sweetie pie, light of my life"
And Josie just shouted rude things.

"Don't think you can go out conquerin'"she said,
"Enjoyin' yerself wi' t'lads
Yer t'wust bloody stop out i' Irlam!"
Boney said, "There's no answer to that."

She said, "You've not finished papperin' t'lobby yet,
This 'ouse is a right bloody mess
And you just stand there chewin' yer nails
And stickin' yer hand up yer vest."

Well, she ran downstairs and smashed 'im in t'gob
An' when he tried to get into bed
She got right nasty and picked up the po,
And smashed it over his head.

So you see, what they say in th'hysterical books
Isn't always right
It were Boney that got deaf and dumb breakfast
And Josephine who said "Not tonight."

Cos she made him sleep downstairs on t' hearth rug
Tossin' and turnin' without rest
Kickin' the cat and chewin' his nails
And stickin' his hand up his vest!!!


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