Monday, April 12, 2010

Tonight At Noon

Tonight at noon
Supermarkets will advertise 3p extra on everything
Tonight at noon
Children from happy families will be sent to live in a home
Elephants will tell each other human jokes
America will declare peace on Russia
World War I generals will sell poppies on the street on November 11th
The first daffodils of autumn will appear
When the leaves fall upwards to the trees

Tonight at noon
Pigeons will hunt cats through city backyards
Hitler will tell us to fight on the beaches and on the landing fields
A tunnel full of water will be built under Liverpool
Pigs will be sighted flying in formation over Woolton
And Nelson will not only get his eye back but his arm as well
White Americans will demonstrate for equal rights
In front of the Black house
And the monster has just created Dr. Frankenstein

Girls in bikinis are moonbathing
Folksongs are being sung by real folk
Art galleries are closed to people over 21
Poets get their poems in the Top 20
There's jobs for everybody and nobody wants them
In back alleys everywhere teenage lovers are kissing in broad daylight
In forgotten graveyards everywhere the dead will quietly bury the living


You will tell me you love me
Tonight at noon

- Adrian Henri

The Liverpool Scene - 'Tonight At Noon' (1967)*
The Jam - 'Tonight At Noon' (1977)

* featuring a little snippet of Perfumed Garden-era Peel at the end


  1. Ah, the lovely Adrian. My favourite is Roger McGough's Summer With Monika though.

    I did a Weller and wrote a song using that once. Wasn't as good as Tonight At Noon though...

  2. Lovely. Roger lives near here you know. I saw him in the pub one quiet early Friday evening. I thought I should write a poem, to be read aloud in his characteristic style, entitled 'I Saw Roger McGough In The Coach & Horses pub' but inevitably could not get past the first line.

  3. I enjoyed reading this very much.

  4. 'In a new kind of dawn
    Readjusting your conscience
    You wake, and
    Having woken dream
    Or so it seems
    Of forests you've come across
    And lives you'd have swum in
    Had you been strong enough'.

    Those mersey poet anthologies are lovely.

  5. You never cease to amaze and enlighten me with your sunny cultural pointers.

    Me? I'm off out for a lily the pink.

  6. Ah Dickie, most efficaceous in every way.

  7. This fair cheered me up. Delayed at bloody Luton airport, which is about my least favourite place on this island

  8. Yes. Not a glamour locale : (

  9. Were you really wafted in from Paradise?

    Nah. Luton Airport.

  10. But did the Drewster waft in before the Icelandic ash???

    Word verif = 'stint'


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