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NAPOLEON'S RETREAT FROM WIGAN
by
Mike Harding

It was on the plains of Irlam
In the year of 1815
Napoleon was sat in his long-johns
Suppin Brasso wi' Josephine.

He'd chewed his nails to the very quick
So he chewed 'em down ter the slow
He were chewin very hard, when up the back yard
Came a corporal, his nose all aglow.

'Hey bierd mon Capitane' he cried
'Sacred bleu, mor da lore, parlez vooks'
And Boney spat out a big lump of nail
And said, 'Bugger me whats to do?'

'Ze lads ave just cum back from ze wigan' said corporal
'Nous played um at ze billiards last night
'But ze Wigan lads cheated and give us wobbly cues
'And sewed all ze pockets up tight.

'And they put lard ont' chalk and glue on nous balls
And stuffed up our wellies wi barbed wire
'Then they bunged up our muskets wi parkin,
'So we couldn't get the buggers to fire.

'Then we had to walk 'ome after t'punch up
'Cos tram guard looked at us right black
'He said 'BOG OFF FROGGIES'
So we had t'leg it all way back.'

'Ecky le Pecky' said Boney
'I'll show em what teams the best'
And he had a quick chew of his fingernails
And shoved his hand up his vest.

He said dish out some spud guns and catapults too
And give t'lads peashooters all round
We'll burn down the pie 'n' pea shops
And raze chippies down to t'ground.

'Us'll run through Wiggin like a dose of Andrews
'We'll make um all tremble and quake
'We'll loot and we'll pillage, and we'll pinch things as well
'And we'll smash all the Eccles Cakes.'

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

But the weather turned rotten to spite him
It snowed, rained and hailed and all t' rest
So Boney started sulking and chewing his nails
And sticking his hand up his vest

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

So they trapes through the snow for a fortneet
Dischuffed to the knickers they were
They'd icicles hanging from their nom de plumes
And frost all over their hair.

Well they trudged through the slush round the slagheaps
And up by t'canal and by t'pier
Till they came to big doormat in t' snow that said BOG OFF!!
And Boney said, 'Ey up lads were 'ere.'

But the gates of Wiggin was bolted tight
Said Boney, 'Phoo what a pest!'
And he had another chew on his fingernails
And stuck his hand up his vest

There he stood at the front gates of Wiggin
Frozen tears coming in lumps down his chin
And he kicked on t' front door wi is wellies in temper
And said 'Come on cheeky buggers, let us in!'

But there on the front door of Wiggin
A notice he read with a groan
It said 'We heard as how you were comin
So we buggered off, there's no one at home.'

Well Boney he was right blazin'
But Wiggin were blazin also
Cos they'd left t'chip pan on t'gas ring
And Wiggin were all aglow.

So they all got round and warmed up a bit
And as the flames grew higher
He took out a food parcel he got off his gran
And toasted his crackers on t'fire.

Now Wiggin burned down to ashes
And it got cold so they had to retreat
And they'd eaten their boots and socks on t' way
So they had to walk home in bare feet.

Retreating were worst part of t'business
'Cos' lads were starting to see red
And they hissed and booed when he walked up in front
And chucked snowballs at the back of his head.

Now Boney were right pigged off wi all this
So that night he worked out a plan
He pawned all the lads muskets as they lay there in t' kip
And he came home on t' number 11 tram.

It was dark when he got back to their street
And stars where twinecklin above
And Boney's passions rose and bursted all his buttons
As he thought of Joseffluent, his love.

He stomped the snow off his boots,
Opened the door and stuck his rifle in 't plant pot in t' hall
He said 'I'm home sweetie pie, light of mi life'
Josephine shouted- *##**# (rude things).

'Don't think you can go out bloody conquering' she said
'Stopping out all night wit' bloody lads,
'You're the worst bloody stop-out in Irlam you.'
Boney said, 'There's no answer to that!'

'You've not finished papering the lobby yet
This house is a right bloody mess,
'And you just sit there chewin at your nails
'And sticking your hand up your vest.

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

So you see what they say in the hysterical books
Isn't always quite right
It was Boney who got deaf and dumb breakfast
And Josephluent who said 'Not tonight!'

For she made him sleep downstairs on the hearthrug
Tossin and turning without rest
Kicking the cat and chewing his nails
And sticking his hand up his vest.

 
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