Tristan Hazell lives and works in the shadow of the Westway on Portobello Road. What follows is a collection of observations, reviews, social comment, fiction, poetry, art criticism and more. Much of it is fiction and some of it will offend someone somewhere, I hope.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

If Longfellow lived now. Hya Amy Winehouse.



Should you ask me, whence the bullshit? 
Whence these legends and traditions, 
With the stinking of the ghetto 
With the dew and damp of homelessness,
With the curling smoke of guilt,
With the rushing of great kettling,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations
As of thunder in the mountains?
  I should answer, I should tell you,
"From the ghettos and the high streets,
From the great lakes of the Hampstead,
From the land of the Cockneys,
From the land of the hipsters,
From the coffeeshops, shoe shops, and feng shui-lands
Where the heroin addict, the crack head,
Feeds among the reeds and bushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Amy Winehouse,
The musician, the sweet singer.
  Should you ask where Amy winehouse
Found these songs so wild and wayward,
Found these legends and traditions,
I should answer, I should tell you,
"In the coffee shops of the Angel,
In the boozers of Camden Town,
In the hoof-prints of the banker,
In the eyry of the pigeon!
  "All the immigrants sang them to her,
In the moorgate and the feng shui-lands,
In the melancholy Hackney marshes;
Barney, the cabbie, sang them,
Mahng, the loon, the wild-goose, Wawa,
The blue heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
And the grouse, the Mushkodasa!"
  If still further you should ask me,
Saying, "Who was Amy Winehouse?
Tell us of this Amy Winehouse,"
I should answer your inquiries
Straightway in such words as follow.
  "In the vale of Hampstead,
In the green and silent valley,
By the pleasant water-courses,
Dwelt the singer Amy Winehouse.
Round about the Hampstead village
Spread the meadows and the corn-fields,
And beyond them stood the forest,
Stood the groves of singing Kenwood,
Green in Summer, white in Winter,
Ever sighing, ever singing.
  "And the pleasant water-courses,
You could trace them through the valley,
By the rushing in the Spring-time,
By the alders in the Summer,
By the white fog in the Autumn,
By the black line in the Winter;
And beside them dwelt the singer,
In the vale of Chalk Farm,
In the green and silent valley.
  "There she sang of rehabilitation,
Sang the Song of rehab, no no no.
Sang of her wondrous birth and being,
How she played fast and how she lost,
How she lived, and toiled, and suffered,
That the tribes of men might prosper,

That she might advance her people!"

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