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Napoleons Retreat From Wigan



Twas on the plains of Irlam,
The year 1815
Napoleon were sat in his long johns,
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 of 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
And sewed all t pockets up tight”

“Ecky le pecky,” cried Boney,
“I’ll show ’em which team’s 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 pea shooters all round
We’ll burn down the pie and peas shops,
And raze chippies down to 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 ‘is ‘orse Wigan way.

But weather turned rotten to spite him,
It snowed, rained and hailed and 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 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 slag heaps,
And up by t’ canal and by t’ pier
Till they come to a door-mat in t’ snow sayin’ “BOG OFF”
And Boney said “Ey up lads we’re there!!”

But the gates of Wigan were bolted tight,
Said Boney, “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

Boney he were right blazin’,
But Wigan were blazin’ also
‘Cos Lord Mayor ‘ad 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 ‘ad to walk ‘ome in bare feet.

Retreatin’ were t’ worst part o’ t’ business,
Cos t’ lads were startin’ to see red
And they hissed and booed at Boney up front,
An’ chucked snowballs at t’ back of his 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,
An’ he come ‘ome on t’ No. 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 sweety pie light of my life,”
And Josie just shouted rude things.

“Don’t think you can go out conquering” she said,
Enjoying 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’ your nails,
And stickin’ your hand up your 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!!!