With apologies to T S Eliot
January is the cruelest month, breeding
daffodils out of Hare Krishna hands, mixing
Memories longer than the road that stretches, dragging
Americans without work permits onto rooftops.
Tea and ciggies kept us warm, spreading
Marmalade onto thin toast, feeding
George with Jaffa Cakes and dried buns.
Heather surprised us, whirling in the live room
With talk of eating kittens; we stopped in the studio
And watched as she flew and drank tea and talked for an hour.
Something in the way she moves attracts me like a cauliflower.
Nein, nicht Russland, das ist nur Ringos Deckname. Eine Kreuzfahrt nach Libyen.
And when we were children, playing in Hamburg,
The Top Ten, these were the songs
And we sounded great through the PA. Brian said,
Johnny, hold me tight. And down we went.
In the Octopus’s garden, there you feel free.
I write songs, much of the night, and I’ll see you round the clubs.
What are the chords that clutch, what songs grow,
Out of this roll-a-stoney rubbish? Son of Glynis,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A series of aborted takes, at two shillings a second, where the drummer beats
And EMI will pay and Allen Klein came into town last night
And he will get us tax relief. Only
There is shadow under this rooftop rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this rooftop rock),
And I will show you that we can get it together
Three takes of Get Back the Post Office Tower ahead of you
Two takes of Don’t Let Me Down and the cops behind you
I will show you stage fright and a handful of fans.
Mein Baby sagt,
sie reist um eins
“You gave me this red coat first a year ago;
They call me the red coat girl.”
—Yet when we came back, late, from lunch,
Our hearts full and our eyes wet, I could not
Speak, and the man in accounts said he would stop our pay
And they woke me from my sleep
Bloody stupid place to have a concert
And it’s nice to get something free
In this country at the moment. I’m all
In favour of it I think they’re marvellous young people
Why are they doing it on the roof
That’s Paul McCartney singing.
Ich habe ein Gefühl, ein Gefühl tief in mir
Mr Sosostris, famous bowler hatted arsehole,
Had no need to interfere, nevertheless
Is known to be the boss of this district
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said he,
This has to stop, it’s disrupting business. Here, said he,
Is my card, Mr City Policeman,
Sitting pretty Mr Policeman in Savile Row
(Those are hidden cameras in his eyes. Look!)
Here is Lady in a Blue Coat, the lady in the red cardigan on the roof,
The lady of situations.
Here is the Contrarian, who thinks they went all Hare Krishna, and here the wheel
Of the taxi with the man sitting backwards
And here is the one eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is the warrant card of PC Shayler,
Because this rooftop concert thing is something we are forbidden to see. I do not find Derek Taylor. It’s a big feature they’re doing.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring (move along).
Thank you Mo. If you see Yoko Ono,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself (move along).
One must be so careful these days (move along).
Under the grey clouds of a January noon,
A crowd flowed around Savile Row, so many,
I had not thought that music would bring so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled (no longer screams),
And each fan fixed their eyes upon the roofline.
Flowed up Burlington Gardens and down Vigo Street,
To where a friend had access to another roof
And the White Album is still at Number One so why
Are they playing Get Back it’s not even their new single yet.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him, crying, “Lennon!
“You who were with me in the stadium at Shea!
“That song you played in the studio,
“Has it begun to twist and sprout? Will it come together this year?
“Or has the January wind disturbed its bed?
“Oh keep the dog Klein far hence, that’s manipulator to men,
“For he will change the subject if he doesn’t like what he hears!
“You! spécialisation en médecine!—marteau d’argent—mon frère!”