Thursday, 27 January 2011

The tol-loll tenor

The tol-loll tenor

With his tarra-diddle
and tarra-fiddle
takes away my tankard tears

for the old ones
here on my vest

He's a tantarabos
from Boston town
with a thirst for a tolerable song

Till the bitch
gets up
and bites him in the head

Now he takes
three draws
to the spit


'a tantarabos' (a devil) is here meant in a kindly way
and 'takes three draws...' refers to smoking a cigarette
'the bitch gets up...' means he gets drunk on songs (not to mention the grog!)
image: Lute Player by Frans Hals


  1. Very graphic, this one, like a Frans Hals painting. I particularly enjoyed the 't' play and then the abrupt switch to the less friendly Boston, bitch and bites. But the real surprise was the throw away "except the old ones here on my vest."

  2. love that loping rhythm.

    From my distant past: isn't a tara-diddle a move when you're playing the drums?

  3. Clowncar: I haven't heard of that. But then I don't know much abour drums which is sad because in my youth I was in the sea cadets. Anyway I'm using tarradiddle here (the hyphen by thr eay is mine for sake of the form) as sailor's slang for a tall story.

  4. Mairi, Thank you so much. Will put a Hals painting to it for you :)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.