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The Rock 'N Roll Tree - Poem by Wojja Fink

A little more Beatles nostalgia

When we were young in boyhood years
And unaware of grown ups fears
We climbed a tree above the town
And from the boughs we all looked down
And sang out songs not all in key
In our home from home in our rock n roll tree.

The endless summer skies above
The Beatles songs sang out in love
We had no drums no amplifiers
But knew the words like schoolboy choirs
O how the summer days seemed long
Learning lines of a new hit song
There were no crowds or screaming girls
We didn’t have John Lennon’s curls
We didn’t care we sang so free
In our home from home in our rock n roll tree.

Hours we spent just learning lines
Whilst fathers grafted in the mines
No pits for us we all would sing
And waited for the bell to ring
And after school we made our way
To sing for free without no pay
Or watch the Magpies scoring goals
Or smoky trains move tons of coals
Or sing a song in leafy glades
While fathers dug for coal with spades.

Up a tree above the town
With fleshy leaves and bark all brown
Squeaky voices laughing fits
Sulphurous air from coal face pits
Foggy Tyneside drunken brawls
Old ladies wrapped in knitted shawls
Up our tree we didn’t care
The rock n roll tree in winter bare
It’s still there now as I stand and stare
A childhood gone, I wonder where?
In the memory childhood friends who sang so loud
Have disappeared like morning cloud,
And now the icy wind it blows
The rock n roll tree in winter snows
Lies so quiet the times have changed
The boyhood band’s now rearranged
Where are they now and do they sing?
In winters frost or sunny spring.

The rock n roll tree now all alone
In windy storms the boughs just groan
Will stand there still when I have flown
And maybe in some other time
Some young souls will rise and climb and sing out songs in some new rhyme
Who am I? And who are thee? The answers In the Rock n Roll tree.

The rock n roll tree it sheds it’s leaves
Just like the changing mind perceives,
The day we gave our final show
I can’t recall I do not know
If I’ll climb again and sing out loud and float of free with summer cloud
Re-call the past of child hood names
Who sang so free in childhood games,
But in the mind I can recall
How the Beatles songs they moved us all.
Newcastle wood, wasn’t it good.

Now I watch from fireside chair
The flying football in the air
Who’s that guy with rubber legs?
I hear that Robson has false tooth pegs
Where is Rudd with his double Dutch?
Some one said he lost his touch,
And now the ageing captains skills
Can’t catch the wind or raise the thrills,
But you can’t keep a good team down
Just try ten pints of that old brown
Then you may smile or maybe frown,
If Man U are back in town,
So farewell to the misery
I’m going back to the rock ‘n roll tree
And sing a while some sweet refrain
And forget about the football pain,
Isn’t it good, Newcastle wood?

And now the station master cries with Geordie voice and tired eyes
The last train home has left but there’s a spare branch
Up the rock n roll tree where you can sleep uncomfortably
With the magpies.
Twenty men up a tree asleep in striped shirts
Would make you wonder if you were dreaming
Of the past and rock ‘n roll songs
Or old brass bands
And football throngs
Borrowed shirts and tough old boots
Catching minnows or spotted newts
Collecting jam jars or blowing bubbles,
When only grown ups carried troubles.

And when the distant memory fades
Of magical woods and grassy glades
I bring to mind the changing times
No more Beatles magic rhymes
No more Hollies but still the Stones
With saggy faces and creaky bones.
But look, the love it ever shines
In the rock n roll tree and Beatles lines.
Wasn’t it good, Newcastle Wood?

Up in Dark Wood you’ll find a tree
And carved in bark for all to see
The names of friends I was glad to see
Who played their part when we were free?
In the magic world of our rock ‘n roll tree.

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