Never Yours

Among the many tributes in speech and music at the funeral of Heathcote Williams on 14 July 2017 was this elegy by musician and writer Boff Whalley.

Never Yours, for Heathcote

There are
Do what you’re told lives
Forced to fit the mould lives
Prematurely old lives
Never yours

There are
Begging for the scrap lives
Foot caught in the trap lives
Yes sir, doff your cap lives
Never yours

There are
Tactful toe-the-line lives
Decent and discreet lives
Beat a slow retreat lives
Clean behind the ears lives
Counting down the years lives
Quiet lives that hush behind closed doors
Never yours

There are
Never make a mess lives
Accept and acquiesce lives
Retirement and regret lives
Never yours

There are
Calmly toe-the-line-lives
Boot-lick and benign lives
Decent and discreet lives
Beat a slow retreat lives
Clean behind the ears lives
Counting down the years lives
Quiet lives that hush behind closed doors
Never yours

There are standing for what’s right lives
Put ’em up and fight lives
Staying up all night lives
That was yours

There are
Sing another tune lives
Shooting for the moon lives
Left us far too soon lives
That was yours

 

Boff Whalley


Photo: Max Crow Reeves

 

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