When Filkers go a-roving

Copyright © Ju Honisch


‘Twas in the not quite pleasant month of lovely February
The rain was wet, the wind was cold, the travelling was scary.
We packed up our belongings, to the airport we did go,
Full of anticipation, spirits high, finances low,
For we would go a-roving.

We got our lovely tickets for a special bargain price,
BA was written on them and we all thought “Oh, how nice”,
But what we hadn’t reckoned with were formal inhibitions.
BA liked our money, but they didn’t like musicians
Guitars became a problem.

When we arrived to check in our instruments were taken
Each got a sticker saying “FRAGILE” and “Not To Be Shaken”.
When we arrived at Birmingham, amazement in our faces,
The torn and battered things we got were our fragile cases.
So much for careful handling.

So when the con was over and we started going back,
We swore we’d never part from our guitars at the check.
While we were standing arguing, our Robert soon he vanished:
The X-ray of his concert flute had looked like something banished.
Bazooka in C-major.

Security sneaked up on him and dragged him far away,
Unpacked all his belonging and then said “Oh, that’s okay”.
We then proceeded full of hope towards the chosen gate
Were stopped by more security, being searched now was our fate.
And not to go a-roving.

The X-ray played another trick on the security screen:
The coils of my spare strings around some batt’ries could be seen.
I then was soon surrounded by lots of nervous folk
Whose hands grabbed for their weapons as they smiled at me and spoke:
“Please open up your cases!”

While carefully they checked whether my guitar was a bomb
The big walk-through detector screen turned its alarm-beep on
And Harald who’d just walked though met another ready lot
Who bade him undress quickly to the pants, right on the spot.
Striptease for our Harry.

All this was not the last of all the troubles that we met:
Right at the gate, the ticket man – one more obstacle yet.
He fumed and screamed and shouted, furious without inhibition
For I and my guitar had passed him without his permission.
And surely he was raving.

When we approached old Frankfurt town we couldn’t land right there,
For just one single runway worked: we must stay in the air.
We circled Frankfurt for two hours, around us lots of planes,
And swore that with BA we’d surely never go again,
When we would go a roving, a roving to a con,
When we would go a roving with our filking outfits on.
When we would go a roving.


Last updated 01/05/21 / Steve Macdonald