(with apologies to everyone)
Let me tell you a little story
in horrible sixth form heraldic poetry
the story of a horrid pink tape
and all the lives it ruined.
Some say it’s what got The Stig fired
and that the pole shift will be because of it
all I know is that since I played it
Chemtrails over Sheffield doth appeared
I first gawked at it with mouth agape
At a little show at the Harley
Many a week passed until the skate holiday came
When the man with the golden voice gave me one
“What a strange thing?” I thought
While holding the strange, furry tape in my hand
Inside, a pink tape, a tracklist and an old photo
With a d4 and the head of a toy horse
Alas, none of my acquaintances had a tape player
Even my Scottish friends said no
As their beloved tape deck
by a bunch of Neds it got wrecked
Soon it was time to go to sunny Mexico
Where technology stuck somewhere before the Falklands fell
I tried it in my dad’s Kenwood modular stereo
A monolith to trash it became afterward
Amplifier’s valves snapped, crackled and popped
And a fire I had to put out.
“Just my luck” I thought, after the smoke cleared
“Burning was the track missing in the mix”
Another stereo, an old Sony
In my brothers’ room waited patiently
Both were out and I sneaked in.
It was wrecked too, so I sneaked out.
Then my father’s car beckoned
A Toyota stereo, surely it can take it?
A screech, a squeak. Was it part of ‘Dreamboat’?
No, it was the sound of my doom.
After re-spooling the tape
An old walkman in my drawer waited
Do I really need to say what followed?
Spool the tape again, I did.
So it was back to England I went
When a friend from Cymru gave me a bell
I could run it through a stereo proper
It has survived tapes by Eddie Izzard
And so went the pink tape in a biohazard manila folder
To the lands of Wales and yonder
A few days later, an email was received
Digital copies from that jinxed cartridge
No names were attached, but the songs I enjoyed
The one with ‘Sparrows’ an earworm delivered
While the one about Satan tempted me into repeat
As dessert, I sailed a showboat into a sandbank.
And so ends the story of the horrid pink tape
Which set asunder a few vintage apparatus
But enrichened my music collection
And gave me another reason to press play.