Blackbirds Vs The Beatles


In court today, a Beatle,
McCartney is his name,
On trial he is for stealing
Despite his wealth and fame;
He and his fellow muso
The one named Ringo Starr,
The two remaining Beatles
Now stand before the bar.

Against them are the blackbirds,
Descendants of the one
Who sang a song so long ago,
Was robbed, but now is gone.
Prosecuting, Sir Robin Finches
Set out the blackbirds' case:
'The loss of legal earnings is'
He said, 'a real disgrace.'

The case begins pre-Beatles,
We go back tens of years
To secretive recordings by
White-coated engineers.
Deep in the English countryside
A blackbird sang his song
Without a hint, or notion,
That anything was wrong.

Alas, his voice was stolen
And stored for many a year,
That is, until McCartney
And 'that Lennon' did appear,
And 'gainst the laws of England,
From B.B.C. archives
They used a song illegally,
Which blighted blackbirds' lives.

The barrister, Jay Sneakswift
For Paul McCartney, said,
That many past composers,
To earn their daily bread,
Had 'borrowed' from material
To which they'd no real claim,
In hope that this would mollify the judge,
And spread the blame.

Beethoven then was cited
Who had, so he had heard,
Used in his own fifth symphony
The yellowhammer bird;
The song of which was said
To have been used by that great man
To open aforementioned work,
Or so the rumour ran.

Now here presents a problem,
Because the learned judge
Was from his youth an 'L.V.' fan,
And on this could not budge;
He sensed a tone of sarcasm
From Sneakswift, stood close by,
So ruled him in contempt of court
And swore next month, to try.

Defence then called their witness,
Miss Maggie Pye, a 'twitcher'
Brought in, ostensibly to
Put court in the picture;
'The case should be thrown out' she cried,
'Birds have no need of money'
The judge gave her a withering look
And boomed, 'You think this funny? '

'Birds too must eat - must they not?
And yours is no defence,
And not the way we British do things...
I take offence! '
And seeing that the lady was
Becoming now irate,
Called her also, in contempt,
Next court would seal her fate.

Sneakswift once more, and then again
Kept pleading in defence,
He claimed The Beatles' actions
Were all in innocence;
But none of this proved fruitful
The judge, his mind made up,
Began deliberations
Before his summing up.

Lord Falconer then stated that
As educated men,
McCartney, 'and that Lennon fellow'
Should have thought again,
Reiterating, this was not,
'The way we British do it,
You gambled with your luck
But now I have to say, you blew it.'

'I therefore, now award the birds
Full recourse to the law,
Possession of their copyrights,
And what is more,
All royalties, back-dated to
Enactment of the crime,
And think yourselves most fortunate
That you do not do time.

Both Beatles looked bewildered,
Both pale and out of touch,
They said they'd be appealing
But that costs could prove too much;
So Paul put out a heartfelt plea
To all their Beatles fans,
A call for cash donations
To help with these demands;

Back royalties it's said, will be
So far beyond the pale,
On scales so astronomical
That if appeals should fail,
The two remaining Beatles,
Though stood casually in suits,
Would ultimately be scared stiff,
And quaking in their boots.

(Written Nov 2013)

by John Carter Brown

Comments (3)

so crowded out there. all I see are people.
Do we really need lines 10 and 20 numbered? Do we really need this poem as poem of the day? There are countless better ones that PH could have chosen, many of them by Whitman himself!
The city of such women! The city of such young men~ I swear I cannot live happy without!