Postcards From Malthusia CLOSING CHORUS: Bill Herbert and Andy Jackson

Dear folks,

Last Friday we reached 100 posts in our Postcards From Malthusia project, and, although we are still receiving work, decided to bring things to a gently decelerating close. That’s two-and-a-half quarantines-worth of verse, or five quarantinis if you think exclusively in cocktails, and at this stage, who doesn’t?

It seems to us that the initial phase of Lockdown and indeed the post-Lockdown phase of What the Hell Do We Call This? are now over, and we have entered into a new phase called Remains of a Ruined Summer Shot Through with Forebodings of the Autumn and Winter Yet to Come. We’re not sure that a poem a day is going to help with that, but we’ll continue to publish Clinical Trials to find out. The first of these will begin shortly, and we plan to take things forward ever so tentatively from there on out. But first, our traditional New Boots closing chorus of a repurposed Ian Dury song – on this occasion, ‘Billericay Dickie’ (if you’re not familiar with the song, click here to see Mr Dury give a masterclass in modern Music Hall). Do join in at the back there!


Cyrus Virus

Good evening; I’m from Wuhan
So all the scientists tell
My secret name is Cyrus
AKA Coronavirus
And I’ll be taking you…to Hell

I had a date with Priti
I met her up the city
I sang this little ditty
At a Commons Subcommittee
I said Now come on Priti
Let’s get to the nitty gritty
But she preferred Chris Whitty
Which wasn’t ‘alf a pity

You ask Dot and Iris
Who’s their favourite virus
My given name is Cyrus
I’m called Coronavirus
And I’m taking you…to Hell

I met with Mr Cumming
A man known for his cunning
I asked about his plumbing
But he was not forthcoming
I thought he muttered some’ing
He said he was just humming
He hadn’t time for chumming
Cos he’d left his engine running

Well, you ask Matt and BoJo
Which miasma has the mojo
I ‘appen to be tireless
I’m Psychoronavirus
And I’ll be sending them…to Hell

I had a fling with Rishi
I found him rather dishy
His mandate was all squishy
Which seemed a little fishy
His face was rather twitchy
Which left me feeling itchy
And I don’t mean to be bitchy
But his mask was proper titchy.

Well, you ask Pence and Trumpo
Why their polls are on the slumpo
I’m afraid they cannot fire us
Cos I’m a bleedin’ virus
And I’ll be sending them…to Hell

You should always mask your face, yeah?
If you don’t know where I’ve been
You’ll need a tester and a tracer
For your public ‘ealth regime

I met Michael and his doggy
Down where the Thames was boggy
His rhetoric was soggy
And rather demagogue-y
We got all dialogue-y
About Jacob Rees’s moggy
But his memory was foggy
So I left him feeling groggy

Oh golly, oh gosh
come and dally in the dell
With a nice bit of posh
from Clerkenwell
My given name is Cyrus
But I’m called Coronavirus
And I’ll make you…quite unwell

We may be just a virus
But you can’t help but admire us
My secret name is Cyrus
And if you are desirous
Let’s all go…straight to Hell.

So if you want to hire us
Just sign this small papyrus
My friends know me as Cyrus
Though I’m called Coronavirus
And I’m taking you to Hell

You ask Dot and Iris
Who their favourite squire is
They’ll tell you that it’s Cyrus
That smart coronavirus
Who is taking them…to Hell…


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