Pirates, pilgrims and Pub Philosophy

“Pirates”, “pilgrims”, “pub” and “philosophy” are four words that begin with the same consonant and so I suppose is an example of alliteration; however the word philosophy does not begin with a hardened P sound and so is it really alliteration in the true sense? Thank god for the Internet; I could probably find this out relatively quickly. In the olden days we’d have to sit and watch hundreds of
QI
episodes in the vain hope of finding the answer. I may do an Internet search to get some information about this and include my findings at the end of this post. You’ll have to read on though to find out. Now I’ve got you interested.

I’m writing this post from a bus. I know this will be great news to you all; I tried writing my last blog post from a different location to the bus but I’m sure you’ll all agree that I write much better when I’m blogging from a bus. There’s a certain poetry about my bus posts; a certain je ne sais quoi maybe – I don’t know. Before I actually write about what I’d planned to write about, I should probably set the scene a little bit; it might explain why this post might turn out to be a bit rubbish.

As regular readers will know, I usually write from the x9 bus. Each morning I get the 36 bus from Hartlepool to Bilingham and then the x9 from Billingham to Gateshead. I usually set off from my house at 7:30 and arrive in Gateshead (where I work) at about 9:15.
I have managed to inadvertently train my brain to associate work with blessed relief. Invariably, by the time I get to work, I am utterly desperate for the toilet; I run into the building with a wide grin on my face, race across to my office, throw down my bags and coat and rush down the corridor in the direction of the toilet, panting and shouting “thank god, I’m here!” Most of the staff probably think I’m a crazed workaholic and this is probably why they avoid me, but in actuality I’m just a man with a very full bladder, exulted by the fact that I can finally relieve my liquid burden – which is a very poetic way of saying “have a piss”; I’m so poetic.

The first reason this blog post might be rubbish (although it’s going pretty well so far I’m sure you’ll agree) is because I am even more desperate for the toilet than usual. The reason for this is because I’m running late. I set off from my house at the same time that I usually do; in fact it was slightly earlier than normal. Either the 36 bus didn’t turn up or it had come early. I was not late. Nevertheless, the bus didn’t come and I had to get the next one, meaning I had missed my connecting bus. Because I’d been stood at a bus stop for 30 minutes as opposed to the usual two minutes, the cold had gone to my bladder and I started to need the toilet. Unfortunately, because I’d missed the x9 bus from Billing ham, I would now have to travel even further on the 36 to Norton to catch the x10. Unfortunately again, I have another 20 minute wait in Norton before the x10 comes, meaning another 20 minutes for the cold to effect my bladder, increasing my need for the toilet. What makes the situation even more frustrating is that Norton is in the opposite direction to Gateshead, so I’ve had to travel further away from the place I want to be and then come back again in the opposite direction. I set off from my house at 7:30; I was stood at a bus stop, desperate for the toilet, in the cold about 50 minutes later from leaving my house, further away from the place I wanted to get to than I was when I was lying in bed this morning. I’m eventually starting to head in the right direction again after one hour and 15 minutes of setting off from my house.

Phew! Glad I got that off my chest. I hope you managed to follow all that. I imagine that in the future, perhaps when I’m dead, there will be throngs of David Eagle worshipers making pilgrimages, setting off early in the mornings to travel the famed route as detailed in this blog post. Congregations from all over the world will set off from my house – which has now been turned into a David Eagle themed place of worship – and stand at the relevant bus stops – which are still standing exactly as they did in my day because they have been deemed as buildings of historic interest and are protected under heritage law. The congregation will drink a special potion that makes the drinker desperate for the toilet – to be honest drinking lots of water would have had just the same effect but the potion makers got in on the act and started profiting on the back
Of my name; this makes me very angry, as I specifically wrote in an authoritative and widely quoted blog post about the evils of false profits (you see what I did there?) The pilgrims will eventually – after a large amount of tedious bus travel – arrive at my place of work which has also been turned into a place of worship. They will run into the building with broad grins on their faces, race through the corridors towards the toilets shrieking ecstatically “thank god, we’re here!” They then all pile into the toilet and what happens after that is probably best left to your imagination, but this is something else about the whole affair that upsets me, and I do not condone that sort of behaviour in my name.

Anyway, last Tuesday we, is in
The Young’uns
recorded our duet with
Vick Reeves
about smelly pirates with hairy knees. It went very well. I feel really sorry for the studio staff: the producers and technicians working on the project had to spend a whole day in a recording studio, recording different musicians and actors and the Young’uns doing take after take, singing the same one minute song: “I’m a smelly pirate, with hairy knees” etc etc, over and over again.

I suppose I better explain a bit more about this song and the film since all I’ve mentioned so far is that my folk group are singing a song with Vick Reeves about smelly pirates with hairy knees. The project is a film animation that has a budget of £3’0000000 – I’m sure that at least a third of that money was spent on the smelly pirate song. I think that the story and the songs are all written by children. The film is animated and produced by the film company who are responsible for Wallace and Grommet – not responsible for them in terms of their welfare, making sure they’ve got enough cheese; I suppose you knew what I meant. They also have celebrities doing various voices, such as
David Walliams,
Harry Hill,
Miranda Hart,
Catherine Tate
and of course Vick Reeves.
O, and, of course, The young’uns.
The project isn’t complete yet and so I’ve not heard the finished smelly Pirate song but I’ll let you know as soon as I do.

An accurate barometer of the Young’uns’ success and popularity is the amount of paperwork we have to sign. When we first started out doing this folk music lark, we would just do gigs in pubs in front of who ever would listen. As time has gone on, we’ve had to sign contracts for performances, appearances and recordings; these contracts have grown exponentially both in frequency and content. We did a gig recently at the Sage theatre in Gateshead. We were one of a number of acts on the bill that night, which was a folk against fascism event. The folk against fascism concept derives from the comments made by
British National Party
leader
Nick Griffin
who suggested that bnp members should go to folk clubs because they might be a good place for recruiting members. This inference that folk clubs and folk music was in anyway associated with the beliefs of the bnp was met with outrage by the folk fraternity including many folk musicians and many high-profiled singers who made anti-fascists speeches and countered the idea that British folk music was fascist simply because it was British, celebrating tradition and history. Anyway, we were only on stage at the sage for about 15 minutes and it took us longer than that to read and sign the various contracts: the health and safety contract, image rights, copyright etc. The copyright document was interesting. You have to write the names of all the songs you’re going to perform that night – which is a bit of an issue since we normally don’t decide this until we’re on stage. You then have to write down the name of the song writer for each of the songs so that they can get the money from
PRS.
This is a bit of a fruitless exercise as the majority of the songs we sing are either written by people, who have been dead for centuries, are people who aren’t on prs, or the songs are traditional folk songs
and the writer is unknown. If this trend continues and we have to sign even longer and more ludicrously convoluted contracts before we can actually do a gig then we might have to start increasing our fee to compensate for the large amount of time taken up by the contracts.

After the recording, we went to the pub to celebrate the success of this soon to be historic song. Just before we left the pub, there was a group of people who started filing in. One of them approached us and asked: “here for the philosophy in pubs night lads?” He was disappointed when we informed him that we had no idea what a philosophy in pubs night was and that unfortunately we had to scoot off and would not be joining in; apparently they want new blood in the group. I asked what philosophy in pubs was all about and apparently it’s a group of people who meet each fortnight in the pub, take a vote about what subject to talk about, then philosophise. I decided to do an interview with the group which we’ll feature on a future
Young’uns podcast
episode along with the pirate song.

Anyway, this brings me to the final paragraph and now you know the reason for the four p words in the blog post title. According to my Internet searching, words still count as being alliterated even if the consonants don’t sound the same, so “Pirates with pneumonia in pubs philosophising” is alliteration even if they don’t all start with hardened P sounds. Anyway, the bus has finally arrived at Gateshead and so I can finally go to work and enjoy making a P sound of my very own – or should that be “pee” sound (o I’m so poetic!)

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