The Road to Himazazz
I was playing glannies on the garden path
when Sis told me my Grandad had died.
I could no longer ask for barley. My best
glanny had been kiboshed by a bogey.
A cat's lick and a promise before the funeral,
Sis combed my hair, parted it knife straight.
It was a Wednesday morning, the glistening
funeral courtege streamed past the shops:
Mrs. Preston watched the hearse roll by
then bustled to Bousfield’s for five pounds
of King Edward spuds. In the betting shop,
Uncle Bruce the undertaker placed a bet
for luck, to send Granddad on the road
to Himazazz, and he sang and sobbed,
"We strolled a few feet more to Himazazz.
To Himazazz! Himazazz the pub next door."
Christopher T. George
A few explanations--
Himazazz is a place in a comic song that my Uncle Bill (Billy Matchett), the vaudeville artist, used to sing. I guess it's a mythical place since the name does not come up on a google search except in relation to the song. The first line of the song goes, "Down in Pennsyltucky where the pencils grow" which might imply the song was written by an American, however, since the ending of the song mentions a pub I think the song must be of British origins not American, though I don't know the composer. Bruce Williams, who is the undertaker referred to in the poem, and who had premises off Lodge Lane, was also a songwriter who wrote songs for George Formby under the name of Eddie Latta and it could have been one of his.
I guess in using "Himazazz" in the title I am conscious that a poem should have a good title as well as good text, so I thought this title would be intriguing.
Of course, "glannies" are small marbles that the children play with in Liverpool, and a "bogey" is a bigger marble. "Glanny" may be somehow derived from glass, or "glass eye." "Barley" is the term an English child uses for sanctuary or safety in a game of tag (or tick as they call it).