Her at 23/shopping Street Blues

by John Buckley


(This is not a song as such; but you may sing it quietly to yourself to any Bob Dylan-type tune of your liking)


Sometimes I cant find answers

And my mood really gets me down

So I jumped on an Arriva bus

And went shopping for life - down town.

I was mooching around Boots the Chemist

And an assistant said to me

Please tell me what youre looking for.

So I told her, some inner harmony.

Inner harmony? Thats a laxative

And I aint meaning to be funny

So follow me and Ill give you

Runs for your money.

But what about love? I pleaded

And she said, Let me see

If its love that you wanted all along

You should have gone to her at twenty-three.


Well, I was looking around non-fiction

And the librarian was real particular,

Said, Ill find you what you need

Something extra curricular?

I need something to tell me

How to be at one with myself

But he looked kind of puzzled

As he picked a book off the shelf.

Cos he stared at me, then all around

And said, Ill tell you the honest truth

Weve been together five minutes now

And there is only one of you.

But thisll explain other things, he said,

And how youve missed your destiny,

Because if youd wanted happiness

It was waiting at twenty three.


I was in the queue in Matalan

And there for the foreseeable future

And a womans voice kept sounding loud

It was like being in the Kama Sutra

Position Number Six please, she said,

Position Number Ten

Position Number Five, please

Then we did number six again.

But love like thats got no meaning

Any anyway I couldnt do no more

Because someone grabbed my arms and

Wrestled me to the floor

That wont do at all, sir, he said

As I was held down by Security.

He added, If its that kinda passion you want

You should have tried her at twenty three


Now pay for your socks and get out


I wandered into Smiths

Looking for something to read

And searched along the magazines

To satisfy my need.

I told the girl I wanted Horse and Hound

But I wasnt having any joy

She said that didnt begin to explain

Why I was thumbing through Play-boy.

I examined the rows of paperbacks

But the manager gave me filthy looks

Said I was putting fingermarks

In all his dirty books;

Im afraid youll have to leave

But if you are really that lone-ly

Why dont you seek some friendship

With her at twenty three.


Theres a man in an orange apron

Keen to show me round the store.

Theres nothing we havent got, he boasted,

Round the back weve got some more.

Affection is what I want

But companionship will do

He said, Hang on mate

This is only BQ.

If doesnt come in cans or boxes

And if you dont see it on the shelf

Im afraid theres nothing for it

Youll have to do it all yourself.

You wont find love amongst the Dulux

On that youll agree

There only room for love under the gloss

With her at twenty three.


You got any world peace? I asked

I am tired of all these wars.

The man said, Son we dont do world peace

This is the Army and Navy Stores.

So I went elsewhere with my empty heart

And a desperate need to fill it

Well this is the wrong place for that sir,

Youve wandered into Milletts.

But he didnt get what I was after

He couldnt understand what I meant

This is a camping shop, aint it?

And I just need to be con-tent

Well, if its contentment that your missing

Please come this way with me

And Ill hike you right along

To her at twenty-three.


How could I have been so stupid

To spend a lifetime of regret

Saying I am a rock, Im an island

And never getting my feet wet

So theres only one place to shop

When your life is filled with dross

So I opened those bright blue doors

And stepped into Ar-gos


Oh yeah. Hmm mmm.

Theres nothing they aint got.

Up yours Amazon


I flicked over all the pages

And there it was coded twenty three

I punched in the numbers

And a message stared back at me.

I had to read it over again

Suppose my mind was still in shock

We are sorry, it said,

But happiness is out of stock.

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