A Sketch, A Memory

A misspelt prayer
on a child’s gravestone
Standing just a few feet away
from where your body lies

A ‘misspent’ youth
sometimes made your
humour a little hard to take
but I loved you anyway

And I know
you would have laughed with me
In the face of
such a tragic absurdity


These are lyrics to a song I wrote about my friend Alfie, some ten years ago now.

I remember laughing with him a lot. We both shared a dark and occasionally cruel sense of humour. As is often the way with these things, especially when combined with a lack of sobriety and the vigour of youth, the ever-shifting line of acceptability would sometimes get trampled over.

There’s a grave near his, the grave of a child. The epitaph is misspelt. I can imagine us laughing for a lack of knowing how else to react. Sometimes things are so sad and absurd, that’s all you can do.

My dad has described the accompanying musical composition as ‘pastoral’. It’s one of my favourite pieces I’ve written. Sprung forth in an instant from the depths of the unconscious.
I’ve never been able to record it.