The Columnist
MORE MILES
 
 
  National Poetry Day
Motorway Ballad
  La Monolog Victorienne
  Marmaduke, the White Knight
  Elegie Composee dans un Rural Churchyard
  Clive James
  A Salute to Rabbie Burns
  Oedipus & his mum
The Ballad of the Middle Laner
  Railway Ballad
  Roman Road
  Ballad of Belmarsh Gaol
  The Bishop of Bath & Wells
   
   
   

The Ballad of the Middle Laner

When I was but a little lad,
I asked this question of my Dad:
‘Oh, Dad, one thing can you explain –
Why do we drive in the middle lane?

‘Would it be a great mistake
If we pulled out to overtake?
Or would it really be so bad
If we were in the slow lane, Dad?’

My father said to me, ‘I’m sorry,
I will not imitate a lorry,
Nor will I drive like a railway train –
The place for us is the middle lane.’

Oh, I’m a middle laner,
I love the middle lane,
I drive down it to Dover
And drive right back again.

You can flash your blooming headlights
And hoot till you go insane,
But you’ll never get me moving
From out the middle lane.

And now that I’m a full grown man
I think I understand God’s plan;
That some are naturally fast or slow,
But most down the middle lane should go.

And even when no car’s in sight,
And I could pull to left or right,
I hear the little voice of Fate:
‘You stay right in the middle, mate!’

And now, when my son, whose name is Wayne,
Says it’s boring in the middle lane,
And asks me to go up to eighty,
I turn to him and say, ‘Look, matey,

You’re a middle laner,
You were born to the middle lane,
And every time you doubt it,
Just sing the old refrain …’

Oh, I’m a middle laner,
I love the middle lane!
I simply won’t move over
In sunshine or in rain.

I go right down the middle
From Edinburgh to Staines
And refuse to even contemplate
The other two empty lanes.

So you may flash your headlights
Or audibly complain.
But I will never move over –
It goes against the grain.

Oh, I’m a middle laner,
I’ll stay there till I die
And when they take me away in a hearse
Down the middle lane I’ll fly!

 

(All this and more in
my forthcoming collection, The Golden Treasury of Motorway Verse )

Editor’s note: This finally appeared as ‘Miles Kington’s Motorway Madness- A Traveller's Treasury’ 1989

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