Oedipus was an Ancient Greek
Whose future seemed to be quite bleak
For as the baby looked so weedy
His mum and dad took little Oedy
To ask the Oracle if he knew
What lay in store for baby blue....
‘Oh woe !’ the Oracle did intone,
As if through mournful megaphone,
‘This lad will have a cursed life
For he will take his Mum as wife ‘
‘How can that be?’ his father cried.
‘He cannot do that till I’ve died!’
‘I have another bit of news,’
He heard the Oracle enthuse,
(For nothing gives an Oracle joy
Like bringing doom to a little boy)
‘Your lad won’t just take mum as bride.
But also indulge in patricide.’
Now Father was an ancient Greek
Whose grasp of Latin was quite weak.
‘Patricide?’ he said. ‘What’s that?’
When told, he said: ‘I’LL KILL THE BRAT!’
‘No, don’t!’ said mother. ‘Darling, see
- He’s making googoo eyes at me...’
‘Oh, IS he?’ said his father. ‘No!
The little blighter’s got to go!’
And so they came to a compromise.
The next day, as the sun did rise,
They left the baby high and dry,
In the desert, doomed to die.
But as is normal in this part,
Some interfering bleeding heart
Found the baby lying there
And took it home and into care...
To cut a rambling story short
The lad was fed and up was brought,
Until at eighteen off he sped
To pass his gap year round the Med.
And in a road rage incident
He killed a passing aged gent
Which wouldn’t have been half so bad
If it hadn’t been his Dad.
And later, which was worse by far,
He unwittingly wed his Ma.
He had a baby by his mother
Then two more, then another.
Reader, imagine if you can,
Children calling their mother ‘Gran’...
When Oedipus found what he had done,
He put his eyes out one by one,
And sat on the edge of the River Nile,
In a state of complete denial.
And then he died, and Sophocles
Put him in his tragedies,
And he stayed famous for these plays,
And as a role model for gays,
Because he loved his Mum, you see,
Not wisely, but too passionately.
If an oracle offers you news
Of the future, just refuse.
To know the future of your child
Will only help to drive you wild.
Just give him lots of love and hugs
And hope he doesn’t take to drugs.
Booked Radio 4