Debreu English Chansons CD cover


John Watterson - Voice

Paul Thompson - Guitar & whistling

Will Thompson - Double bass & ukulele

Album produced and arranged by WILL THOMPSON

Immense thanks to Jason Anscomb for the original cover artwork.

All songs written by Alex Marsh & Paul Thompson, except Her Precious Child and The Fundamental Question, written by Paul Thompson.

Order the CD now...

A Thorigny meadow

Forty years of marriage to a faithless lying hound,

A smile played on her face the day they placed him in the ground.

‘I’ll pay him back, I’ll pay him back for being such a beast!’

She chucked soil on the coffin lid then copped off with the priest.

Let us not begrudge this ancient widow her revenge,

They say the one laughs longest who is laughing at the end.

No, let us not begrudge this ancient widow her revenge,

They say the one laughs longest who is laughing at the end.


The mourners heard the frantic panting echo down the nave:

The widow was cavorting with the lad who dug the grave.

She gave a startled altar boy a second confirmation,

Then set about the choristers and blessed the congregation.


A gendarme came to take the rampant widow to the chokey.

She saw the cuffs, her eyes lit up, he didn’t have a hope, he

Radioed the station and pleaded for assistance;

Ten coppers turned up, truncheons raised; she offered no resistance.

Let us not begrudge...


In court she stood before the beak and cried ‘It isn’t fair!’,

Then leapt the dock and showed her brief her mourning underwear.

She goosed the judge, she groped the clerk in passion-driven fury,

Outraged the public gallery and tampered with the jury.


In time, of course, she had to go and face up to her maker;

St Peter’s not recovered since he told her that he’d take her.

The epitaph read, ‘Vengeance drove this modest lady mad’;

Poor mother lost her dignity the day we buried dad.

'He was such a precious child,' that's what she’d always say;

The lonely widow's only joy, the sunshine of her days.

But when the child was grown, he spread his wings, the nest was flown.

Still, he wrote to her each week. She said he wrote each week.


'He was such a happy boy,' that's what she’d always say;

Did everything his maman asked except he didn't stay.

Too soon he chose to leave, to find a place where he could breathe.

Still, he wrote to her most weeks. She said he wrote most weeks.


'He is such a loving son,' that's what she’d always say;

'He'd never make his maman sad,' but still he stayed away.

The months turned into years. She counted days; she hid her tears.

Still, she knew he’d write one week. She prayed he'd write one week.


'She was such a lonely soul,' that’s what the mourners say,

As, gathered round the widow's grave, their last respects they pay.

'It’s shameful he's not come to see her off, her only son.'

Still, a postcard came this week. His postcard came this week.

Let me in, dear sainted doorman, let me in!

I’m impatient for my rapture to begin!

Please don’t make a good man wait; St. Peter, open up your gate!

Let me in and let’s get cracking! Let me in!


Wave me through, and pass the harp, man! Wave me through!

Think of all those Sundays I spent in the pew.

And I hardly need to state I put hard cash upon the plate

(If I had change in my pocket); wave me through!


We’re both busy, you and I, let’s not waste time!

Offered carnal treats, I’ve (by and large) declined!

And I’ve barely been unfaithful; all those harpies were ungrateful,

And the same applies to wives one through to nine.


Where’s my name? You must be kidding! Check your list!

It’s a clerical mistake if it’s been missed.

I’d lay odds my gambling’s over, I preach temperance when I’m sober!

So I’m here to claim my halo; check the list!


Step aside; you lousy jobs-worth; step aside!

Where’s the proof I’ve stolen, robbed or burglarised?

If I’ve gained by means illicit it’s from those who’d hardly miss it!

Now I’m waiting for my wings, so step aside!


I will pay back every penny, yes I will,

If my philanthropic hand reached in the till!

I would hardly call ‘extortion’ all that business with the orphans

But before things hot up further, send the bill!


If you’ve heard some talk of murders, here’s the gist:

It was me or him! (Or ‘them’, if you insist.)

I was sent down, no denial, but the judge slept through the trial.

Sir. you’re looking at the victim. Case dismissed!


Let me in, I beg you nicely, let me in!

Look! I’m on my knees repenting every sin.

You don’t wish I’d go to hell – my words have moved you, I can tell.

For the love of all that's holy, get me in!


Jesus! Give a guy a chance.

The flames are licking at my pants!

Let me in, you heartless bastard, let me in!

‘Won't you trust me with your savings?’ said the banker, said the banker,

‘Pray trust my reputation, ma'am,’ he beamed.

(They will fund me at the tables, thought the banker, thought the banker)

Yet a still, small voice unnerved him as he schemed.

Though it seemed to him absurd his lies were ever overheard,

A friendly creature happened to appear

It was just a little goat, oh just a pretty little goat;

As it gambolled into town the bounder feared his chips were down,

When he saw the beast prick up its goaty ears,

Yes, he saw the beast prick up its goaty ears.

Wake up, sinner, goaty ears, goaty ears.

What sin could bear the scrutiny of such sweet innocence?


‘At my hands receive redemption,’ said the bishop, said the bishop,

‘Let me reveal Christ's passion to you, ma'am.’

(She will gratify my passion, thought the bishop, thought the bishop)

Then the shameless lecher felt a sudden qualm.

Though he tried to hide his sins amid the incense and the hymns,

What's rotten leaves its stench where'er it goes.

And there was just a little goat, oh just a pretty little goat;

As its nostrils sniffed the wind, the priest felt sure it knew he'd sinned,

When it smelt him with its goaty little nose,

Yes, it sniffed him with its little goaty nose

Wake up, sinner, goaty nose, goaty nose.

What sin could bear the scrutiny of such sweet innocence?


‘You can trust me with your vote, Sir,’ said the mayor, said the mayor,

 ‘Integrity means everything to me.’

(I shall line my pockets nicely, thought the mayor, thought the mayor.)

Then a pang of shame came unexpectedly.

When he never dreamt the fools would catch him bend and break the rules,

What made our public servant agonise?

It was just a little goat, oh just a pretty little goat,

As it nuzzled at his knees the scoundrel felt a strange unease,

Then it fixed him with its goaty little eyes.

Yes, it fixed him with its little goaty eyes.

Wake up, sinner, goaty eyes, goaty eyes.

What sin could bear the scrutiny of such sweet innocence?


‘Come, confide in me. What ails you?’ said the barber, said the barber,

‘Discretion is my watchword, heaven knows.’

(I shall sell this to the papers, thought the barber, thought the barber,

Once these worthies all disclosed their guilty woes.)

‘It’s too much to tolerate to have a nanny rule our state!

Let Man be free to practise his deceit!

It is just a little goat, oh just a nasty little goat.

I shall put this to a stop, the precious goat is for the chop.

I know a man this little goat must meet;

Yes, I have a man this goat is going to meet.’

Wake up, sinner, goaty meat, goaty meat.

What sin could bear the scrutiny of such sweet innocence?


‘’Won’t you meet my lovely cleaver,’ said the butcher, said the butcher, 

‘It only wants to stroke a little goat.’

(You will make a tasty dinner, thought the butcher, thought the butcher.)

But his weasel words stuck in his wicked throat.

When the goat said, ‘Cut the bull! I know the trick you want to pull!'

Straight from the butcher’s hand the cleaver fell.

And there was just a little goat, oh just a pretty little goat,

Perched upon the counter top, it watched the rascal flee his shop.

'Go to hell!' the butcher blurted, 'Go to hell!'

'Goaty hell!' the kid re-bleated, 'Goaty hell!'

Wake up, sinner, goaty hell, goaty hell.

No sin could bear the scrutiny of such sweet innocence.

I can’t live life without you, although I know I should.

The man I was has upped and gone; I’d find him if I could.

And though my heart knows we should part, the future just looks black;

I can’t live life without you. You always call me back.


I can’t live life without you and God knows how I’ve tried.

But still, despite the pain you’ve caused, I need you by my side

With children gone and friends moved on, we’ve drifted through the years;

I long for life without you. Yet still I need you near.


I can’t live life without you, although they say I must.

You’re part of me, my will is gone, my resolution dust.

Today I’ll try to say goodbye; this love affair must stop.

To face a life without you, I just need one last drop.

Good morning, sir, how may I serve?

We’ve nuts and bolts of every size; we’ve nails to silence creaking flights.

Or, should your home be plagued by mice, we’ve traps and bait to ease your plight.

We’ve tile cement and boast today a special on our grout.

Some string, monsieur? I cannot help. Alas, I fear we’re out.


But wait, sir, please, before you leave,

If Indian rope will do the trick, we sell it, Sir, in any length,

Or could Sir stretch to elastic? We’ve shock cord of enormous strength.

We’ve every type of wire and chain; our storeroom fills the block.

But string, monsieur? I cannot help. Alas, we’ve none in stock.

You’ve none in stock? That’s quite a shock! If you would step outside,

Your shop-front clearly promises you have some string inside.

I haven’t asked for chain or wire, so please stop offering.

And don’t attempt to sell me hemp,

I just want string.

But Sir, I plead, we’ve all you need

We stock the very finest silk emulsion, in all shades and hues

Your lights have failed? Well in that ilk, we’ve just the wire to fix your fuse

We’ve every plug that’s known to man, and some of plated gold!

But, as for string, I cannot help. Alas, our string's all sold.

Your string's all sold? That leaves me cold. Go check your inventory.

The notice in the window says: ‘buy one string, get one free’.

I haven't blown a fuse (although my patience's wearing thin),

I claim my right, I'll stand and fight, I want my string!

Sir, please don’t shout but hear me out:

You’ll marvel at our pots and pans. Explore our drawers, admire our knobs,

Perhaps sir is a handyman? We’ll match the tool to every job.

And speaking now of matches - please, if Sir could curb his ire?

The factory could not send us string, alas, due to the fire.

A fire you claim? By God, that’s lame! You make me want to scream.

I’d string you up, if there were not one small flaw in that scheme.

I saw no smoke! This shop’s a joke! But I am not laughing.

Unless this stops I’ll call the cops, release the string!

But, sir, if you’ll retain your cool,

We’ve dustbins to impress your friends. Perhaps Sir needs a shower mat?

If so, we’re pleased to recommend... Sir, please don’t clench your fists like that.

I sense Sir's disappointed, but I've news he will not like:

We have no string because, alas, the union went on strike.

A strike, you clown? I’ll strike you down! Lord, free me from this hell!

I know I'm being strung along - you've got some, I can tell.

You have some here, I smell it, so before I take a swing

Dispense with all this bullshit and get my bloody string!

“The court will rise." The judge presides.

"This case is strange, I must confess. A fracas in the market square,

The ironmonger's shop, no less. In sleepy little Vallières

The gendarmes came and found this man, deranged and gibbering

In triumph on the counter, perched atop a box of string.”

He’d stashed it all, the mad old fool! Your Honour, hear me well!

For fifteen hours a victim of that lunatic’s hard sell.

I know that I face justice, and I beg for just one thing.

Go on and take my liberty but not my string!

Yes, you can have my liberty, but not my string!

To hell with life and liberty, I’ve got my string!

I don’t get why you give me the time,

My vigour is waning, I’m long past my prime.

A face best enjoyed with a skinful of wine -

Surely you could do better?

I don’t get why you opened your door

To someone whose habits were never top-drawer;

Where’s the romance in a roof-shaking snore?

Surely you could do better.


If Cupid is blind, by God, he’s not alone.

My muscles are wasting, my waistline has grown,

And the lines on my face all have lines of their own,

Yet still this flame burns like the fire in my piles.


I don’t get why you led me upstairs,

Confidence gone the same way as my hair;

Frankenstein’s reject, fit only for spares

Surely you could do better?

I don’t get why you want me to stay:

My toenails are yellow, my eyeballs are grey.

(Gaze in the right, the left’s glass, by the way.)

Christ knows, you could do better.


Your kiss on my lips brings a thrill that’s divine

And makes each adventure in dentures sublime.

At the touch of your hand shivers run down my spine

Displacing the pain paralysing my face.


I don’t get what you see in this bloke,

My liver is shot and my bladder’s a joke;

Five times a night didn’t mean what you hoped.

Sure as hell you could do better!

And I don’t know who doesn’t think that it’s odd

You saw something in this cantankerous sod.

Your love is the proof to me that there’s a God,

And He knows you could do better


Yet life and love linger, so answer my plea:

Give me your heart, while there’s still breath in me

Let me lean on your arm, I’ll go down on one knee

I swear on my soul no man could do better


Will you take these semi-mortal remains?

Grant me the honour of taking my name.

Adonis himself couldn’t bag such a dame,

Though we both know you could do better.

My brush, it’s just a brush, it’s just an ordinary brush,

My palette's plain, my canvas cheap and rough.

Still, in my hand a pencil has a talent to deceive;

Its genius, its artistry could make the blind believe.

The masters of the oils have painted off their mortal coils, 

Old masters aren't the master any more.

They’re dead and gone, their brushes' bristles stiffen where they lie.

You hanker for their genius? I’m happy to oblige.


I’ll paint for you a Constable, but don't tell the police.

There’s brass in each Picasso masterpiece.

If Cezanne is in this season I produce the missing works.

I make a good impressionist for all the loaded jerks.

The remnants of my Rembrandts con the buyers who go Dutch,

My Degas get to Vegas via the mob.

The pride I take is genuine in every fake I make.

I have to hide my laughter as it’s art for art’s piss-take.


I’ve knocked off Vince Van Goghs, I’ve managed many a Manet,

I do Duchamp, a Whistler’s on the way.

You’re raring for a Renoir? Well, I have one in the can.

I’ve Monet for your pocket, you’ll go wild for my Gauguin.

Matisse is not at ease behind his easel any more,

Vermeer’s career has permanently stalled.

An artist gets immortalised the instant that he’s dead;

We yearn to find a long-forgotten Giotto ’neath the bed.


The finder sees a fortune and the dealer sees a deal;

The expert sees a headline, and me, a steal.

I take on the commissions that the dead cannot fulfil;

A Goya goes to auction and the suckers get a thrill.

The signature, that signature, it’s all they care about,

The credulous are desperate to believe.

I laugh at every fool who thinks the artist’s name is all, letting

Critics’ taste dictate whose work should hang and whose appall.

A turd is still a turd though it may bear Da Vinci’s scrawl.

The wise man likes a painting ’cause it brightens up the wall.

The human race has run two million years, more or less, and

In that time some are inclined to see some signs of progress, but

In one respect you will detect no trace of evolution

A fundamental question to which man has found no solution


The bible first gives testament to man’s predicament.

God plays the game of name and shame and blames a certain serpent.

Adam ate that apple, then his punishment began…

Eve asked an evil question, and so began the fall of man….


‘Does my bottom look big in this?’

‘Does my bottom look big in this?’

Though adamant was Adam ‘bout the truth of his repost

One look from Eve was all it took to prove his paradise was lost

‘Does my bottom look big in this?’


They say the face of Helen launched a fleet a thousand mighty

(Though it’s her rear, or so I hear, which rivalled Aphrodite’s)

Her lover boy from Troy was filled with joy undiminished

Until he heard those fateful words; then he knew that he was finished


‘Does my bottom look big in this?’

‘Does my bottom look big in this?’

Any Myth World competition Helen would win of course

But in her eyes her rear’s the size of the rear side of the Trojan Horse

‘Does my bottom look big in this?’


For Josephine Napoleon would march that extra mile, yes.

He fought for his femme fatale from Trafalgar to the Nile, yet

Outflanked by her query here he he knew not what to do

En realité that was the day that Boney met his Waterloo.


‘Est-ce que j’ai un gros derrière?’

‘Est-ce que j’ai un gros derrière?’

The attack came from the rear, in tears he threw up a smokescreen

And on his boney knees he pleaded ‘Not tonight, Josephine!’.

‘Est-ce que j’ai un gros derrière?’


To Albert Queen Victoria was hopelessly devoted:

With Bertie Vic was flirty, in the history books it's noted.

You enquire where she acquired that countenance severe?

Her prince could not convince her highness that his answer was sincere.


'Does one's bottom look big in this?'

'Does one's bottom look big in this?'

Der prinz could only wince, he was confounded und confused.

Victoria reportedly retorted: 'We are not amused.'

'Does one's bottom look big in this?'


In every time and place, we face the curse of the behind, Tra-

Verse the universe I sometimes wonder what we’ll find, if

Strange two-headed aliens should stray towards our star

Do you suppose the males’ woes would be most familiar?


‘Do my bottoms look big in this?’

‘Do my bottoms look big in this?’

On Earth we have a saying, he is lost who hesitates.

Don’t pin your hopes on silence, silence only alienates

So welcome, stranger, to our world, but here there’s no escape

We cannot hide so side by side let’s grit our teeth and meet our fate:

‘Does my bottom look big in this?’

Dear Editor, today the youth show no respect, and that's the truth.

They've no regard for passers-by.

Last Sunday when out walking I

Had cause to tell a fellow to mind the words he used;

It's shocking he then hurled at me a torrent of abuse.

Editor, dear Editor, we all can see the signs.

Editor, dear Editor, our country's in decline.


Dear Editor, I must report: the other day a cripple caught

My sleeve demanding cash - the cheek!

I’m taxed to subsidise the weak.

I told the sponger nicely, 'I've nothing left for you!'

I’m shocked he showed his gratitude by spitting on my shoe!

Editor, dear Editor, we all see what they're doing.

Editor, dear Editor, our country's gone to ruin.


Dear Editor, I must complain: today girls have no sense of shame.

In cafés their behaviour's coarse,

They dress no better than the whores!

I point this out politely, as any Christian would.

It's shocking they then snigger and belittle my manhood.

Editor, dear Editor, I feel I have to speak.

Editor, dear Editor, our country's up the creek. 


Dear Editor, last night I heard a singer sing (if 'sing's' the word.)

His voice was dull, the songs were poor;

The plebs, of course, cried out for more.

The sheep joined in each chorus, they bleated every verse.

It's shocking how they cannot tell the dreadful from the worse.

Editor, dear Editor, as if nobody cared,

Editor, dear Editor, our country's gone to merde.

I have travelled far, just a working man with his guitar;

I’ve trudged the lanes and the boulevards, crossed the hills and heard the ocean.

The truth's concealed,

Wherever I go, I long for the Thorigny fields.

The Thorigny fields.


I have made my choice; I’m just an artisan, my tool's my voice;

I ply my trade in any town and pick up crumbs in every region.

It goes unsaid,

Wherever I go, I long for my Thorigny bread.

My Thorigny bread.


It has been so long for a journeyman with simple songs.

Up and down this land of ours, I've seen the shades of every season.

My song’s for her,

Wherever I go, I long for my Thorigny girl.

I long for my Thorigny girl.

© and (P) 2017 by Alex Marsh, Paul Thompson & John Watterson