Anna Nolan: Seventy

There must be – must be – some mistake:
Seventy candles on the cake?
How did this happen? As you say,
Your zenith was but yesterday.

This was the time of your fab youth
When politicians told the truth,
The country rocked and swung and swayed
And Europe didn’t make the grade.

You wore flared trousers, drank whiskey neat,
The worst you did was run through wheat,
OK, maybe you smoked a joint,
All harmless fun – which was the point.

Those mods and rockers were so cool,
Their leather jackets made you drool,
And yours was such a joyous grin
When Britain clinched the World Cup win.

You ate pork pies, good English grub,
And spent your lunchtimes in the pub,
Had Sunday roasts – no foreign muck:
Moroccan koftas? Simply yuck!

Your hopes were high and barriers low,
You planned to earn a lot of dough,
To operate in overdrive
And to be free by forty-five.

Your yesterday – it was so fine!
Still, dear old Reg (he’s ninety-nine)
Does call you “young’un” (what a sage)
And sighs: “I wish I were your age” . . .