The landlady's husband came up to town today Since he left them both ten years ago to serve the ministry The dark down road of his approach in constant rain was drenched The tenant's boy said "How d'ya do" then swore in French Did you teach this little child these curses on my soul You should both be shut down in the coal-hole That's the way to treat a child who cries out in the night And a woman who teaches wrong from right
[Chorus:] He's a Battered Old Bird And he's living up there There's a place where time stands still If you keep taking those little pink pills
"Hush your mouth you hypocrite" His humour cut her deep The tight lipped leer of judgement That had seen her love desert her just like sleep "Filthy words on children's lips are better, my dear spouse Then if I were to speak my mind about this house"
On the first floor there are two old maids Each one wishing that the other was afraid And next door to them is a man so mild 'Til he chopped off the head of a visitor's child He danced upon the bonfire Swallowed sleeping pills like dreams With a bottle of sweet sherry that everything redeems
And on the second floor is the Macintosh Man He's in his overcoats more than out of them And the typewriter's rattling all through the night He's burgundy for breakfast tight He says "One day I'll throw away all of my cares And it is always Christmas in a cupboard at the top of the stairs"
"Well here's a boy if ever there was Who's going to do big things That's what they all say and that's how the trouble begins I've seen them rise and fall Been through their big deals and smalls He'd better have a dream that goes beyond four walls" You think he should be sent outside playing with the traffic When pieces of him are already scattered in the attic