Sgt. Pepper’s Lads.

Would they still sound the same,

Sgt. Pepper’s lads,

no longer rehearsing near

the Band Stand on a Sunday morning,

the tuba and the clarinet

long since sold

to pay the debt incurred

whilst out of work from the Docks

and the stand against the tyrant witch,

but instead several members changed

and Sgt. Pepper long since dead.

They would carry his name

forth round Merseyside

and beyond, their own moustaches

as resplendent as their once noble leader

and two or three of the once young men

still look handsome in their suits

as they gather most Wednesdays

to converse in memory

of the day they went Progressive.

They raised a smile on the Band Stand,

they were always the talk of the town,

but town has changed, fifty years

on from their big break,

seventy years since they played a single note

out of tune and the Sgt. scratched his head,

they have no need to be heard

any more for the clubs

have moved on, the beat is different

and fifty years, fifty years

has taken its bite

from even Rita, now with uniform

hanging in the back room cupboard,

lovingly pressed, she was the band’s


but even now she still fires up a tune,

a small whistle when she boils

her silver enamelled kettle, a small gesture of memory,

happy she was

to hear Sgt. Pepper’s boys play.


Ian D. Hall 2017