Long Love Spike - an ode by Adrian Mitchell

(The great Spike Milligan will be 80-years-old this Thursday)

Related Topics
Walnut panelling, gilded lions and cobras,

Flunkies in cloud-wigs and the greeny light

Of the Boardroom of the Death Star Line.

The Board - ensconced behind their horseshoe desk

Wearing straw bowlers, Old Estonian ties,

Pith suits and floral clock frocks,

Yes, Admirals of the BBC and Third World War Generals,

All the great and good octopuses of our time -

Stared down at him -

Spike, astride his golden bike.

They intravenously interviewed him,

Gave him the nth degree,

Extracted his heart and booted it round the room,

Took pot-shots at his brain with their 12-bored shit-guns,

Located the gentle jungle of his imagination

And zapped it with vintage napalm.

Spike simply clicked the heels of his Irish boots

And suffered and smiled and saluted

And when they said: You're Spike Milligan!

Answered: I know I am.

Now go and find out who you are.

Finally they gave him the job he wanted -

One-man band on Deck Z of TITANIC TWO -

Deck Z where the hopeless cases go,

Too poor to be peasants, too crazy to be insane,

The underbelly of the underclass

(Few of them claiming to be human beings).

Then Spike fitted cymbals to his inner knees,

Wired up a thumper of a drumkit to his heart,

A Piaf-tragic accordion to his lungs.

He welded a black trumpet to his gob,

Strung a Steinway across his shoulders,

Hung church bells on his ballocks and strapped to his bum

A Michaelangelo whoopee cushion.

Titanic Two was launched, as everyone knows,

And flaunted her way half-way across the ocean.

Way down on the rusty floor of Deck Z

Spike danced to his own wheezy, wonderful music

And the delinquent denizens of Z

Began to dance the Gorilla Gavotte,

The Billy-Goat Bump and the Zebra Zonk.

O then the bowels of Titanic Two began to shake

In the powerful grip of such musical Vindaloo ...

And there was a pop of a million rivets

And the steel walls flopped apart

And the waters came down

Like the wolf on the foldable ocean liner.

And yea, the inhabitants of Deck A,

Even the King of the World, James Cameron

And the Emperor of the Ether, John Birt

And all the other passengers and Oscars,

On A and every other deck from B to Y,

They went down gurgling to the green

And very photogenic bottom of the sea.

So how did Spike and the Deck Z creatures escape?

Instead of going down to Davy Jones

Playing Nearer My Dog To Thee,

Spike stripped off the bands of his one-man bandinage,

He brake that grand piano into planks,

Lashed them across the drums

And made a Giant Raft for his Deck Z friends.

They sailed away, powered by the whoopee cushion,

To land upon a penguin-happy iceberg,

Very well-stocked with Italian food, French wine

And copies of the Beano.

That crew shall sail the eighty seas

Until Spike cracks a joke so hot

That his iceberg guffaws and melts away

While all of us who love him sing in happy harmony:

O Milligan, sweet Milligan,

Our dentures feel that thrill again

As round the world we watch you fly

Like an immortal custard pie.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Tim Bell has lamented the fact that people don't do what they're told any longer  

Do what you’re told…or else. Now that rings a Bell

Simon Kelner
A couple calculates their costs with the help of some paperwork  

It’s the dream of escape that makes couples keep their finances secret from each other

John Walsh
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?