Thursday 14th June 2018

Abdulla Bulbul Ameer

Percy French

Oh, the sons of the Prophet are hardy and grim
And quite unaccustomed to fear
But none were so reckless of life or of limb
As Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.
When they wanted a man to encourage the van
Or to harass the foe in the rear
Or to take a redoubt they would always send out
For Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.

There are heroes in plenty, and well known to fame
In the ranks that were lead by the Czar,
But the bravest of all was a man by the name
Of Ivan Potschjinksi Skidar.
He could imitate Toole, play Euchre and Pool
And perform on the Spanish guitar.
In fact quite the cream of the Muscovite team
Was Ivan Potschjinski Skidar.

One morning the Russian had shouldered his gun
And assumed his most truculent sneer
And was walking down town when he happened to run
Into Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.
“Young man,” says Bulbul, “can your life be so dull
That you’re anxious to end your career?—
For, infidel, know—you have trod on the toe
Of Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.”

“Take your ultimate look upon sunshine and brook,
Make your latest remarks on the war;
Which I mean to imply you’re going to die,
Mr. Count Cask-o-whisky Cigar.”
Said the Russian, “My friend, my remarks in the end
Would avail you but little, I fear,
For you’ll never survive to repeat them alive,
Mr. Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.”

Then the bold Mameluke drew his trusty chiboque
And shouted “Il Allah Akbar”
And being intent upon slaughter, he went
For Ivan Potschjinski Skidar.
But just as his knife had abstracted his life
(In fact he was shouting “Huzza!”)
He felt himself struck by that subtle Calmuck,
Count Ivan Potschjinski Skidar.

The Consul drove up in his red-crested fly
To give the survivor a cheer,
He arrived just in time to exchange a goodbye
With Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.
And Skobeleff, Gourko and Gorsechekoff too
Drove up on the Emperor’s car
But all they could do was cry “och-whilliloo!”
With Ivan Potschjinski Skidar.

There’s a grave where the waves of the Blue Danube roll,
And on it in characters clear
Is: “Stranger, remember to pray for the soul
Of Abdulla Bulbul Ameer.”
A Muscovite maiden her vigil doth keep
By the light of the true lover’s star
And the name that she murmurs so sadly in sleep
Is Ivan Potschjinski Skidar.

Abdul Abulbul Amir is the most common name for a music-hall song written in 1877 (during the Russo-Turkish War) under the title “Abdulla Bulbul Ameer” by Percy French, and subsequently altered and popularized by a variety of other writers and performers. It tells the story of two valiant heroes—the titular Abdulla, fighting for the Turks, and his foe (originally named Ivan Potschjinsky Skidar in French’s version), a Russian warrior—who encounter one another, engage in verbal boasting, and are drawn into a duel in which both perish.


Visions Of Paradise

The Moody Blues

The sounds in my mind just come to me
Come see, come see
And the call of her eyes makes waterfalls
Of me, of me

In the garden of her love I’ll stay awhile
To be, to be
What the seeds of her thoughts once mean to me
Come see, come see

Visions of paradise, cloudless skies I see
Rainbows on the hill, blue onyx on the sea
Come see, ah, ah, ah

And the sounds in my mind just come to me
Come see, come see
And the call of her eyes, makes waterfalls
Of me, of me

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