The Innkeeper's Story

Strathmore Road Methodist Church's picture

 

The Innkeeper's story.

 

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago,

The accountants waxed ecstatic when they spoke of my cash flow.

The one flaw was those squatters - of course they had to go.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

We had bankers in the billiard room and bookies in the hall

We had parsons in the pantry.  We had no spare rooms at all,

Had the king come seeking lodgings, I'd have had to tell him: "No."

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Then that couple came a scrounging and a begging for a bed,

I sent the vagrants packing, "I've got no rooms." I said

The girl, looking pathetic, said: "We've no where else to go,"

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Then the missus got all soppy and she began objecting,

She said; "If I am not mistaken that poor lass is expecting,

From the size of her abdomen she's not got long to go."

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

The missus begged, "Please help them." But I ignored her pleas.

If you encourage beggars they swarm to you like bees.

Its not that I am cruel, just a businessman you know.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

They shuffled off dejected. I forgot about their plight.

After all they weren't the only ones to need a bed that night,

And an innkeeper must concentrate on those who have the dough.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

I'd promised my wife's brother he could sleep under the table,

On a hay bale. I went for it and I found them in the stable.

Bold as brass they squatted there, I ask you, what a blow!

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

The wife had put them up to it, what can a fellow do?

And to cap it all, the baby came just after half past two.

The missus found some nappies and produced a babygrow.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

The infant was a tiny boy, they put him in the trough,

Where the traders' smelly camels were wont to come and scoff,

Not a pretty picture, but yet great star seemed to glow,

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Then the weather turned peculiar, the sky became quite bright.

Strange sounds began to shatter the peace of that strange night,

It wasn't quite like thunder there was no rain or snow.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Later I heard footsteps and looking out I saw

Some labourers standing gawping outside my stable door,

At the squatters' new born baby in the farmyard down below.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

I shouted, "Be off with you some folk are trying to sleep

And if you wake that baby and it begins to weep.

My guests will get distracted and cause me lots of woe."

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Later still, we had more travellers, but they didn't want a bed.

They'd brought camping equipment, which they said they'd use instead.

They inquired about a baby then they went to say "hello".

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

I am told they were from Baghdad and professors of astronomy.

They made no contribution to my village inn's economy.

The squatters may have wheedled out a small donation though.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

When day broke, a posse rode in with a warrant to arrest,

The squatters, charged with treason. I jumped from bed and dressed

But my stable now was empty. Where they'd gone, I do not know?

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

Well I simply said "Good riddance!" I would have it understood,

They were improvident and feckless I trust they've gone for good.

I went back to my locals and resumed the status quo.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

 

Since Caesar held his census in the winter long ago,

Stories about my squatters have seemed to spread and grow,

And they sell cards, which show my stable all romantic in the snow,

Since Caesar held the census in the winter, long ago.

 

It wasn't like that, - it was dirty. No special points to show,

It was an ordinary winter. I can't forget it though.

Why should squatters seem important? I really do not know.

When Caesar held a census in the winter long ago.

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