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Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten

Mr. Punch's Model Music-Hall Songs And Dramas - Collected, Improved, And Re-Arranged From Punch

Mr. Punch's Model Music-Hall Songs and Dramas - Collected, Improved, and Re-Arranged from "Punch" - F. Anstey WHEN THE OLD DUN COW CAUGHT FIRE

[There are many versions on YouTube, e.g. this one]

Some pals and I in a public house
Was playing dominoes one night
When all of a sudden in the potman runs
With a face all chalky white
'What's up?' said Jones 'Have you seen a ghost?
Have you seen yer Aunt Mariah?'
'My Aunt Mariah be buggered,' says he
'The bleeding pub's on fire.'

'On fire!' says Brown, 'What a bit of luck!
What a bit of luck' says he.
'Down in the cellar, if the fire ain't there,
We'll have a mighty spree.'
So we all goes down with good old Brown
And the booze we could not miss,
And we had not been there ten minutes there
Before we all were... drunk.


Well there was Brown, where? upside down
Licking up the whiskey off the floor
'Booze, booze!' the firemen cried
As they came knocking at the door
'Don't let 'em in till it's all mopped up'
Someone shouted 'Mackintyre!'
[at this point the audience should all yell 'Mackintyre!' back]
And we all got blue blind, paralytic drunk
When the old Dun Cow caught fire.

Old Johnson flew to a port wine tub
And he gave it just a few hard knocks
He then starts taking off his pantaloons
Likewise his shoes and socks
'Hold hard' said Brown, 'If you want to wash your feet
There's a barrel full of four ale here
Don't put your trotters in the port wine Jack
When there's more old stale beer'


Just then there was such a dreadful crash
Half the bloody roof gave way
We were almost drowned with a fireman's hose
But still we were all gay.
For we found some sacks, and some old tin tacks
Shoved ourselves inside
And we sat there getting bleary-eyed drunk
When the old Dun Cow caught fire


'Oh let's get out,' said a blind eyed boy
'It's getting rather hot down here'
'Don't be a fool' said a boozy bloke,
'We haven't drunk the beer'
So we filled our caps and drank like cats
All midst the flames and smoke
I had to take my trousers off
I thought that I should croak.


At last the fireman got inside
And found us all dead drunk
But like true heroes there they stood
They did not do a bunk
They saw the booze upon the floor
And gave a sudden yell
They took their helmets off and then
Upon their knees they fell.

'At last! At last!' the firemen cried
'At last we know the news'
'Come on! Come on!' us lads all cried
'Come on and have a booze.'