Notes from a small island

A train goes past the station
There are leaves upon the line
Commuters stifle sniffles
With a plastic cup of wine
Waiting at a level crossing
Stands a silver four-wheel-drive
Time to pick the kids up
Who knows when they will arrive
Down the lane a little cyclist
With a little flashing light
Slips past a little church
Its little windows shining bright
Around the back a graveyard
With some ageing wooden benches
Empty beer cans litter graves
Of those who died in trenches

We're all living on this island
We're all getting by
Empire lost, we count the cost but
Stiff upper lips don't cry

On the fields of Battle
There's a kid flying a kite
His parents pecking fingerfoods
Discussing who is right:
He says they should move
But she wants to stay put
He's increasingly insistent
But she's putting down her foot
Across the road a pub is open
Parasols out front
People drinking continental lager
Talking with a grunt
The cat jumps up on to the bar
A glass falls with a smash
“That's coming from your wages”
Says the landlord waving cash

We're all living on this island
We're all getting by
Empire lost, we count the cost but
Stiff upper lips don't cry

Streets away, a tiny woman
Pulls a basket on its wheel
Inside the Yorkshire terrier
Looks forward to its meals
She stops into a corner shop
Picks up a box of tea
She strolls back home and watches
Something on the BBC
Next door a baby's crying
'cause she wants to have her feed
Her mother doesn't notice
'cause she's settled down to read
Up and down the country
On the doorsteps and the drives
All the British people
Going about their British lives

We're all living on this island
We're all getting by
Empire lost, we count the cost but
Stiff upper lips don't cry

We're all living on this island
We're all getting by
Empire lost, we count the cost but
Stiff upper lips don't cry

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