Final apologies to Rudyard

Occupying myself on the long flights home this time. Sitting in Bangkok and heading to Doha
Feels odd

But that’s all long behind me
Just a month but far away
And there ain’t no trams a’running
From Market Square to Mandalay,
And at last I’m finally learning’
What The Woman always tells
That when you’ve heard the East callin’ you then you won’t heed nothing else
No you won’t heed nothing else
But the smell of incense burning and sandalwood upon on the breeze
And the buffaloes a hollerin’ and pagodas in the trees

And the creakin’ of that old teak bridge
As the sun began to rise
And the villagers all tramping from their homes to t’other side
Of that lake where early morning the fishermen cast their nets
Where deals were done along the bridge
When the red-toothed tribesmen met

Well there weren’t no flying fishes
On the road from Mandalay
But he heard the boatman’s siren
As they stopped along the way
At the jetties and the wharves
Where the ragged children play
And sweated up the gangplanks
With goods all bound for Mandalay

Come you back you English traveller
Come you back I hear them say
Where the ancient leaking tramp boat still ploughs the road to Mandalay
Where the Shwedagon still shines its lights
And thousands come to pray
Where we climbed two thousand steps up that hill in Mandalay
Where the royal palace is guarded by soldiers who say
Welcome to my country welcome here to Mandalay
Where Bagan’s cooking fires and morning mists brings in the day
And it’s impossible to believe you’re just 15 hours from Mandalay

But I know that’s over now
And I never will go back
‘Cos i know what is a’comin’
All along those jungle tracks
Yes the West is heading eastwards
those places will never be the same
And I know it’s only progress
But it’s still a bleedin’ shame
And when the strip joints open
On the road to Old Bagan
Ill remember those days of trekking
And the kindness of the Shan
And when it’s shoved behind me long ago and far away
Ill sit and smile and remember
When I took the road to Mandalay

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