The Ballad of MacMurdo McFee by Barrie Purnell


If ever a man was the pride of his clan,
A man who stood out from the crowd,
A man who did his best when put to the test
Who with showmanship was over endowed,
Who’d perform for a fee with some sharp repartee,
It was that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

His manner was gallant a man of rare talent,
He could do some impossible tricks,
He could balance on wires and juggle six rubber tyres
While standing on two piles of bricks
On a pier by the sea, or in a marquee,
You’d find that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

He would practice for days his fans to amaze,
He was famous throughout the land,
He’d swallow swords six feet long until they were all gone,
And make doves appear out of his hand.
He lived in Dundee with a tame chimpanzee,
That Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

One trick on the stage that was all the rage,
Was escaping like Harry Houdini,
He thought, I could do that if I wasn’t so fat,
And it wasn’t so easy to see me
So he returned to Dundee, for a nice cup of tea
Did that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

So, having decided to try it, he started to diet
And became incredibly thin,
He said I’ll sure do that trick now I’m not so thick
I just need something to hide myself in
I need a big box with a key and a door you can’t see,
Said that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee

And so to this end one month he did spend
Building his secret contraption,
In which he could secretly hide, and not be seen from outside,
When he made his surreptitious extraction
This just has to be the best trick for me,
Thought that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

So he’d be shut in this box, with multiple locks,
And dropped into a big water tank,
Then behind a large drape he would make his escape
Through a secret removable plank.
So no longer trainee but practised escapee
Was that that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

So without hesitation, and much anticipation,
He set out to perform his new trick,
Man, woman and child all the people went wild,
He had to beat the crowds back with a stick.
He performed in Newquay, Bournemouth and Torquay.
Did that that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

But then a disaster befell this escape master,
His best trick was also his last,
He failed to understand water makes wood expand
And his secret plank that was stuck fast.
He couldn’t get free so he drowned don’t you see,
That poor Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

His wife was from Aberdeen, she was grumpy and mean,
She said I’ll give him the cheapest farewell,
She left him locked in his contraption so, to her great satisfaction,
She saved on his coffin as well.
So just outside of Dundee, and almost for free,
They buried that Scottish magician Macmurdo Mcfee.

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