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Happy the Golden Prince

This song is by Robyn Hitchcock and appears on the bonus tracks of the 1995 and 2007 reissues of the album Black Snake Dîamond Röle (1981).

Twenty-five hours of love in the life of "Happy the Golden Prince Rides Again",
His sluggish purple crest flopping over his dotty eyes
As he casts a revolting shadow over the courtyard.
For many years he had played by himself in the vaults and turrets of his father's castle,
Occasionally drawing back the musty curtains of burgundy red
That masked him from the challenging sun or the ovulating moon.
He would lurch past the flies on the windowsill like a figurehead through a bag of dust,
Tip over the battlements and cough himself rigid
Until white tears tumbled sluggishly from the slot in his neck.
He would watch them recede into the fiery blue waters of the living moat
And hiss with amusement as each drop animated into a steel grey tadpole
That writhed and dipped away towards the bank.

One lurid afternoon Happy was surprised to see an ex-tadpole of his
Develop into something he had never before seen.
For, living alone as he did, with only mirrors for company, he knew nothing of women.

The creature stood motionless on the opposite bank,
Her alabaster limbs beckoning him from his father's hall.
It was weird.
She seemed as still and cold as a statue.
Indeed Happy fancied he saw ivy curling 'round her feet,
Yet her very stillness challenged the foetid breeze that stirred the trees and shrubs about the moat.

Happy sensed that she was important.

Then suddenly she opened both her eyes for what must have been the first time,
And he saw that they were trained on him.
They were of a powerful matte strawberry hue,
And they shone with the luster of newly-opened chestnuts.
Her left hand dipped slightly and her mouth turned up at the corner,
As if to finally dispel any doubts as to her existence.

A creeper that dangled flaccidly from the nearest turret-top
Brushed against the shoulders of the purple-headed prince as he stood,
Pinned like a butterfly on a dartboard,
Transfixed but still writhing at her beauty.
Her sneer increased to a smile and, as it did,
Happy felt like a bottle of ginger beer that someone had shaken violently and was about to open.
Giddily, he swung himself onto the battlements, grabbed the idle creeper,
And swung across the water toward the princess.
He landed with a milky squelch at her side and beneath an extraordinarily gnarled sumac tree.
Instantly she leapt away, giving the lie to her immobility.
This was flesh and blood!
Happy was convulsed with a strange yet familiar sensation.
He felt he should be in a bathroom.

And as he looked the lowering vegetation above and before him
Took on the dingy suggestive aura of dripping taps.
The moss beneath his shiny pink feet was breathing sponge,
Caressing every pore of his skin with slimy microscopic tendrils
And the moat behind him glistened like a sapphire basin silhouetting the darker lilypads
That floated across it like filthy suds.

Abruptly, Happy broke off this reverie, and wildly rotated his gaze.
The creature had vanished.
Where could it be?
Happy reared up like a stallion and rammed through the undergrowth
In pursuit of the first female he had ever seen.
A slithering rubbery whale diverted him from his soggy course and he glanced to his left.

There it was!
Crouched in the corner of a clearing, her eyes bleeding light into his,
Wearing a leopard-skin leotard, clutching an antenna to her brow,
And muttering "mm-gah" through a megaphone at him.
The ground shook,
And the jaws of the Earth admitted Happy the golden prince headfirst into a deep hole.
The wavy green turf closed over him,
Though his thrashing feet disturbed the surface for a moment or two longer.
Happy found himself upside-down in a narrow fluorescent well that was both moist and cheesy.
He quivered uncontrollably, aching with every inch of his soul to scratch something,
But where he could not tell.
His feet were ringing like telephone bells, and his head felt ready to burst.
His cloak flapped open over his head like a bat's,
And he became aware that the well was growing hotter and more muscular.
It seemed strangely enough to be shrinking about him like a skin around a fine pork sausage,
Yet he didn't mind.
His whole life at the castle lay behind him now, sterile and eventless.

He thought only how he would love to sneeze,
And felt nothing but relief when the cool arms of the woman vigorously unscrewed his head,
And the toothpaste flowed out,
As if it were gushing from a broken dam,
Into the very womb of the earth.

"So that's who I am!" he cried.

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Happy the golden prince

Credits

Written by:

Robyn Hitchcock

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