Trawling the depths of my back catalogue and coming up mostly with silt. This one comes with apologies to Oscar Hammerstein II, and amateur vocalists can belt it out in the shower to the tune of "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top" from "Oklahoma!" OK?
When I take you out tonight with me
Swanky joints and greasy spoons let’s flee
No pub meals or lecherous Italian waiters
There’s just one hot spot I wanna see.
Your GP had best start to worry
When I take you out for a curry
When I take you out for a curry at the Balti shop.
Shovel in that Madras-style chicken
Hear them Geiger counters a-tickin’
Grab your throat and yell “What the dickens?”
As your eyes go pop.
The rice is yeller, the sauces are brown
The recipe book’s Bengali
Here’s a pint of lager to wash it all down
And make you tremendously jolly.
One last item each dish to embellish
Silver trays of luminous relish
Even though the taste may be hellish
You won’t want to stop
Damping down that little curry from the Balti shop.
Burger King’s relentless bonhomie
Masks ingredients you'd be shocked to see
Chinese food is sickly sweet and insubstantial
And the plum sauce makes me want to pee.
If you’re lookin’ weak-kneed and scrawny
Soupe du jour is Mulligatawny
Builds you up till you’re beefy and brawny
When you start to flop.
Pappadums piled up to the ceiling
Vindaloos discreetly congealing
Give your heart that warm kinda feeling
That it’s hard to top.
The waiter glides round as if on wheels
Indulging in question and answer
“Can I light your candle?” “Enjoying your meal?”
“Would you like some Peshwari Nan, sir?”
Sag Aloo gets caught interdental
Wield that toothpick – mind and be gentle
One more pleasure subcontinental
That you’d never swap
Is the stickiness of curry from the Balti shop.
We’ll eschew the haute cuisine of France
It pales into insignificance
This cuisine is haute enough to melt the icecaps
And to make a statue wanna dance.
Pubs all shut and in spill the drinkers
They are not the world’s greatest thinkers
But as multiple lager sinkers
They just cream the crop.
Three pints down and they’re raucously singing
Fights break out and samosas they’re flinging
Soon the polis the building are ringing
It’s a fair old cop.
Even now the delights are not complete
And the atmosphere still lingers
There’s a cup of coffee and a chocolate sweet
That melts all over your fingers.
When you’ve had that rich chicken korma
You’ll jig about like a circus performa
And tonight it’ll be nessun dorma
Though your eyelids drop
You’ll recall that little curry from the Balti shop.
I'm a writer who returned to Scotland in 2013 after 30+ years in the Home Counties. If you enjoy reading my ramblings, please return often and recommend me to your friends on Twitter, Facebook and Planet Earth. That way someone may one day give me money to do this sort of thing, which would be nice.