Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Happy Wanderer: The Mallorcan version

I love to go a-wandering
I would love to go a-wandering were it not for the fact that many parts of Mallorca on which I could wander were in fact privately owned and deemed off-limits to the general public.
Along the mountain track
Such as along the mountain track that takes me from the Ternelles finca to the ancient Castell del Rei in Pollensa but which is only accessible by groups of a maximum of twenty people who need to get permission from the town hall's mayor.
And as I go, I love to sing
Oh yes, I love to sing. Songs such as the "The Happy Wanderer" by the Obernkirchen Children's Choir, a UK hit in 1954; they don't make 'em like that anymore.
My knapsack on my back
Being a mad beardy wandering sort, I always have a knapsack on my back even when not going a-wandering but to still ensure that I can transport useful items like an ordnance survey map, a Swiss army knife and a song sheet with the lyrics to "The Happy Wanderer".

Val-deri, Val-dera,
Val-deri, Val-dera
None of this chorus should of course be confused with "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse who, while she loved to sing, didn't do so while going a-wandering, except under the influence. It should also not be confused with "Valleri" (a number-twelve hit in the UK in 1968) by The Monkees, none of whom were especially known for going a-wandering either.

My knapsack on my back
I've already explained this.
I love to wander by the stream
Not that there really are any streams as such in Mallorca. There are instead torrents, which are there to capture colossal rainfalls or get clogged up with the remains of palm trees or shopping trolleys that some socially-minded individuals have deposited therein.

That dances in the sun
Given that the torrents are only full when it rains, they tend not to be doing a great deal of dancing in the sun. Rather, as soon as it gets hot, the torrents dry up and look a mess (see above).

So joyously it calls to me 

"Come! Join my happy song!"
Look, a stream can't joyously call to anyone or invite anyone to join in a happy song. Does a stream have a pile of gold-trimmed invitation cards and a fountain pen with which it can request an RSVP to its happy song event? No it does not.
I wave my hat to all I meet
Another item of attire for the mad beardy rambling sort, especially one of advanced age from Britain with knobbly-knees and an earnest expression, is a sun hat which is worn even in February, when the chances of being affected by sunstroke are remote to the point of non-existent.

And they wave back to me
They being the Mallorcans who, if they see a touristy rambling type waving a hat in their general direction, consider him (rightly enough) to be a complete lunatic and so look the other way or phone the police.

And blackbirds call so loud and sweet
Those blackbirds which hunters aren't out having a pop at.

From ev'ry green wood tree
These would be the ev'ry green wood pine tree which at this time of year is packed with sacs of processionary caterpillars from which the caterpillars break out and give you a nasty sting or can cause death to an animal stupid enough to eat one.
High overhead, the skylarks wing
Apart from those, like the blackbirds, which haven't been brought down by an air rifle.

They never rest at home
Well no, they wouldn't rest if there was someone with a bloody shotgun taking aim.

But just like me, they love to sing
Ah yes, I do love to sing. "The Happy Wanderer". Not sure that skylarks know it, though.

As o'er the world we roam
The world being some walks around Pollensa, most of which have barriers to stop you roaming.
Oh, may I go a-wandering
Well, may I? No, you may not. Not if rich landowners, for example the family of the March banking dynasty who own the Ternelles finca, are intent on making sure that no bugger sets foot on their land.
Until the day I die!
It'll be long after you die before the courts in Mallorca ever get round to making a definitive decision as to where you can go a-wandering.

Oh, may I always laugh and sing
Well, you may always laugh and sing, just don't try doing so while on some private land.

Beneath God's clear blue sky!
Now you're talking. Clear blue sky. Nice, hot blue sky in Mallorca. Best to go to the beach and forget all this a-wandering caper. No one's privatised the beaches. Not yet anyway.

Any comments to please.

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