oh nellie… yars

Mornings on tour in England found us at the fry-man’s – a little restaurant in Brighton where bacon, eggs, sausage baked into pastries, baked beans and a spot of tea broke our fast. Then it was off to sight-see, back for a nap before leaving to play a match against the team from Hove.

We dispatched Hove in tightly contested game. Rich W_ ( adroitly nicknamed Adonis for his resemblance to the same ) put a bone cracking tackle on their fullback, scrambled to his feet scooped up the lazily bouncing rugby ball and sprinted the length of the field for the winning try. A massive man, lengthy strides eating ground he dove into the end-zone half out of exhilaration, half out of exhaustion from the long run. We mobbed him in celebration and once again we had victory on foreign soil.

Excited from the win, bone weary from the effort we puzzled over an old beat up bucket half filled with a dipper in it awaiting us on a bench in the locker room. To tell you the truth, it looked more suited to the urinal – yellow-brown and frothy. We turned to Bruce ( our English flyhalf ) who laughingly declared it’s Shandy, Guinness mixed with lemonade as he drank from the dipper and passed it on. Shandy from a dipper out of an old bucket goes down pretty well after a match.

Hove could celebrate, and for dinner we had shepard’s pie – that delicious mixture of lamb and beef, a bit of corn and peas added and baked under a layer of mashed potatoes. Fed like kings, of course we had to sing. Hove far exceeded us, but if they sang God Save the Queen, arm in arm we belted out The Star Spangled Banner even louder. We drank, and sang, and competed – a relay race beer chugging, a manly test to hold out a full mug of beer for the longest time without spillage – clinched by Adonis of course.

Way past midnight, with complex thought long abandoned they taught us a song about Nellie and a cow. Everyone dances around in a circle singing the simple verse, which ends with “second verse same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse”. By the sixth verse, we cavorted wildly about and a Hove player grabbed a metal serving tray and smashed it over the head of each dancer as they passed near him. At verse’s end, they serving tray looked like an umbrella.

Even now, whenever I think of that silly song I smile.

Oh the cow kicked Nellie in the belly in the barn
Oh the cow kicked Nellie in the belly in the barn
Oh the cow kicked Nellie in the belly in the barn
and the farmer said it’ll do no harm

Second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder, and a little bit worse

The Moral: Singing – even loud and out of tune, makes everything better, and a Shandy can hit the spot.

YARS – yet another rugby story


7 Comments on “oh nellie… yars”

  1. Eric Alagan says:

    As teenagers back in the old days – shandy was a nice shoe-in for raw beer to come 🙂

  2. Love this story and want to hear the tune to this song so badly! I think you should record yourself singing it and post it on your blog… haha the bent tray from hitting you all in the head…

  3. Chatty Owl says:

    Guinness and lemonade makes shandy? Hahaha. Thats the best thing i have heard in a long time! Smiling like an idiot now. Thanks for making my day! My week even!


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