The Second Scroll — Mr Cynthia

Never has a senior government official been less aptly named. When the recently knighted Melbournian head-kicker Joe Meek is appointed Minister for Culture by Lord-Protector Oswald Mosley, he pursues his brief with an exactitude mistaken by many for rank overbearance. Determined to expunge from his realm all traces of what he decries as "nancy-boy performance art bullshit", Meek makes an example of one of its most flamboyant practitioners, a successful Liverpudlian skiffle singer who has made the common error of confusing wealth with omniscience, and is insisting on making an arse of himself by pontificating upon matters about which he knows nothing — which is to say, in Meek's withering view, everything.

Meek places the singer under house arrest, something which the hapless warbler doesn't actually notice for some weeks, having incarcerated himself in a bag of purple burlap, to promote awareness of what Meek dismisses, in his bruising antipodean brogue, as "whales or Apaches, or some other such crap". The bewildered crooner emerges from his sack to find thick dust coating the gaudy souveniers of happier times, and on the television news, his once unswervingly devoted wife, beaming amid the retinue of John Aspinall, the well-to-do zookeeper now serving as Witchfinder General.

An intensely, if usually wrongly, philosophical man, the singer makes an accommodation with his future as a lonely, forgotten, tranquilised shut-in. He sits at his gold piano, rubs his feet reflectively on the panda-skin rug beneath it, and composes a gentle, lilting ballad extolling peace, love and brotherhood. Mercifully, nobody will ever hear it.

Lyrics submitted by BrutalBart

Scroll 2 song meanings
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