Leave Me Alone The Sesquipedantic Ultracrepidarian Gongoozler Song by Ian H Bruce (2010) Now messing with boats can bring pleasure While challenging DIY skill Fitting shiny new brass parts, fixing engines that won’t start Gives me satisfaction, until I find I've attracted spectators Who've come to critique not to praise Their work just involves throwing spanners With most of them heading my way Chorus: There’s always someone who knows better Who’s not shy about telling me so From faulty fuel gauges to engine oil changes There’s nothing they think they don’t know Ultracrepidarians leave me alone Now I don’t mind advice when it’s helpful, When gaps in my knowledge are clear But gongoozling chumps, old men with the grumps Who just stand around, tut and sneer Should take a long walk on a short pier On your bike, take a hike, go away You are talking a load of old cobblers That’s the last thing I’m needing today I’m knocking in nails in the wrong place The varnish I’ve used isn’t right You’re not drilling there! I’d use round heads not square You’re fastening that bolt far too tight Now I’ll take advice from professionals Who’ve served their full time, learnt their trade But I’ve had enough of the bluster and bluff From the know-it-all BS brigade Now sometimes I will accept that Two brains can be better than one But when one just objects, castigates and corrects Then this job may never get done And I’m not a fan of committees Where members just posture and spout It’s action I need if I’m to succeed Hot air I can well do without By now you’ll have summed up this boater With patience I’m not well bestowed Though sometimes I’m chatty, like friendly old Ratty I show aspects of Badger and Toad Solitary, gruff, and conceited Sesquipedantic teaching retiree As fellow boaters I curse, perhaps I am worse That know-it-all just might be me After last chorus Ultracrepidarians leave me alone Sesquipedalians leave me alone Gongoozlers leave me alone Oh, everybody just leave me alone “I always had it in mind to write a song about 'gongoozlers' because I was rather taken by the word itself - a gongoozler being.an idle spectator who enjoys spending long periods of time watching activities on the canals. Just as the song was approaching completion the word 'ultracrepidarian' cropped up on the TV programme 'Countdown'. An ultracrepidarian is a person who offers opinions on matters beyond his or her knowledge. Ultracrepidarian is from the Latin phrase ultra crepidam, literally 'beyond the sole'. This is a reference to a remark by the Greek painter Apelles.. whose work had been criticized by a shoemaker. Apelles responded, "The cobbler shouldn't judge beyond his shoe." This has become a common proverb in English in the version "Cobbler, stick to your last". I was challenged to get the word 'ultracrepidarian' into the song and then when I had done so was accused of being sesquipedantic, i.e. given to using long words, so that found its way into the song as well!“ - Ian H Bruce Recorded on :
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