I’m only a man 

I’m only a man 

Singing Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay

I couldn’t possibly know all but I can damn well try  

To know who is that man in the coffin 

He had so many wives 

I can’t even count em

I mean I know there was Lucy and Margaret and Elsie 

And about 20 Mary’s and 10 more Joan’s but who is the man in the coffin

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay

He died or was killed nobody knows

Suicide or murder no one could guess 

With wives a mourning and burials due 

The police need an answer before their times through 

Another man dead another man dying 

The soul of this man won’t get very far 

He was old and lecherous    

Abusive and cruel 

He deserved what was coming 

And when it came he knew 

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay 

And now his wives they’re alone in this world 

No one supports them 

Or buys them new pearls 

They’re looking for an answer 

Who killed their man?

And why did they do it so soon?

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay 

Since this death and the perils of mourning 

I’ve done some research and thinking too

I’ve discovered the man who a killed him 

And by Jove you knew it too

To even utter that he killed himself

Would be sheer madness I know

But look at Elsie poor little Elsie 

Rolling in his money too soon too soon

Elsie was married before this old man 

To a criminal named Jefferey a cruel hearted man 

He killed three men just for excitement 

And it seemed Elsie knew what to do

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay

So to conclude this rambling mess of words

A man was murdered just by an old bird

She was bitter and twisted 

And so was he 

So why should we care when she’s hung 

Oh I do no see who is to blame 

They’re both as bad as each other

So why should she hang?

why should he be dead?

It really doesn’t matter 

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay 

Ay dee dee Ay dee dee Ay

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The Victims

A sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and up in the nursery an obsurd little bird is popping out to say “Cuckoo”. Dust. Every surface covered in the stuff. Cobwebs. Hanging from every inch of the ceiling. Belongings strewn everywhere. Howls of wind blowing down the corridors. Curtains flapping around like fishes out of water. The living room dead – still blackened from the fire.

Kremenchuk. September 9th 1941. The start. It just got worse from then on. Stars. Yellow stars. September 27th 1941. Home gone. Belongings left except a suitcase each. The Novo-Ivanovka suburb. All fourteen members of the family forced to live in one room, together. Once a house with sixteen bedrooms, now a one room flat. Change. It hurt. Crying. The children didn’t stop. Crying. Hours and hours at a time. Grandma; barely able to walk, forced to sleep on the floor with the rest. Hans. The 18 year old son. Hidden under the floorboards. Not even his family knew where he was. November 7th 1941. Taken again. Killed. In the street. Like dogs. Murder.

Mother, dragged by the hair. Scratching and clawing at the floor. Screaming and kicking. Shot. Between the eyes. Blood splattering the pavement and road. Grandma, flung out of the window. Plummetting to her death, hands flailing. Crunching into the stone below. The three little girls beaten and locked in a cupboard, carried into the street and burned alive. The grandfather, the Rabbi. Praying softly in the corner. A dog, let loose. Mauled, bitten, torn apart. Blood dripping through the floorboards onto the grandson beneath. The rest lined up and shot. Bodies piled in the street, bodies burnt in the street. Days later their ashes blew in the wind.

Hans kept hiding. The silent room above. The silence throughout the ghetto. Sneaking around for food and water. October 14th 1945. Still alone. Noise again! A car – no, wait; a truck. Russian. At last a saviour. It was over. His hell was over. Home, his real home – at last.

The front door creaked open slowly. He stepped inside. A sad sort of clanging from the clock in the hall and up in the nursery an obsurd little bird is popping out to say “Cuckoo”. Dust. Every surface covered in the stuff. Cobwebs. Hanging from every inch of the ceiling. Belongings strewn everywhere. Howls of wind blowing down the corridors. Curtains flapping around like fishes out of water. The living room dead – still blackened from the fire.

A photograph on the floor. Frame cracked. Glass shattered. His family. The only way to remember them. One single, ripped, stained, burnt, tattered photograph.