Family Grave


Words & Music: Jake Thackray

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I’ve got uncles and aunties and cousins and nephews and sisters-in-law.
Our family swarms with them; it teems; they are thicker than flies.
Sisters and brothers and cousins and daughters and mothers galore,
The only time when all of us meet is when one of us dies.

At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
Whenever you go there’s always more arrive.
At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
For every dead one there are dozens of us alive, live, live
Dead but there are dozens of us alive.

Take a family christening, well nobody goes to those,
And a family wedding more often than not’s an all ticket affair,
But a funeral’s free for all you can go in the same old clothes
No need to buy him a present so all of the family’s there.

You sit in the chapel and whisper and meditate over the stiff.
You never speak ill of him – especially if you were close -
But: "What a good family man, and a wonderful friend," even if
The defunct was a pain in the arse and he died of a dose!

At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
Whenever you go there’s always more arrive.
At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
For every dead one there are dozens of us alive, live, live
Dead but there are dozens of us alive.

There are those of course who just stand aghast and just gawp
They cannot manage to cry – and there’s others who cannot refrain:
Willy-nilly they bellow and howl at the drop of a corpse.
In a couple of weeks they’ve forgotten the poor bastard’s name.
Then there are those of course who turn up and can then hardly wait
For the coffin to drop and the vicar to stop the and the sobbing subside.
And then they are barely a blur as they sprint for the cemetery gates
To go get their hands on the money, the food, or the widow’s backside.

By the grave, by the grave, by the family, family grave,
Whenever you go there’s always more arrive.
At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
For every dead one there are dozens of us alive, live, live
Dead but there are dozens of us alive.

There are one or two "do"s turn out disappointingly in the extreme,
Where the booze is rough and the grub is duff and no flowers at all,
And the mother embarrasses you with a sudden hysterical scream,
Where the coffin you came to see off is pathetically small.

We do the round of the family faces and pay our respects
The "We’ll have to be going." "How nice." "How sad." The "Thankings you."
We are studying form and weighing up who it is going to be next
To go under the slab. Whose turn to pay for the very next "do".

Bt the grave, by the grave, by the family, family grave,
Whenever you go there’s always more arrive.
At the grave, at the grave, at the family, family grave,
For every dead one there are dozens of us alive, live, live
Dead but there are dozens of us alive.

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