When Philip Larkin Met The Buzzcocks…

It was sometime in the late 1970s when the Buzzcocks were playing at the Welly Club in Hull and were introduced to the poet, Philip Larkin. Here is a transcript of what was passed between them…

Yeah – well – I say what I mean
I say what comes to my mind
They bore you stiff your mum and dad
They do not mean to, but they do
They fill you with boredom that bad
And add some extra just for you
And never get around to things
Living a straight – straight line

You know me – I’m acting dumb
you know the scene – very humdrum –
But they were bored stiff in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,   
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats –
boredom – boredom

I’m living in this poetry
but it doesn’t move me
I’m the man that’s waiting for the phone to ring
Hear it ring-a-ding-a-f**king-ding
Man hands boredom on to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf –
You know me …
I get out as early as I can
You see there’s nothing behind me
I’m already a has-been
my future ain’t what it was
Don’t have any interests myself
well I think I know the words that I mean

You know me …

B’dum – b’dum

I’ve taken this extravagant journey
so it seems to me
I just came from nowhere
and I’m going straight back there

You know me …

So I’m larkin’ with this poetry
but it doesn’t flow for me
so tell me who are you trying to arouse?
get your hands out of my trousers
I’m not larkin’
You know me .


Later that day the Buzzcocks went back to their hotel and came up with this:



Meanwhile, Philip Larkin strolled back to his suburban retreat and, inspired by the exchange of ideas, wrote a few lines of his own: