Punk Poem on Travel… Majorca by John Cooper Clarke

John Cooper Clarke

Poetry has taken a turn.

It’s been punked. It’s been slammed

And the result is performance poetry which may not be everyone’s cuppa but it certainly is a bit of fun.

Today’s travel poem is a departure (if you will) from poems I’ve published in the past. Instead of treating travel with reverence, this poem offers another truth about travel which is not quite, well, reverential. As Clarke says in his intro, it’s about holiday packages. Love them or hate them, most of  you will relate to this poem in one way or another.

Clarke was known as the punk rock poet in the late 1970s. He released several albums including Snap, Crackle & Bop which gave him his highest album chart placing, He’s still popular and performing. His most recent work is Zip Style

Now, here are the words. Don’t miss hearing Clarke perform this piece himself by scrolling to the bottom for a Youtube version.


fasten your seatbelts says a voice
inside the plane you can’t hear no noise
engines made by rolls royce
take your choice
…make mine majorca

check out the parachutes
can’t be found
alert those passengers
they’ll be drowned
a friendly mug says “settle down”
when i came round i was gagged and bound
…for Majorca

and the eyes caress
the neat hostess
her unapproachable flip finesse
i found the meaning of the word excess
they’ve got little bags if you wanna make a mess
i fancied Cuba but it cost me less
…to Majorca

(Whose blonde sand fondly kisses the cool fathoms of the blue mediteranean)

they packed us into the white hotel
you could still smell the polycell
wet white paint in the air-conditioned cells
the waiter smelled of fake Chanel
Gaulois… Garlic as well
says if i like… i can call him “Miguel”
…well really

i got drunk with another fella
who’d just brought up a previous paella
he wanted a fight but said they were yella’
…in Majorca

the guitars rang and the castinets clicked
the dancer’s stamped and the dancer’s kicked
it’s likely if you sang in the street you’d be nicked
the double diamond flowed like sick
mother’s pride, tortilla and chips
pneumatic drills when you try to kip
…in Majorca

a stomach infection put me in the shade
must have been something in the lemonade
but by the balls of franco i paid
had to pawn my bucket and spade
next year I’ll take the international brigade
…to Majorca

  • http://eurapart.com John Williams

    I bought a copy of his ‘Innocents’ EP when it came out in 1977. Still have it somewhere. He certainly brought poetry to a new audience.

    There was a full night about him on BBC4 in the summer. Yes, he is still performing, but there was a gap of many years that even he can’t remember due to his drug use.

  • Laurynas

    Usually song lyrics are just rhyme to another word but this one…really amazing. A poem song? Simply unique.

  • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ AnitaMac

    Love the poem read by the author – brings so much more to the piece.  Love how he draws attention to the message through dramatic pause.

  • http://www.balivillaholidays.com/ Bali Villa Holidays

    One of my favorite type of poem is the ones that rhymes with the words so it’s more fun to read out loud.

  • LifePart2

    Punk poetry! Awesome.