The Lion & the Unicorn

The Lion and the Unicorn 1991

The Lion and the Unicorn

were fighting for the Crown.

The Lion beat the Unicorn

all around the Town.

Some gave them White Bread

and some gave them Brown,

And some gave them Plum-cake

and chased them Out of Town.

The Lion

The Unicorn

The Lion and the Unicorn

were fighting for the Crown

The Lion beat the Unicorn

all around the Town.

The Unicorn said “Fuck this,

it isn’t you I hate”

So they put their heads together

and turned against the State.


The Queen said “Oh, dearie me,

we can’t be having this.”

As the Revolutionary Couple

were just about to kiss.

“These are Pillars of the Empire

this upstart pair,

They mustn’t drown their enmity

it simply isn’t fair.”


Most alarming for Authority

was news of help the People gave,

Talk of bread and plum-cake gifts

to the Lady and her Knave.

The sympathetic, caring , sharing

mothers of the Working Class

Saw no sin in taking in

the Lion and his Lass.


The Cabinet hatched a counter-plot.

The Queen said “Clever boys!”

They took the country off to war

to cover up the noise,

Of the gates of the Tower closing

as the Portcullis slammed down,

And Tyburn Tree wheeled out again

by Order of the Crown.


And with the foggy, distant islands

flying the Union Jack

The fickle, feckless British Public,

glad to have its young lads back,

Got caught up in the jubilation,

courtesy of ITV

And forgot the tortured People’s Friends,

in the shout of ‘Victory!’


So the Unicorn was Martyred

and the Lion lost his claws

Two more reluctant heroes

for the Radical Cause.

At the Public Execution

there were rumblings from the Crowd

But Queenie never heard them,

‘Cos the truncheons had them cowed.


The Lion’s Roar was silenced with a memo to the Press

And all that appeared in the next day’s News

was Queenie’s nice new dress

The Creature’s Coup was over

before it had begun;

The forceful State had crushed a Show

it knew would run and run.


Broken-hearted, clawless,

the Lion lost his way.

He sold himself as a Symbol

to any that would pay.

Multi-national companies

fought over Copy-right

And the proudest beast that ever lived

had squandered all his might.


But the Unicorn is remembered

and little kids are told

Of the wild but gentle Dreamer

with a sturdy Heart of Gold.

What the Adults fail to mention

is the Coup that might have been

If the murdered Horse of Myth had had her Rights

Who’d now be Queen …. ?


1st November 1991

IMAGES – Jonny Thompson, Robertson Terrace, Hastings, 2019

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