I was listening to PM on Radio Four yesterday when a report of an unidentified old man taking himself to the top of a hill on Saddleworth Moor to lay down to die came on the radio. Nobody knows who he was; he just got off the
train, went for a pint and then wandered up on the moor to lie on the ground
until he ceased to exist. Of course my mind buzzed with questions, but as I
listened to the three minute report I found myself keying this verse. I have no
idea why, it wasn’t an experiment as an experiment requires planning and
intention, it just happened almost automatically as I listened to the
newsreader stating the facts. It was done by the time the report ended and I
was left wondering where it had come from and why.
Death of an unknown man
I traveled from
on the day of my death
Train on a Friday
To Indian’s Head.
A pint at the Clarence
Then hard up the hill,
To lie down with my ills.
It was wet, it was cold
I was done, I felt old.
Don’t ask who I am,
And don’t question why.
I am my own man
I’ve chosen to die.
Now as I lay me down to sleep
Shrouded in my mystery
I know this hill my soul will keep
As I become old history.