The Riley Man

Fire up the Riley, there are roads to be run.

Head out westward, Ted, tracking the sun,

And driving down those country miles was always fun.

Check out the tyres, carbi and brakes -

And tighten that bloody bolt that shakes.

All your life a driver and this we know:

Time after time you found an old wreck of rust

In some field or shed, buried in debris and dust;

Crying out for resurrection, peace from pain,

And you brought those wrecks back to life again.

                              You made them go.

You saw a measure of beauty there, and you

Saw it in the living, the lost ones

Suffering in silence, or beyond repair.

Now gun that motor, let us hear the melody,

That sweet symphony of valves -

                                salve for the soul -

When all the parts mesh and work in harmony.

But which way to go? North, south or east...

West is best. West is where the sun goes down to sleep

Way out beyond Wales and Ireland, horizons

                                   of the deep.

You lead the way and we'll follow on our day.

And let us pray, when we've travelled that far,

We'll find you waiting there with wine and ales

                                    lined up along the bar.

For this is not a final farewell, only au revoir -

So fire up the Riley, Ted, it's time to go.

Bryn Griffiths


Ted Purcell

1940 - 2014