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Ode to a Cinema Organist

Ian McIver


This is the tale of David Morgan,

Who learnt to play the cinema organ.

That he did this was just as well,

For academically he did not excel.

His headmaster could but stand and stare

When young Morgan chose to dare

To say, imperious as an eagle:

'Tonight I open at the Regal,

I'm through with French and mathematics;

Next week I’m playing at the Ritz.

Seeing the headmaster's confusion,

He added: 'I've just got a job with Union

Theatres, who appreciate my talents rightly

By featuring my organ nightly.

For fifteen minutes I give music and wit,

Then gracefully sink into the pit

As the film comes on the screen.

Afterwards I play "The Queen.”

I have now found my vocation,

I don't need no more education.’

Standing before the headmaster's gaze,

Wondering whether to expect praise

Or censure for his bombshell,

He listened amazed as the old man said: 'Well,

I wish you all good luck and fortune.

Your career seems most opportune.

May you one day reach your Nirvana

And play "Tiger Rag" at Tooting Granada.’




Sure enough, as the years went by,,

Morgan's name lit up the sky,

And all the world revered the name

As broadcasts and records increased his fame.

Alas, though, this was not to last,

For after a few more years had passed

One night the end came soon.

As he was playing his signature tune

The organ rose before the audience's eyes.

It went on and on, continued to rise,

Right past the top,

It did not stop.

He heard their cries too late,

For he was at the Pearly Gate.

At St. Peter's feet stopped Morgan,

Still playing his Wurlitzer organ.

Said St. Peter, all austere.

'You can't bring that thing in here,

So why don't you stop being a pest

And play the harp like all the rest?’

But Morgan said: 'Just listen to this ditty,

And sat down and played, "The Holy City” .

Moved by this, St. Peter said: 'All right,

But keep it hidden out of sight.'

But the angels heard it and as one arose

And said: 'We all want one of those.’

St Peter sadly turned: 'I'd like to please,

But where can I get more or these?

You'll have to play your harps with Morgan,

Who'll accompany you on his organ.




So Morgan plays there in the clouds,

Never missing the cinema crowds.

He's got a whole new repertory,

From Handel's "Largo” to Bach's "Suite in D".




And that's the tale of David Morgan,

The man who plays the cinema organ;

Not here below at the flics thrice nightly,

But up above before the Almighty.



IRM © c.1965 all rights reserved

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