Down at the landing stage the sign reads 'Havoline'
And you buy the diesel there, back in the old routine
You pay up your harbour dues and then, from the anchorage
All in her wedding lace
You see a bride on the bridge
Her coat on the balustrade she bought at a fire-sale
She's been married to debt for years
And now she's climbing the lone guard-rail
Gulls are er Mendelssohn, she has a bouquet of foliage
That no-one here is reaching for
Slowly the bride on the bridge
Those raising interest don't look up
They have no interest in her flight
Their spectrum has no bridal white
They don't leave the scene
Not when money talks
The whisper-mill says "Buy Brazil"
That is if you don't mind blood on the stalks
Cargo comes rolling in, containers of even size
There's no rafts or floats aboard - so what if lives capsize?
Trading takes no account of strangers to privilege
Not if they can't keep up their balances
She's vanished, the bride on the bridge
I read a news report of a recently married couple who had fallen into such debt that they decided on a suicide pact and who returned to the site of their honeymoon (where they had spent their happiest time together) to carry it out. I found this very moving. I think that many young people have crazy expectations of marriage – that somehow the ceremony will transform them and their lives. Even so, to want a brilliant future and to then see the possibility crushed by economic forces that have no feeling for individual human hopes and experience is a tragedy indeed.
“Gulls are her Mendelssohn” – his “Wedding March” is a popular favourite at church weddings. “Buy Brazil” – when I see footage of “stock brokers” it makes me want to puke – gaggles of (mainly) young men who spend each and every day gambling with the lives of working people. And these are gamblers who never lose!