The Ballad of Nicky Garland


This is the song of a boy with fists
That grew up on the Faversham road.
Nicky Garland couldn’t keep his hands straight
And learned early the villains’ code.

He was a career criminal twenty four seven
Like his dad and his dad before him.
Nicky Garland started on petty crime
And at sixteen was caught shop lifting.

Nicky Garland was a handsome man
Full of wit and bravery.
His crimes brought his brothers video games
And his old mum jewellery.

In and out of Elmley, he was king
Of the island of Sheppey.
Thuggery is a young man’s game
And none was as strong as he.

He punched his way through remand
And sneered at the law,
Cocked a snook at the judge’s beard
And spat on all he saw.

Nicky Garland was a handsome man
Full of wit and bravery.
His crimes brought his brothers video games
And his old mum jewellery.

Nicky said he had a silver lining above his head.
And with his cheeky handsome smile
He won the hand of Lara Tweed
And gave her heartache and a child.

Banged up on remand he was in demand
As he smuggled the parcels in.
Got his inmates high and never wondered why
The officers segregated him.

His friend Charlie Day was a gentler man
Just caught up in the hale and pace.
He was into his guitar and mending cars
But Nicky was on his case.

Nicky took some drugs to get a buzz
And owed Jenkins a fair whack.
Jenkins owned the town and owned the clubs
And wanted his money back.

Nicky Garland used his fists and managed to get a gun;
He smashed into the teacher’s house one night.
Shocked and scared they showed him where
They kept their cash and never put up a fight.

There was something in the teacher’s face
That made Nicky so wound up. There was every book,
Every class he failed, each humiliation gained
That made Nicky chain the man up to the hook.

He thumped him hard with the base of his gun
He smashed the man’s jaw.
He ransacked the house in a violent rage
And tore down all he saw.

Back again in prison Nicky was in for it,
His sentence was indeterminate.
His actions were indiscriminate,
His wife was getting less intimate.

He got a letter from this bloke, who’d shagged his wife some time ago.
You need to watch your back, old son,
Charlie Day’s been seen often round your gaff.
You’re no spring chicken anymore, I’m sure he’s giving her one.

For eighteen months on remand
That’s all Nicky could think about.
Ways in which to stick the c**t
And take the bastard out.

Nicky Garland had a silver lining cloud above his head
He thought his Christmas had come too soon.
He was told Charlie Day had been done for drugs and
Headed his way, a meeting was not inopportune.

Meanwhile the prison guards were drinking
To get through the day.
Low wages, the occasional scam
All work and not enough play.

All the time Nicky made Officer Cooper sick
With his boasting and his crack.
He took every chance he could to
Get the fucker back.

Charlie Day got visitors,
His mum and his old gran.
What you done son? You’re a good lad
You never harmed anyone.

I lost my way, I took some draw
And sold it to the wrong man.
He got caught and he shopped me in
I’m now doing what I can.

It’s not too bad, I’ll only get a few months,
I will be out before Christmas.
I’ve got a mate Dave, who’s in a band
So I’m not exactly friendless.

My only worry is Nicky’s in here
And he sent me a weird letter.
Thinking I’m shagging his Lara.
Apart from that things are getting better.

Nicky Garland was a handsome man
Full of wit and bravery.
His crimes brought his brothers video games
And his old mum jewellery.

Nicky Garland saw his friend Charlie that day
Walking and laughing with his mate from the other wing.
Nicky Garland walked the connecting walkway
Waiting to take a swing at him.

It only took one punch, your Honour,
No implement, no knife
Fist to jaw, head falling back, smashed on the floor
One punch to end a life.

They stitched me up, the bastard screws
They are telling lies.
I never said I’d only hit him one
But am glad he’s died.

Charlie’s mother sat in court, now her Charlie’s dead,
She’s heard Nicky’s daughter’s baby’s almost due.
A month to Christmas and nothing to look forward to.
She will pick up some presents for her nephew.

When the jury is returned and a verdict reached
Those twelve people hold her Christmas in their hands.
Will she have anything but lost hope and dreams?
Will she have the head of Nicky Garland?

The guilty verdict has been reached and Nicky Garland knows
It’s only another four years to do.
And in a month, around Christmas Day
He will be a granddad too.

Nicky Garland was a handsome man
Full of wit and bravery.
For Christmas his crimes brought video games
And his old mum jewellery.

Written by Jess Mookherjee from the keyword Wreath (Garland).

  One Response to “The Ballad of Nicky Garland”

  1. That Nicky Garland sahnds a right nasty lot
    ‘Anging’s too good fer ‘is like
    The ‘ole justice system is going ter pot
    – I’d ‘ave ‘is ‘ead on a spike…

    Yours sincerely,

    Judge Nutmeg.

    …Spin, spin, spin the wheel of justice etc etc 😉

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