Something for the Weekend: A Twist in the Tail

Ian Morris returns with his weekly column and this week shares a unique musical game the Morris’ have invented.

It would be fair to say that the banter levels in our house are considerable, particularly between myself and the little boys Tom and Noah (20 and 17 years old, respectively). 

Nobody is sure what started it, but at some point during lockdown began the PBS….the Pork-Based Summoning. 

The ‘yoof’ are more often than not ensconced in their respective bedrooms digitally killing other ‘yoof’ via the interweb. This can make communication channels somewhat challenging. I believed I had solved this issue digitally by funding the provision of Echo Dots in their rooms which would allow me to announce ‘Dinner’s ready!’ and this would set a bing and announce it in their rooms.

However, this system began to break down as the boys claimed not to have a free socket for the Dot, or complain that their civil rights were being impinged when I would ‘drop in’ to ask for the return of all our missing mugs. 

So, we reverted to Dad standing at the bottom of the stairs and shouting ‘Dinner’s ready!’ often with an added encouraging word. I am unsure why I opted to be more musical, summoning the lads with a tune…but gradually the challenge became to use only the word ‘pork’ when I did so. There is a saying that you can’t educate pork, but it seems you can summon it by name. 

I think I started with the Ride of the Valkyries by Wagner, made famous in the film Apocalypse Now

‘Pork, pork, pork, pork, pork-porrrk, pork pork pork…’, this doesn’t scan so well when written, but give it a try.

I  have majored on national anthems including the UK’s, Flower of Scotland, Advance Australia Fair, the Italian national anthem, La Marseillaise, the Cornish national anthem – Trelawny, and the South African anthem – Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrikawhich is in 3  different languages, but the word pork transcends these cultural barriers. 

I gave tribute to the late, great Eddie van Halen with a rendition of Jump on the day of his passing, jumped back to the ’80s with Salt and Pepa’s Push It, Ruby by the Kaiser chiefs, Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple, while regularly dipping into folk classics from the Fishermans Friends. 

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. I bit off far more than I could chew when I botched Next Episode with Dr Dre and Snoop Dog, but it was always going to be a challenge. I thought about attempting Informer by Snow, but as I  don’t think I could master this in the original language, it remains untested. 

Now PBS has become a game the whole family can play, as everyone tries to work out the original song from my delightful, pork-based interpretation.

Last night’s rendition saw Tom cursing ‘It’s an old song, something about a bloody bag!’ as he burst into the kitchen to ask Mum’s advice. Between them they worked out that Pack Up Your Troubles was the wartime lament I had gone back to.  

I also mentioned PBS to one of my work colleagues and now every Thursday, my project team put in a request for the song to be used that evening. So far they have been kind enough to choose songs I  can master but knowing them as I do, it wont stay this way. 

If you have read this far, how many of these tunes have you already attempted to recreate as a PBS challenge? Feel free to try it at home and report back, and I do requests, so do leave your suggestions in the comments. 


Something for the Weekend will be back next Friday, tackling national issues from a local perspective. In the meantime, you can check out all of Ian’s writing for S&C, here, along with past editions of the Pompey Politics Podcast.

Image by 3D Animation Production Company from Pixabay.

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