G D EmNow messing with boats can bring pleasure C Em D While challenging DIY skill Am C D EmFitting shiny new brass parts, fixing engines that won’t start Am G DGives me satisfaction, until G D GI find I've attracted spectators C D G Who’ve come to critique not to praise C Am GTheir work just involves throwing spanners C D GWith most of them heading my wayChorus :G C EmThere’s always someone who knows better C Em DWho’s not shy about telling me so Am C D EmFrom faulty fuel gauges to engine oil changes C D EmThere’s nothing they think they don’t know C D GUltracrepidarians leave me aloneNow I don’t mind advice when it’s helpful, When gaps in my knowledge are clearBut gongoozling chumps, old men with the grumpsWho just stand around, tut and sneerShould take a long walk on a short pierOn your bike, take a hike, go awayYou are talking a load of old cobblersThat’s the last thing I’m needing todayI’m knocking in nails in the wrong placeThe varnish I’ve used isn’t rightYou’re not drilling there! I’d use round heads not square You’re fastening that bolt far too tightNow I’ll take advice from professionalsWho’ve served their full time, learnt their tradeBut I’ve had enough of the bluster and bluffFrom the know-it-all bull-shit brigadeNow sometimes I will accept thatTwo brains can be better than oneBut when one just objects, castigates and correctsThen this job may never get doneAnd I’m not a fan of committeesWhere members just posture and spoutIt’s action I need if I’m to succeed Hot air I can well do withoutBy now you’ll have summed up this boaterWith patience I’m not well bestowedThough sometimes I’m chatty, like friendly old RattyI show aspects of Badger and ToadSolitary, gruff, and conceitedSesquipedantic teaching retireeAs fellow boaters I curse, perhaps I am worseThat know-it-all just might be meAfter last chorusUltracrepidarians leave me aloneSesquipedalians leave me aloneGongoozlers leave me aloneOh, everybody just leave me alone
Leave Me Alone(The Sesquipedantic Ultracrepidarian Gongoozler Song)
I always had it in mind to write a song about 'gongoozlers' because I was rather taken by the word itself - a gongoozler being an idle spectator who enjoys spending long periods of time watching activities on the canals. Just as the song was approaching completion the word 'ultracrepidarian' cropped up on the TV programme 'Countdown'. An ultracrepidarian is a person who offers opinions on matters beyond his or her knowledge. Ultracrepidarian is from the Latin phrase ultra crepidam, literally 'beyond the sole'. This is a reference to a remark by the Greek painter Apelles, whose work had been criticised by a shoemaker. Apelles responded, "The cobbler shouldn't judge beyond his sandals." This has become a proverb in English "Cobbler, stick to your last". I was challenged to get the word 'ultracrepidarian' into the song and then when I had done so was accused of being sesquipedantic, i.e. given to using long words. So that word found its way into the song as well! Long explanation, long words, long song . . . sorry!