The Ruskin Arms



No, this is NOT the Ruskin Arms, it's Gare Europe in Lille

In June when the weather was sunny I spent
Four days in the birthplace of Arry's great band
Three hours from Lille on the Eurostar train
To the city which charms me time and again

I've been here before but this time I set out (yay, what a Maiden-related line)
To sniff all the Maiden-related sites out
An obvious choice for a pilgrimage spleen
Was the club where the boys in the 70s were seen

The tube's District line took me to the East End
At EastHam station I got out and I went
All along High Street, where you can drop
In at many an Indian restaurant and shop

At nightfall the lights all went on in the street
And friendly smile the residents which I meet
After eating a snack in a fast food bar
I resolved to enter the Maiden Mecca

High ceiling, two pool tables and a counter
And loads of pictures on the walls, I found there
With the Maiden guys. But can you believe it
Most customers seemed not to give a damn shit
That this pub in a way was a hallowed hall
They watched a football game on TV on the wall
But me, I stared in awe upon a barmaid's chest
Sporting a shirt with "Ruskin Arms" and, no jest,
Below was a beautiful picture of Eddie!

I asked "Do you sell these t-shirts with Eddie?"
She replied: "I beg your pardon, who is he?"
This answer left me confused but thank Rod
A barman said: "Sorry, but we have got
No more of this special edition." At least
He knew the name of Maiden's lobotomized beast.

Later at night, in the backroom of the bar
Music was playing and metal fans from far
Streamed in or enjoyed themselves in the cool breeze
What must it have been like in the seventies!
A wonderful night had I spent there indeed
A promising start to my pilgrimage feat!