In The Land Of The Blue Riders

A while ago, our Ed came up
With the idea to quickly hop
Into a plane and fly away
"Whereto?" asked Steve. Ed would not say

He felt that after many nights
On stage grappling with Jan in fights
And standing model for D. Riggs
He needed time-out from the gigs

Bruce tousled Eddie's open crane
"How 'bout a lift in my old plane?"
"No thanks", said Ed, "I want to be
All by myself for once, you see."

The Maiden guys accepted this
Before he left they blew a kiss
To their beloved mascot dear
And Steve in secret shed a tear

Our Eddie came to Heathrow gate
And with his Mastercard he paid
For a return flight to Mopti
(Which lies in Africa's Mali)

The flight did not take long and soon
Dear Ed was facing a lagoon
With swarms of flies and crocodiles
And swampy ground for miles and miles

Ed grinned and rubbed his hands with glee
This place to him felt heavenly
Miss Charlotte on her perfumed bed
Had never put Ed in such sweat

The fish he ate that night was nice
With chili sauce, fried fruit and rice
"La capitaine sangha" 'twas called
And quite delicious, truth be told

Soon after, Ed boarded a bus
For Timbouctou, but what a fuss!
Amid the desert, what broke down?
The bus of course! Ed had to frown

Instead of waiting there for hours
Ed trusted in his walking powers
He left, a bamboo stick in hand,
And soon was lost in desert land

Sand-dunes, sand-dunes everywhere
Nor any drop to drink

These lines our Ed cried out in pain
His sinews he stretched out in vain
"This is the end", croaked Ed, oh dear!
He sadly wished his friends were near


When he awoke he looked around
He lay no more on sandy ground
A tent was raised above his head
And cloth spread out under dear Ed

A drink was placed there, what a boon!
Ed's spirits were revived quite soon
Curious to see his saviour's face
He peeped out of his resting place

That instant someone else peeped in
Head hit on head, Ed swore: "oh 'kin!"
But all amazed was he to gaze
Into a camel's smiling face

Upon his back perched high there was
A rider so mysterious
That vision: wrapped from head to shins
In blue dye, floating with the winds

And when he asked directions, he
Was told they would accompany
Our Ed to Timbouctou the Old
Where salt was once exchanged and gold

The next few days the caravan
Was heading north with Ed again
He learned to ride and his best friend
Young camel Humphrey shared his tent

On Humphrey's back he swayed and danced
Almost like Jan on stage, entranced
He also learned (the weeks passed quick)
To speak their tongue, the Tamashek

The desert holds no mysteries
For those who've challenged sandy seas
For thousand years and even more
An ancient folk, proud to the core

Then one day, in the midday heat
Of clay the buildings, tall and neat
The city of his dreams appeared
Ed stared in awe and Humphrey jeered

A camel lady in this town
He proudly could declare his own
Like his name-sake in Morocco
He looked her in the eye and oh,
He fell in love, deny it not
This lady Elaine was so hot

They shared their hay, their drink, their shade
And when they had to separate
He vowed a holy vow: "Elaine,
Upon my hump, we'll meet again!"

So Humphrey took his new friend Ed
To see his lady and they met
Next to a mosque, and spent the day
Together there in bliss and hay

To his dismay this was the last
Day of his time off, time flies fast!
Adieu, farewell, the engines roared
The plane took off and high they soared

Below stood Humphrey, his new friend
Waving his hump, sad, discontent
Like a ghost he disappeared
Ed settled back and England neared

The Maiden guys all cheered that night
Their Ed was back, oh great delight!
In Arry's bar they drank a pint
While Ed told of the Tuareg mind

Davey, impressed, said at that time
"These guys are a legend, my rhyme
Shall tell their own story, I vow
I'll write their song, The Nomad, now!"

(written on June 15th 2004)

great pic, CS!