The Can Opener Releases Lyrics


Robyn Hitchcock, Andy Metcalfe


Title Artist Label Type Year
Element of Light Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians Glass Fish Records Album 1986
If You Were A Priest Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians Glass Fish Records Single 1986


Now it's of a jolly can opener
As I shall tell a tale
It roved about the seven seas
In dismal squalls and gales

It sawed up Chinese railwaymen
With cutlass and harpoons
It opened fleshy submarines
And dug in them with spoons

It opened up a merchantman
All bound for far Cathay
But it was full of tins of meat
How many, none could say

Oh Wendy dear, avoid those prongs
That vicious twirling ratchet
That grinds through fair containers all
Or else you're bound to catch it

Now Wendy brought asparagus
And lawnmowers and felt
To force that ruddy can opener
To grind so hard he'd melt

The can opener got wind
Of this great plot to blunt its teeth
And sailed away quite quickly
To a hiding-place near Leith

The Scottish coast had always held
A fond place in its heart
And now there was a chance to be
Together, not apart

The can opener, festooned with flags
Arrived one Friday night
To a welcome from a flock of sheep
It made a cheerful sight

But not so cheerful was the sight
Behind the frothy sheep
Of Wendy by the savage rocks
Around them she did peep

"I've substituted felt for grass
Asparagus for hedges
And now I've got the lawnmower
From good old Uncle Reg's."

But this did not impress the flock
Who normally ate pork
In cheery little sauteed lumps
Upon a silver fork

The can opener moored in a creek
And sharpened up its gasher
The lawnmower come whirring down
And that could not have been rasher

A deadly whirl of scything blades
Ensued before the gaze
Of Wendy and the burly sheep
Which lasted several days

The end came swiftly, when it did
The blow came from on high
The lawnmower had gone up to
That greenhouse in the sky

So Wendy went to Manchester
To buy a balaclava
But suddenly became engulfed
In floods of molten lava

The can opener still roves the gulch
With severing claws akimbo
And rips through sheets of yielding tin
And Wendy is in Limbo