In the high rocky wastes of Afghanistan,

In the cruel ‘Indu Kush or beyond–

‘Oled up with what’s left o’ the Taliban

In the great, empty sprawl of ‘Elmand–

In some wretched and waterless canyon, where

No Yankee or Brit’s ever trodden–

It’s somewhere out there we’ll discover ‘is lair,

The cave of Osama bin Laden!

‘E swims like a shark in a friendly sea

(Remember those sayings of Mao?)

We know where ‘e’s been–where ‘e’s likely to be

But we never know where ‘e is now!

Way up by the borders of Pakistan,

In the realm of the tribal Pashtun,

There isn’t a more Gawd-forsaken land

This side of the pitiless moon

And it’s there that the pitiless mullahs preach

Against ev’rything Western and Modern

‘Aranguin’ the solemn young fellows they teach

To follow Osama bin Laden!

The West, they declare, is at war with Islam

Look at Palestine! Look at Iraq!

‘Tis noble to strap on a suicide bomb

And die in the counterattack!

The tough-minded rulers in Washington

Who targeted Saddam Hussein

Proclaimed the worst part of the fighting done

And now are at pains to explain

As conditions get bad in the slums of Baghdad

And the eyes and the attitudes ‘arden.

‘Ow many Iraqis, already ‘alf mad,

Now turn to the tribe of bin Laden!

They all think ‘e’s Robin ‘Ood, slinkin’ away

With that bloomin’ big price on ‘is ‘ead!

Well, what if we catch ‘im–then what’ll they say?

But what if we turn ‘im up dead?

The lads in the crowd in Jalalabad

Know life to be bitter and mean

It’s ‘ard to believe in a lovin’ Gawd

‘Avin’ seen all they’ve seen

For them, it’s jihad–a last-ditch intifada–

It’s Death–and reward in the Garden

Aye, what could be ‘arder to kill than a martyr

–A martyred Osama bin Laden!

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Tom Chalkey.