'The Meaning of Life' is about Yorkshire dialect poetry and the fact that it's not meant to be able to carry very big meanings, and it's also complete nonsense. Unless you read it very carefully.

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

(A Yorkshire Dialect Rhapsody)

From under’t canal like a watter-filled cellar
coming up like a pitman from a double’un, twice,
I said “Hey, you’re looking poorly”
He said “Them nights are drawing in”

Down’t stairs like a gob-machine, sucking toffees,
up a ladder like a ferret up a ladder in a fog,
I said “Hey, you’re looking poorly”
He said “Half-a-dozen eggs”

Over’t top in’t double-decker groaning like a whippet
like a lamplighter’s daughter in a barrel full of milk,
I said “Hey, you’re looking poorly”
He said “Night’s a dozen eggs”

Down’t canal like a barrow full of Gillis’s parsnips,
coming up like a cage of men in lit-up shiny hats,
I said “Hey, you’re looking poorly”
He said “Half a dozen nights”

Under’t canal on a pushbike glowing like an eggshell
up a ladder wi’ a pigeon and a brokken neck,
I said “Hey, you’re looking poorly”
He said “I feel like half-a-dozen eggs”

Over’t night on a shiny bike wi’ a lit-up hat,
perfect for’t poorly wi’ heads like eggs,
I said “Hey, you died last week”
He said “Aye, did you miss me?”

from Now It Can Be Told (Carcanet, 1983), copyright Ian McMillan 1983, used by permission of the author

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