hat In 1977 Gary Gilmore robbed and murdered a gas station attendant and a motel manager. He was caught and summarily executed by firing squad. Within hours of his execution two people received his transplanted corneas. Punk rock band The Adverts wrote a song that posited the idea of what it would be like to receive the eyes of a murderer. The song Gary Gilmore’s Eyes contains the most wonderful lyric “The eye receives the messages, And sends them to the brain. No guarantee the stimuli must be perceived the same… When looking through Gary Gilmore’s eyes”. Eyes This song inspired me to write Harry Hillmore’s Hat which can be sung to the original song…(see below)

My version tells the story of a young man who tries on a trilby in a charity shop…and comes over all…well you’ll see.

HARRY HILLMORE’S HAT

I’m rummaging in Oxfam in search of a new look.

Ignoring ethnic joss sticks and a Gordon Ramsay book.

I spy a hat upon a rack and put it on my head.

The volunteer is wide-eyed and she’s quivering with dread.

I’m thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s ha-at!

I want to vote Conservative and read the Daily Mail.

I know that trains ran better when we just had British Rail.

I want to buy this video and watch Midsomer Murders.

I’ve got an awful craving for a giant bag of Werthers.

I’m thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat.

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s ha-at!

He’s in the local paper; snuffed it in a fit of pique.

An old man in a trilby who wrote letters every week.

The hat is formulating thoughts I don’t want in my brain.

I throw the hat back on the rack and go back out again.

Not thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat.

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat.

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s hat.

Thinking in Harry Hillmore’s ha-at!

Harry don’t need his hat you see.

Harry and his hat have parted company!

© gray lightfoot

Hear Gray read the poem here…

and without The Adverts